GA - GAC
Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 391-1-1 ORGANIZATION AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Rule 391-1-1-.01 Organization

(1) The Board of Natural Resources is a Constitutional Board, empowered by law to establish the general policies to be followed by the Department of Natural Resources.
(2) The Board appoints and removes (subject to the approval of the Governor) the Commissioner of Natural Resources and the Director of the Environmental Protection Division. The Board sets out the general policy under which the Commissioner supervises, directs, accounts for, organizes, plans, administers and executes all the respective statutory functions of the Department and the Divisions, and under which the Director of the Environmental Protection Division supervises, directs, accounts for, organizes, plans and executes the respective statutory functions of the Environmental Protection Division.
(3) As organized by the Commissioner, the Department consists of the Commissioner's Office and six operating Divisions: Wildlife Resources; Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites; Coastal Resources; Law Enforcement; Historic Preservation; and Environmental Protection (created by statute). The directors of the Divisions other than Environmental Protection are appointed by the Commissioner, subject to the approval of the Board.

Rule 391-1-1-.02 Repealed

Rule 391-1-1-.03 Powers, Duties, Titles, Qualifications, Appointments and Other Matters Pertaining to the Department's Unit of Peace Officers

(1) By O.C.G.A. 27-1-16 there is established within the Department of Natural Resources a unit of peace officers known as conservation rangers. The Commissioner of Natural Resources appoints such number of conservation rangers of the state at large as are necessary to carry out the law enforcement responsibilities pertaining to the Department.
(2) A conservation ranger of the state at large appointed by the Commissioner of Natural Resources is an employee of the Department and holds either the title of Conservation Ranger or of Class I Deputy Conservation Ranger, depending upon whether law enforcement duties are primary function of athe conservation ranger's employment (Conservation Ranger) or if additional duties, such as that of a park manager, wildlife technician or biologist are the primary functions of the conservation ranger's employment (Class I Deputy Conservation Ranger). However, regardless of their title, Conservation Rangers and Class I Deputy Conservation Rangers are conservation rangers of the state at large.
(3) By O.C.G.A. § 27-1-17 the Board of Natural Resources is also authorized to appoint deputy conservation rangers, however, that authority is delegated by the Board by this rule to the Commissioner of Natural Resources except to the extent set forth in this rule. Deputy conservation rangers appointed by the Commissioner as Class I Deputy Conservation Rangers pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 27-1-16 and this delegation are assigned all of the qualifications, powers and duties of conservation rangers of the state at large, shall take the same oath, and shall adhere to all of the laws, rules, policies and guidelines which govern the Department's law enforcement unit. The badge of a Class I Deputy Conservation Ranger shall be inscribed with the State Seal, the name of the Department, and such other information as may be appropriate.
(4) The Board of Natural Resources reserves the exclusive power to appoint deputy conservation rangers who are not currently employees of the Department. They will normally either be retired Department employees who were formally conservation rangers or persons, such as marshals of county magistrate courts, who assist the Department's law enforcement unit by enforcing certain aspects of the environmental and wildlife laws such as waste control and hunter safety. Deputy conservation rangers appointed by the Board of Natural Resources must have actual duties relating to the protection of natural resources and post the bond required by O.C.G.A. § 27-1-17(c).
(5) A deputy conservation ranger appointed by the Board of Natural Resources holds the title of Class II Deputy Conservation Ranger and by this rule is assigned by the Board of Natural Resources all of the powers and duties of a conservation ranger. Class II Deputy Conservation Rangers must be certified peace officers pursuant to the requirements of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Council. They shall take the same oath as a conservation ranger and shall adhere to all of the laws, rules, policies and guidelines which govern the Department's law enforcement unit. The badge of a Class II Deputy Conservation Ranger shall be inscribed with the State Seal, the name of the Department, and such other information as may be appropriate.
(6) Class I and Class II Deputy Conservation Rangers are authorized by the Board of Natural Resources to arrest persons accused of violating any law or regulation which such officers are empowered to enforce by the issuance of a citation pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 27-1-19.
(7) The appointments of all deputy conservation rangers holding that status on the effective date of this rule, regardless of whether their title is Class I Deputy Conservation Ranger or Class II Deputy Conservation Ranger and regardless of whether they were appointed initially by the Board of Natural Resources or by the Commissioner of Natural Resources are hereby ratified.

Rule 391-1-1-.04 Method of Obtaining Information from, Making Submissions to or Requests of the Department

(1) General Information concerning the Department's operations may be obtained from 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, S.E., Suite 1252 East, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9000.
(2) More specific requests for information or submissions may be directed as follows:
(a) For licenses - fishing and hunting, 2065 U.S. Highway 278, S.E., Social Circle, Georgia 30025.
(b) For boat registration - 2065 U.S. Highway 278, S.E., Social Circle, Georgia 30025.
(c) For coastal information - One Conservation Way, Suite 300, Brunswick, Georgia 31520-8687.
(d) For environmental information - 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, S.E., Suite 1152 East, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9000.
(e) For state parks and historic sites information - 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, S.E., Suite 1352 East, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9000.
(f) For historic preservation information - 34 Peachtree Street, N.W., Suite 1600, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.
(3) To request that the name and address of a person or organization be placed on a Division's mailing list maintained for advance notice of its rule-making proceedings pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 50-13-4, a written request shall be mailed to the Director of that Division. The written request shall contain a complete and accurate mailing address of the person or organization to which advance notice is to be mailed. The written request may specify that the person or organization is to receive advanced notice of only the proposed rules or proposed amendments to rules of a specific program or branch of a Division, such as proposed rules or amendments to rules proposed by the Land Protection Branch of the Environmental Protection Division or the Hunting and Fishing Regulations proposed annually by the Wildlife Resources Division.

Rule 391-1-1-.05 Procedure to Petition for Adoption of Rules

(1) Any interested person desiring to petition the Board of Natural Resources requesting the promulgation, amendment or repeal of a rule shall submit three copies of the petition, in writing, to the Commissioner, Department of Natural Resources, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, S.E., Suite 1252 East, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9000. No special form of petition shall be required but the petition shall state fully the rule involved, the reason for the desired change, any parties who it is known will be affected by the change, and any additional facts known to the petitioner which might influence the decision of the Board to initiate or not initiate rulemaking.
(2) The Board shall act upon the petition as prescribed in O.C.G.A. Section 50-13-9.

Rule 391-1-1-.06 Procedure for Declaratory Rulings

(1) Any person wishing to file a petition for a declaratory ruling as to the applicability of a statute or rule or order shall submit three copies of the petition, in writing, to the Commissioner, Department of Natural Resources, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, S.E., Suite 1252 East, Atlanta, Georgia 30334-9000.
(2) The petition shall state all the facts, including the names of those parties involved in the fact situation, and shall include a statement of the legal issue sought to be resolved. A declaratory ruling will not be issued on a hypothetical fact situation, and any ruling requested must affect a specific fact situation and specific parties, including the person or persons requesting the ruling. If the parties involved in the fact situation include persons in addition to the person or persons requesting the ruling, the person or persons requesting the ruling shall serve a copy of the petition upon such additional persons by personal delivery or by mail. Service by mail shall be complete upon mailing by first class mail, with proper postage attached, to such person. Every submission shall be accompanied either by an acknowledgment of service from the person served, or his authorized agent for service, or by a certificate of service stating the date, place, and manner of service, and the name and address of the persons served. Any person, including the additional parties served, may seek to participate in a declaratory ruling proceeding in the manner and under the standards provided by O.C.G.A. Section 50-13-14.
(3) The individual or entity within the Department of Natural Resources responsible for enforcing the statute or rule will be assigned the petition for a declaratory ruling and shall issue a ruling thereon as promptly as possible. In doing so, the individual or entity may seek the opinion of the Attorney General.
(4) A ruling disposing of a petition for a declaratory ruling shall have the same status as an administrative law judge decision or order in a contested case.

Rule 391-1-1-.07 Repeal of Asbestos Licsnsing Board Rules

The Asbestos Licensing Board was abolished by Act No. 614 of the 1996 Session of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1996, Page 238) and certain functions of the Asbestos Licensing Board were transferred by said Act to the Board of Natural Resources. The Board of Natural Resources has enacted its own rules to carry out those transferred functions which rules are found in Chapter 391-3-14. The rules of the Asbestos Licensing Board published by the Secretary of State as Chapters 52-1 through 52-7 of the Official Rules of the State of Georgia are hereby repealed.