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June 23, 2015
A waterfall in the woods with greenery surrounding it.

The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and the Environmental Protection Division may sound similar, but these 2 state agencies serve different purposes to help Georgia’s natural resources.

Georgia Environmental Finance Authority

GEFA works to provide funds and loans to build water and sewer infrastructures, oversee the functions of state-owned fuel storage tanks, manage land conservation programs and other various activities.

This sounds kind of like a broad definition, so let’s simplify it: GEFA gives loans to conservation programs and works as a funding source and overarching organization that keeps a check on land and water programs.

Also, GEFA is divided into 3 categories: the Energy Resources Division, the Water Resources Division and the Fiscal Services Division.   

Environmental Protection Division

EPD functions as an enforcer of laws that protect the environment and also work to educate the public in order to provide clean air, water and land. The ultimate goal of the agency is to create a sustainable environment for healthy Georgia communities.

Think of EPD as a day-to-day active branch that carries out educational programs and helps Georgia residents have clean and protected communities. Some of EPD’s programs include the Ambient Monitoring Program which monitors the levels of air pollutants in the state, the Environmental Radiation Program which keeps an eye on radioactive materials and the Mobile and Area Sources Program that keeps an eye on emissions from vehicles and small industrial sources.

Like GEFA, EPD is divided into 3 departments: the Air Protection Branch, the Land Protection Branch and the Watershed Protection Branch.

Think you can tell the differences now? Let’s do a review:

Who will you contact if you need a loan to make your house more energy efficient? GEFA.

Which agency will be your resource if you want to learn more about hazardous waste procedures? EPD.

Where will you go if you want to find information about wetlands protection financing? GEFA.

Whose website will you visit to learn about existing rules and corresponding laws regarding Georgia’s environment? EPD.

These agencies work tirelessly to make sure that we can all experience the best and cleanest version of Georgia possible. Check out their websites to see even more information about what they do!

About the Author

A Georgia native, Rachael Wheeler works as a Blogger for GeorgiaGov. She writes about a variety of current topics relevant to the Georgia government.

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