published Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Georgia Senate panel OKs bill seeking access to Tennessee River water

ATLANTA — Georgia would give up its longstanding claim to 66 square miles of Tennessee — including East Ridge and Lookout Mountain — if it’s given a strip of land to tap into the Tennessee River under proposed legislation that cleared a hurdle this afternoon in the Georgia Senate.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill authored by state Rep. Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, who says Georgia’s actual border is at the 35th parallel — right in the middle of Nickajack Lake.

Geisinger told committee members that his bill, which already passed the House in a 171-2 vote, is a good offer for Tennessee.

A pipeline could take up to one billion gallons a day from the Tennessee River and deliver it to Georgia, Alabama and Florida with “little or no effect” on the river, Geisinger said, basing that figure on a 2004 study by the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The judiciary committee approved the legislation, with the exception of Sen. Jason Carter, D-Decatur, who cast a symbolic “no” vote because he thinks Georgia should try to take back all of the disputed territory.

Sen. Carter is a grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers Catoosa and Walker counties for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California. Stories he's covered include crime in blighted parts of metro Detroit and Reno, Nev.; environmental activists tree-sitting in California's Sierra Nevada foothills; attempts by the Michigan Militia to take over a township¹s government in northern Michigan. A native of Michigan, ...

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