June Updates

Learn about upcoming events,
as well as about previous events you may have missed! 

Mark your calendar and plant pollinator-friendly flowers to get ready for the upcoming Great Georgia Pollinator Census!

With summer here and the Census dates getting closer, many of you are out in the garden looking at insects. You may see something like the beautiful insect above.  Is it a bee or a fly?  What category would you place it during a Census count? To make things even more confusing, some flies, like this syrphid fly, are bee mimics.  The chart below will help you tell the difference between bees and flies.  With a bit of practice, you will be a pro at fly identification and you might be surprised at how many flies you actually have in your garden.  
The Census website (https://GGaPC) contains an Insect Counting and Identification Guide that you can download and print.  Also, the counting sheets on the website have photo help to making identification as easy as possible. 


A Conversation with Brigit Joyce

Nothing gives more hope for our planet's future than hearing from the bright young people who will inherit the world we leave behind. Sustainable Newton board member Mary Darby sat down recently with Eastside High School, Newton County Class of 2017 graduate and Georgia Tech senior Brigit Joyce to learn more about her being awarded the 2021 Vivian Nora Lukens Memorial Scholarship from the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business and the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business. We're so excited to see how Brigit applies her education to transform how we think about the intersection of marketing and sustainability. Congratulations, Brigit!

We're Not Fooling - Solar Saves!

On April 1, we heard from Solar Crowdsource Founder and President Don Moreland and Alternative Energy Southeast solar consultant Aaron Scranton about the current state of solar in Georgia. Don and Aaron were part of our 2019 Solarize Newton-Morgan campaign.

During this session, they gave us an update on current tax incentives, utility company rebates, and other savings opportunities available through distributed solar. And, we also heard from Sustainable Newton members Theodosia Wade and Melissa Hage about their experiences installing solar in their homes. Solar can save you money while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint -- we're not fooling!

Meeting Industrial Water Demand at Stanton Springs

Stanton Springs, the 1,600-acre high-tech and bio-pharma industrial park in eastern Newton County, presents unique challenges for the Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority. In this webinar, NCSWA Executive Director Mike Hopkins and Chief Engineer Wayne Haynie discussed an exciting project working with private consultants and students from Georgia Tech to explore the feasibility of building a secondary industrial "pure" water system for industrial uses at Stanton Springs to service existing industries like Takeda and Facebook, as well as future growth.

New Blog Posts
  • Playing in the Creek Again - Read about one of our former board member's (Theodosia Wade) experience of participating in a stream tour of Dried Indian Creek, located in Oxford, GA, with the DNR's Stream Team, people from UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, the City of Oxford's Sustainability Committee, and others.
  • Solar Numbers Tell the Story - Read about one of our former board member's (Theodosia Wade) experience of having installed 12 solar panels on her roof as part of the Solarize Newton Morgan campaign and learn about how much electricity and money they have saved over 2+ years.


HOUSE BILL 355 - On May 7, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 355 into law, amending the Georgia Carbon Sequestration Registry first established in 2004 and significantly expanding the types of assets qualifying for financial credit through the registry.

Under the amended law, Georgia can now establish tangible value from existing resources like parks, forestry, and construction. The act also creates a registry commission to manage administrative details.  For more information about how these changes advance carbon reduction efforts in Georgia, see this guest post in the Drawdown Georgia Blog from Southface Institute Vice President of Programs, Strategy + Impact Shane Totten.
HOUSE BILL 3 and SENATE BILL 180 - The  Ethylene Oxide (EtO) legislation proposed by Representative Eric Allen and which became HB3 and SB180 did not pass in the 2021 legislative session. 
The Georgia Conservancy has said the following regarding the legislation: "Following legislation passed last year (Senate Bill 426), House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 180 sought further permit requirements for facilities that emit ethylene oxide. Recently, ethylene oxide, commonly used to sterilize medical equipment, has been linked to an uptick in cancer reports in communities near facilities that release the gas beyond state-permitted quantities. The legislation sought to require facilities that release more than 50 pounds of ethylene oxide annually to allow the Georgia Environmental Protection Division to install monitoring equipment, and allow for the department to continuously monitor emissions and keep daily records for the term of the permit. Reports would be required to be available and updated twice a year on the EPD website. The legislation also sought to set further off-gassing requirements. Additionally, HB 3 and SB 180 would have required facilities emitting ethylene oxide to submit an ambient air monitoring plan. As HB 3 and SB 180 are eligible to be reconsidered during the 2022 Legislative Session, the Georgia Conservancy will continue to evaluate the measures with our partners during the interim."


Information from Janet Rau with Stop Sterigenics:

1.  Stop Sterigenics is asking for documents from the EPD regarding the CEMS (constant emissions monitoring system) through open records to examine their intents with that system

2.  The EPA is doing data collection for additional rulemaking specific to sterilizers that include a hard look at warehouses

3.  FDA seems out of the game as it is absorbed in COVID vaccines and isn't responding to requests for discussions

Would You Consider Supporting Us?

Unlike most nonprofits, we don’t ask for money often.  Sustainable Newton is a grass-roots, all-volunteer organization focused on action, community engagement, and enabling change that matters today and for future generations.  But, especially during these pandemic-driven virtual times, it costs more to keep our programs vital, relevant, and successful. 

Please take a look at what we’ve accomplished so far, and considering chipping in a small amount to help us carry forward with an even more impactful 2021.


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