Dear Friends of SLEAT:
Dave Kyler from the Center for a Sustainable Coast alerts us to crab fishermen on the West Coast taking on the coal and oil industries:
Meanwhile, here at home, it seems useful to consider whether the DNR approach to managing our ocean’s shore is entirely adequate. The Coast Resources Division, for example, is handing out permissions to engineer the shore, including rebuilding a sinking groin, without paying much attention to the liabilities if something goes wrong. So, I have followed up James Holland’s objections as follows:
Dear Mr Burgess,
As a supplement to Mr. Holland’s communication, let me provide the following:
1) LLC stands for Limited Liability Company, a corporate invention whose aim is to reduce/minimize an organization’s responsibility for any insult of injury that might be caused in its name and in connection with property it claims to own and be responsible for.
2) Sea Island Acquisition LLC, the successor to the bankrupt Sea Island Company, has been quite meticulous in defining its claims to ownership and recording those in the public record. Note I said “claims” because it is common knowledge that lands under water at mean high tide belong to the State of Georgia. Recording something does not make it so. Thus, the ownership of 05-05941 dubious.
3) While the personnel involved in Sea Island Acquisition LLC, SIA PROPCO I, II & III LLC, BRIDGES AND ROADS LLC , etc may all be the same, the object of this specification is obviously to escape operational and financial liability in the event of damage or injury.
4) As the attached image from the Glynn County GIS maps indicates, the agents for the various LLCs have clearly defined the claimed boundary of SIA PROPCO I between it and Sea Island Acquisitions along what is commonly referred to as the southern groin, while the eastern end looks to be assigned to waters of the state. So, who is to be held responsible for any injury or insult that might result from heavy equipment operating on either side of the sinking groin? Has the Department of Natural Resources been provided with evidence or insurance or a bond sufficient to cover any liability that might be incurred? While the State of Georgia has deep pockets, liability for damages should not be accepted via a Letter of Permission to a contractor whose resources are few or non-existent.
5) If the Department or any of its Divisions have been provided with bonds from both Sea Island Acquisitions LLC and SIA PROPCO I LLC to cover potential damage or injury claims, please consider this a GORA request for copies of same.
Finally, given the importance of this matter, I will be forwarding a hard copy of this communication to your office to insure that it is not lost in the shuffle. You might want to consult with legal, Mr. Burgess, to validate the concerns expressed here.