2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 7 - CONTROL OF SOIL EROSION AND SEDIMENTATION
§ 12-7-17 - Exemptions

O.C.G.A. 12-7-17 (2010)
12-7-17. Exemptions


This chapter shall not apply to the following activities:

(1) Surface mining, as the same is defined in Code Section 12-4-72;

(2) Granite quarrying and land clearing for such quarrying;

(3) Such minor land-disturbing activities as home gardens and individual home landscaping, repairs, maintenance work, fences, and other related activities which result in minor soil erosion;

(4) The construction of single-family residences, when such construction disturbs less than one acre and is not a part of a larger common plan of development or sale with a planned disturbance of equal to or greater than one acre and not otherwise exempted under this paragraph; provided, however, that construction of any such residence shall conform to the minimum requirements as set forth in subsection (b) of Code Section 12-7-6 and this paragraph. For single-family residence construction covered by the provisions of this paragraph, there shall be a buffer zone between the residence and any state waters classified as trout streams pursuant to Article 2 of Chapter 5 of this title. In any such buffer zone, no land-disturbing activity shall be constructed between the residence and the point where vegetation has been wrested by normal stream flow or wave action from the banks of the trout waters. For primary trout waters, the buffer zone shall be at least 50 horizontal feet, and no variance to a smaller buffer shall be granted. For secondary trout waters, the buffer zone shall be at least 50 horizontal feet, but the director may grant variances to no less than 25 feet. Regardless of whether a trout stream is primary or secondary, for first order trout waters, which are streams into which no other streams flow except for springs, the buffer shall be at least 25 horizontal feet, and no variance to a smaller buffer shall be granted. The minimum requirements of subsection (b) of Code Section 12-7-6 and the buffer zones provided by this paragraph shall be enforced by the issuing authority;

(5) Agricultural operations as defined in Code Section 1-3-3 to include those practices involving the establishment, cultivation, or harvesting of products of the field or orchard; the preparation and planting of pasture land; farm ponds; dairy operations; livestock and poultry management practices; and the construction of farm buildings;

(6) Forestry land management practices, including harvesting; provided, however, that when such exempt forestry practices cause or result in land-disturbing or other activities otherwise prohibited in a buffer, as established in paragraphs (15) and (16) of subsection (b) of Code Section 12-7-6, no other land-disturbing activities, except for normal forest management practices, shall be allowed on the entire property upon which the forestry practices were conducted for a period of three years after the completion of such forestry practices;

(7) Any project carried out under the technical supervision of the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture;

(8) Any project involving less than one acre of disturbed area; provided, however, that this exemption shall not apply to any land-disturbing activity within a larger common plan of development or sale with a planned disturbance of equal to or greater than one acre or within 200 feet of the bank of any state waters, and for purposes of this paragraph, "state waters" excludes channels and drainageways which have water in them only during and immediately after rainfall events and intermittent streams which do not have water in them year round; provided, however, that any person responsible for a project which involves less than one acre, which involves land-disturbing activity, and which is within 200 feet of any such excluded channel or drainageway must prevent sediment from moving beyond the boundaries of the property on which such project is located and provided, further, that nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent a city or county which is a local issuing authority from regulating any such project which is not specifically exempted by paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (9), or (10) of this Code section;

(9) Construction or maintenance projects, or both, undertaken or financed in whole or in part, or both, by the Department of Transportation, the Georgia Highway Authority, or the State Road and Tollway Authority; or any road construction or maintenance project, or both, undertaken by any county or municipality; provided, however, that construction or maintenance projects of the Department of Transportation or the State Road and Tollway Authority which disturb one or more contiguous acres of land shall be subject to the provisions of Code Section 12-7-7.1; except where the Department of Transportation, the Georgia Highway Authority, or the State Road and Tollway Authority is a secondary permittee for a project located within a larger common plan of development or sale under the state general permit, in which case a copy of a notice of intent under the state general permit shall be submitted to the local issuing authority, the local issuing authority shall enforce compliance with the minimum requirements set forth in Code Section 12-7-6 as if a permit had been issued, and violations shall be subject to the same penalties as violations by permit holders;

(10) Any land-disturbing activities conducted by any electric membership corporation or municipal electrical system or any public utility under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, any utility under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, any cable television system as defined in Code Section 36-18-1, or any agency or instrumentality of the United States engaged in the generation, transmission, or distribution of power; except where an electric membership corporation or municipal electrical system or any public utility under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission, any utility under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, any cable television system as defined in Code Section 36-18-1, or any agency or instrumentality of the United States engaged in the generation, transmission, or distribution of power is a secondary permittee for a project located within a larger common plan of development or sale under the state general permit, in which case the local issuing authority shall enforce compliance with the minimum requirements set forth in Code Section 12-7-6 as if a permit had been issued, and violations shall be subject to the same penalties as violations by permit holders; and

(11) Public water system reservoirs.

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