Environmental Planning & Management
The GMRC supports the local and State efforts to be wise stewards of our environment because the Georgia Mountains region is rich with scenic treasures and special natural settings that have established strong cultural bonds and prospering economies connected to tourism, agriculture, and outdoor recreation. Whether hiking the Appalachian Trail, seeing numerous waterfalls or enjoying one of many reservoirs, the region is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts both visitors and area residents want to preserve for generations.
Regionally Important Resources
A partner document to the Regional Plan, the Regionally Important Resources (RIR) is an inventory and assessment of those historic, cultural, and natural resources considered vital to the character, ecology and overall well-being of the 13 county area. It is also to serve as a guide for incorporating the preservation and promotion of these resources amidst the varying layers of management applied by local, state and federal government organizations as well as private stakeholders. In conjunction with the other elements of the Regional Plan, this document provides for the appropriate level of protection as the region and its local communities work towards achieving their respective visions for a better, healthier, and more environmentally sound Georgia Mountains region.
Support for State appointed Water Councils
Georgia manages water resources in a sustainable manner to support the state's economy, to protect public health and natural systems, and to enhance the quality of life for all citizens. In 2004 Georgia authorized the development of the State Water Plan, which in turn calls for state-wide regional water planning to provide the necessary local and regional perspectives to ensure each of Georgia's ten water planning region's water resources are sustainably managed through at least 2050.
The Georgia Mountains Region features portions of three different water planning districts. Like other regional commissions, the GMRC staff serves in support of the various councils and of efforts by local governments to comply with their respective Regional Water Plan. Click on the links below to visit the web page for each Water Planning District and to get copies of their respective Regional Water Plans.
The GMRC performs reviews of certain developments or capital improvement projects as part of environmental oversight within the region. This includes checking for possible impacts on environmentally sensitive areas and for compliance with State rules and regional water plans. For large projects that may have interjurisdictional impacts Georgia’s regional commissions must perform Development of Regional Impact (DRI) reviews. For capital improvement projects the GMRC performs intergovernmental (A-95 and Section 106) reviews.
Metropolitan River Protection Act
In 1973 the State of Georgia designated the Chattahoochee River south of Buford Dam through metro Atlanta as a specially managed corridor, as defined in the Metropolitan River Protection Act (MRPA). Land within a 2,000 buffer on either side of the river banks was assessed for soil conditions and graded for development suitability, with each soil category having limits on the amount of land disturbance and impervious surface allowed.
For projects within this corridor, the GMRC performs reviews for compliance with the MRPA standards.
Download the Chattahoochee Corridor Plan and MRPA rules here.
For a list of current reviews for DRIs, MRPA, or intergovernmental projects click here to visit the GMRC Current Reviews page.