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by Laura Diamond, AJC

The House voted down a bill Tuesday that would have allowed logs that sunk to the bottom of Georgia's rivers to be raised and sold.

Lawmakers have long debated "deadhead" logging, with supporters arguing Senate Bill 362 would create jobs and raise money for the state. They said the logs were meant to be sold when they were harvested from forests more than 100 years ago.

Environmentalists and some lawmakers opposed the bill, warning it could have a negative environmental impact. Removing the logs from the Altamaha, Flint, Ocmulgee and Oconee rivers could stir up sediment and harm fish habitats, they said.

The bill was rejected by a vote of 93-67.

Senate President Pro Tempore Tommie Williams sponsored the bill, which passed the Senate.