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Morning headlines: Environmental authorities reviewing Rivian plans

Governor Brian Kemp speaks at December 2021 event announcing Rivian's intent to build a major manufacturing facility in Georgia
Office of Governor Brian Kemp
Governor Brian Kemp speaks at December 2021 event announcing Rivian's intent to build a major manufacturing facility in Georgia

State and federal environmental agencies are looking at plans for the proposed Rivian plant in Walton and Morgan counties.

The AJC reports state environmental regulators are now reviewing site plans to ensure they will not harm local water quality. That filing was revealed during a public meeting this week at the Athens Technical College campus in Monroe. The meeting, which allowed public comment, was one in a series of events the state is hosting to address concerns about different aspects of the project — from environmental and quality of life impacts to workforce development and local business engagement.

In addition to the state EPD review, the Army Corps of Engineers is studying a separate application covering federal wetlands, which is required to ensure the plant causes minimal impact to streams and wetlands on the site.

A local development authority and the company are racing to clear permitting hurdles ahead of a planned groundbreaking on its $5 billon factory next month.

Fulton election probe faces resistance from some witnesses, including Kemp

Witnesses are balking at testifying in Georgia's election probe. The latest illustration of that came as lawyers for Republican Governor Brian Kemp filed a motion to quash a subpoena for his testimony.

Kemp accused the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of pursuing his testimony for improper political purposes. Willis rejected that characterization.

State job numbers hit new record

Georgia job hunters have plenty of options as employers posted an additional 12,500 jobs since June, pushing job numbers to a record high.

But, whether there are enough job hunters to fill those positions is a question. Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler reported that the state’s July unemployment rate hit a record low of 2.8% while the total number of jobs reached over four million.

WEB: “These all-time highs in multiple sectors demonstrate the employment opportunities the state is experiencing across the board,” Butler said in a statement.

The three biggest gainers are: Accommodation and Food Services with 4,100 new postings, Health Care and Social Assistance with 2,400, and Retail Trade with 2,000 postings.

Along with a record low unemployment and high available job count, the state also achieved a new milestone for the number of employed Georgians, with 5,135,374 currently employed.

For more information on available jobs, go to EmployGeorgia.com, where there are over 200,000 listed jobs online with a median salary of $45,000.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!