2020 Georgia Code
Title 12 - Conservation and Natural Resources
Chapter 2 - Department of Natural Resources
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 12-2-1. Department Created; Commissioner of Natural Resources; Affirmation of Board Decision by Operation of Law; Appellate Review

Universal Citation: GA Code § 12-2-1 (2020)
  1. There is created a Department of Natural Resources.
    1. There is created the position of commissioner of natural resources. The commissioner shall be both appointed and removed by the Board of Natural Resources subject to approval of the Governor. Subject to the general policy established by the Board of Natural Resources, the commissioner shall supervise, direct, account for, organize, plan, administer, and execute the functions vested in the Department of Natural Resources by this article.
    2. The commissioner may delegate to any person in the Department of Natural Resources the power to be present and participate, including the power to vote as his or her representative or substitute, at any meeting, hearing, or other proceeding of any association, authority, committee, board, or other body upon which the commissioner serves pursuant to this title.
  2. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, when a petition for judicial review of a final decision of the Board of Natural Resources in any matter arising under this title is filed pursuant to Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," if the superior court in which the petition for review is filed does not hear the case within 90 days from the date the petition for review is filed with the court, the final decision of the board shall be considered affirmed by operation of law unless a hearing originally scheduled to be heard within the 90 days has been continued to a date certain by order of the court.In the event a hearing is held later than 90 days after the date the petition for review is filed with the superior court because a hearing originally scheduled to be heard within the 90 days has been continued to a date certain by order of the court, the final decision of the board shall be considered affirmed by operation of law if no order of the court disposing of the issues presented for review has been entered within 30 days after the date of the continued hearing.If a case is heard within 90 days from the date the petition for review is filed, the final decision of the board shall be considered affirmed by operation of law if no order of the court dispositive of the issues presented for review has been entered within 30 days of the date of the hearing.
  3. A decision of the board affirmed by operation of law under subsection (c) of this Code section shall be subject to appellate review in the same manner as a decision of the superior court.The date of entry of judgment for purposes of appeal pursuant to Code Section 5-6-35 of a decision affirmed by operation of law without action of the superior court shall be the last date on which the superior court could have taken action under subsection (c) of this Code section.Upon the setting aside of any such decision of the board, the court may recommit the controversy to the board for further hearing or proceedings in conformity with the judgment and opinion of the court; or such court may enter the proper judgment upon the findings, as the nature of the case may demand.Such decree of the court shall have the same effect and all proceedings in relation thereto shall, subject to the other provisions of this chapter, thereafter be the same as though rendered in an action heard and determined by the court.

(Ga. L. 1911, p. 137, § 1; Ga. L. 1921, p. 192, §§ 1, 4; Ga. L. 1924, p. 101, §§ 1, 3, 4; Ga. L. 1925, p. 199, § 1; Ga. L. 1931, p. 7, §§ 19, 21, 25; Ga. L. 1937, p. 264, §§ 1, 4, 5, 9; Ga. L. 1943, p. 128, §§ 1, 2, 14; Ga. L. 1943, p. 180, §§ 1-3; Ga. L. 1949, p. 1079, §§ 1, 2, 5; Ga. L. 1955, p. 483, § 3; Ga. L. 1972, p. 1015, §§ 1501-1504, 1527; Ga. L. 1985, p. 1465, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 223, § 2; Ga. L. 1991, p. 94, § 12; Ga. L. 1995, p. 105, § 1.)

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Commissioner is contracting authority of department.

- Except for contracts within the purview of the Environmental Protection Division and the Department of Administrative Services, the contracting authority of the Department of Natural Resources is the commissioner of natural resources. 1980 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 80-38.

Powers concerning state park expansion project.

- Commissioner of natural resources is authorized to request issuance of general obligation bonds and execute any subsequent contracts to effect a state park expansion project in accordance with powers otherwise vested in the department. 1982 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 82-12.

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