This responds to your request for an opinion as to whether various departments of State government are covered under the Georgia Environmental Policy Act ("Act"), O.C.G.A. § 12-16-1, et seq.

The Act covers all government agencies. See O.C.G.A. § 12-16-4. O.C.G.A. § 12-16-3(4) defines "Government agency" as ". . . any department, board, bureau, commission, authority, or other agency of the state." A cardinal rule of statutory construction is that where the language of a statute is plain, it is not open to construction. Central of Georgia Railway Company v. Tucker, 99 Ga. App. 52, 57 (1959).

Consequently, it is my unofficial opinion that inasmuch as the above quoted definition of "Government agency" clearly includes the Department of Transportation, Board of Regents, Department [*2] of Corrections, and other departments of State government, such entities are covered under the Act. (See also, Op. Att'y Gen. 92-2).

This 6th day of October, 1993.

Prepared by:


Senior Assistant Attorney General