Georgia state senators overwhelmingly passed a bill that will prohibit energy plants in Franklin and Madison counties from burning railroad crossties. After the 48-0 passing the measure was sent to Gov. Brian Kemp to be signed into law.
State Sen. Frank Ginn has a working relationship with two plants that have been the target of community activist groups due to their burning practices. Ginn was a manager and economic developer in Franklin County. Ginn said after the Obama administration changed the federal rules that claimed railroad ties as a renewable energy source, the two plants took advantage of the opportunity. House Bill 857 bans the burning of railroad ties treated with creosote or naphthenate. Both are carcinogens.
Both plants went online this year to burn waste wood, “clean” construction debris and railroad ties to generate electricity. Ginn said when the plants start up or shut down emissions cause burning eyes, sinus problems and irritated throats. He added the people in the community cannot stand it.