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EPD issues draft water permits for Bryan and Bulloch counties

Residents of Bryan and Bulloch counties are gearing up for a crucial public meeting hosted by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to discuss draft groundwater withdrawal permits that will impact water resources in the region. With concerns raised over potential impacts and environmental considerations, stakeholders are encouraged to participate in shaping the future of water usage in the two counties.
Rendering of HMG Metaplant America and HMG Water tower

Residents of Bryan and Bulloch counties are invited to submit written comments and participate in a public meeting and hearing hosted by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to discuss the draft groundwater withdrawal permits issued on Monday, July 8, 2024 for the two counties. The written comments and the meeting aim to gather feedback and comments from the public regarding these permits that will impact water resources in the region.

Bulloch County Draft Groundwater Permit

Bryan County Draft Groundwater Permit

Bulloch County has applied for two Floridan aquifer wells in its jurisdiction, seeking approval for withdrawing up to 3.125 million gallons per day (mgd) on an annual average. Similarly, Bryan County has submitted applications for two Floridan aquifer wells located in Bulloch County, requesting permission to withdraw up to 3.500 mgd annually. The combined total of 6.625 mgd will be utilized to supply water to the Bryan County Mega-Site and its associated developments.

Following a public informational meeting held on February 26, 2024, where technical assessments and draft special conditions were discussed, EPD has incorporated feedback and prepared responses to comments received. The agency has updated the permits to address concerns raised by stakeholders, including potential impacts on existing wells, saltwater intrusion, and environmental considerations.

Response to Comments on the Draft Special Conditions

EPD has clarified that a mitigation fund must be established for the duration of groundwater withdrawals, and only licensed water well drillers or pump installers from Georgia are authorized to investigate alleged impacts to existing wells. The permits also stipulate that withdrawals must be replaced with surface water or an alternative source by a designated deadline.

A public meeting regarding these draft permits is scheduled to take place on August 13, 2024, from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M. at the Southeast Bulloch High School Auditorium located at 9184 Brooklet-Denmark Highway in Brooklet, Georgia.

In addition to attending the meeting, stakeholders are encouraged to submit written comments to EPD by August 20, either via email at [email protected] or by mail to the Environmental Protection Division, Watershed Protection Branch, Suite 1470A East Tower, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., Atlanta, GA 30334.  The comment period closes on Tuesday, August 20. Please include the words “Groundwater Applications for Bryan County Mega-Site” in the subject line to help ensure that your comments will be forwarded to the correct staff.

Notice of Public Meeting on Draft Water Withdrawal Permits for Bulloch and Bryan Counties

Residents are urged to participate in this important discussion to voice their opinions and concerns about the draft water permits that will shape the future of water usage in Bryan and Bulloch counties.