Bartow County, located approximately 40 miles northwest of Atlanta, is one of the fastest growing counties in Georgia, with six cities, two school systems, and approximately 84,000 residents. County leaders became concerned about preserving the county’s air quality in the face of rapid growth from nearby Atlanta. After learning about Environmental Management Systems (EMS) in the summer of 2003, Sole County Commissioner Clarence Brown committed the county to developing the “ﬁ rst in the nation county-wide EMS” to help manage not only potential air pollution sources, but problems involving land and water resources, solid and hazardous wastes.
Commissioner Brown started a county-wide partnership including the six cities, two school districts, Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, and the County’s agricultural community to develop and implement Environmental Management Systems in a coordinated county-wide fashion. EMS goals include improving the county’s quality of life and business climate by reducing air emissions, minimizing the production of solid and hazardous waste, and improving the management of waste and water resources. Phase I goals were speciﬁ cally focused on improving air quality with a target 10 to 25 percent air emission reduction. Already, the 25 percent reduction has been attained.
Examples of Key PartnersBartow County Governments, Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, Shaw Industries Inc., Anheuser-Busch, Georgia Power Company-Plant Bowen, Cartersville Medical Center, Agra-Business community, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech Institute of Technology (GT) Peer Center, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others
Results and Accomplishments
As many as 10 to 20 EMS projects are in progress, including: Georgia Power Plant Bowen; Shaw Industries, Inc.; Anheuser Busch; County and City School Systems, Public Works, Water and Wastewater Departments; and the County Sheriff’s Department. The County and the Chamber of Commerce are working together to coordinate individual EMS projects and have developed a number of tools to assist:
- Adopted Bartow County & Cartersville Bartow County Chamber of Commerce EMS Vision and Mission Policy Statements.
- Developed Website, registration and performance forms for EMS Project for reporting and data management; developed Contact Data Information Base; developed Data Base of Required EMSs for Government Departments/Agencies; and developed a Quarterly Project Tracking Form for EMS Performance Results.
- Preparing a Website database to maintain information on air reductions, waste minimization, recycling, water quality improvements, etc.; and to educate the public.
- Developed an Air Quality Tool Box for Local Ofﬁ cials.
- Reduced air emissions by 25 percent.
- Conducted county-wide Baseline Audit for all media (Air, Land, and Water).