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Posted: Monday, February 6th 2012 at 2:44pm

Ga. AG Sam Olens talks water, other issues

By Marc Eggers Staff
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Rotary Secretary Doug Langman welcomes Olens
GAINESVILLE – "I’m very familiar with the water litigation, and very familiar with the last twenty-plus years of water litigation," State Attorney General Sam Olens told the Gainesville Rotary Club at their weekly lunch meeting Monday afternoon at the First Baptist Church on Green Street.

"Heading the only county in the Atlanta region that gets its water from both Lanier and Allatoona, and vice-chairing the water planning district…I’m very familiar with the water litigation," said Olens referring to his tenure as Chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners from August 2002 through March of 2010.

"While we need to add additional reservoir capacity…the cheapest way for us to increase reservoir capacity is to raise Lake Lanier at least two feet. And we need to look at other locations…where we could build some additional reservoirs," Olens added.

Olens responded to a question from the audience about the disputed Tennessee-Georgia state line.

"There is no question that the current boundary with Tennessee is not the current boundary," Olens responded.

"But Tennessee would like the Chattanooga airport to be Atlanta’s second airport…and they are interested in some type of rail (system) between Chattanooga and Atlanta," Olens said with a big grin.

"My perspective is pretty simple: I think we should be open to the discussion…as long as they are open to the discussion that there is a pipe that comes into Georgia with water from the Tennessee River," Olens said to a smattering of applause.

"In return, I want water," Olens said, nodding his head in affirmation.

Olens addressed several of the other current legal challenges that the State faces: immigration law (House Bill 87), rewriting the Sunshine Laws, challenging federally mandated health care regulations, and toughening laws to eliminate human sex-trafficking.

"And I knew when House Bill 87 (immigration) was passed that I’d have a lawsuit…I just didn’t know I would be a defendant in the suit along with the Governor," Olens said smiling and gently shaking his head

Olens added that there is legislation underway to give the Medical Board of Georgia more authority to regulate “pill-mills”, especially those distributing Oxycodone.

"We’re not trying to regulate hospitals; we’re not trying to regulate pain control doctors. We are trying to regulate Charlatans," Olens explained.
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Gainesville, GA 30501
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