A Senate panel on Thursday unanimously approved a bill that says if someone causes a big pollution spill in a river, he or she must call a state hotline, and the state must coordinate response to serious events with other agencies within 24 hours.
House Bill 549 is a response to the 2011 Ogeechee River fish kill, when thousands of aquatic creatures were killed by poison below a Screven County textile plant.
At the time, the Georgia Environmental Protection Divisions emergency response team was understaffed.
In defense of the prior EPD thoughts on this, there was a legitimate concern about speaking before you knew what was going on, said EPD Director Jud Turner. But, we really did take a look and start communicating ... better in the last two years.
Ogeechee Riverkeeper Emily Markesteyn praised the bill and called it proactive.
The bill, by Newington Republican state Rep. Jon Burns now moves to the full House Natural Resources and Environment Committee.
Google Glass deployed in Senate
Google Glass, the Internet-enabled eyeglass add-on that projects a little screen into the wearers field of vision appeared in the state Senate.
State Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, hosted Google reps who brought some of the glasses to the state Capitol building for a public trial.
There is no legislation in the works around such wearable computers, and theyre not yet for sale.
They take some getting used to, like a new pair of glasses.
Fortified wine endorsed
Most state senators at work on Thursday, 48 out of 53 of them, think Georgia wineries should be able to go into the fortified wine business.
They approved Senate Bill 286, which allows production of beverages, such as sherry, which are made of wine plus an alcohol.
Now the bill, by state Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, moves to the House.
-- Maggie Lee