Regulators have extended the deadline for public comment on proposed water discharges from Georgia Renewable Power (GRP) to March. 5.

And a public hearing via Zoom will be held March 2.

(GRP) has applied for a permit to release wastewater into streams flowing into the Beaverdam Creek in the Savannah River Basin.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) reports that an average of .273 (million gallons per day) or 273,000 gallons will be released from GRP’s Colbert facility, with a maximum of 3.55 million gallons per day.

According to the EPD permit, the water includes “treated boiler blowdown, boiler feedwater, boiler area drains, reverse osmosis reject water, STG sump area drains, cooling tower blowdown and stormwater.”

Members of the Madison County Clean Power Coalition (MCCPC) have voiced concern about the proposed discharge.

“These streams are lacking in sufficient flow to help dilute the pollutants in GRP’s waste water, making the proposed waste water release plan a great recipe for an algae-filled sewer,” wrote Gina Ward, co-chair of the MCCPC. “Even worse, check out some of the ‘ingredients’ of GRP’s waste water soup: ammonia, phosphorus, chloroform and cyanide, among other things.”

Carey Davis, executive vice-president of GRP, declined to comment when asked recently about the application.

EPD officials said that the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) relies on regular self-monitoring performed by the permitted facility.

“EPD conducts monitoring when it determines it is necessary,” wrote EPD Director of Communications Kevin Chambers.

The EPD says the agency has included limits on what can be discharged.

“EPD has reviewed the effluent data that was provided with the permit application as well as additional lab analysis of wastewater from the facility and have included effluent limits in the draft permit that are protective of water quality standards for the waterbody’s designated use,” wrote Chambers. “EPD will conduct periodic inspections and respond to complaints.”

Those wishing to comment on the application can e-mail EPDcomments@dnr.ga.gov.

THE ZOOM HEARING

The EPD will host a public hearing via Zoom software at 7 p.m. March 2. The purpose of the public hearing is to receive comments on the draft NPDES permit for GRP Madison Renewable Energy Facility, LLC.

To log into the public hearing on your computer, click this link or copy and paste it into your browser to join the meeting: https://gaepd.zoom.us/j/96881364173

To ensure that you are ready to participate when the meeting begins, participants are urged to download Zoom in advance. Zoom can be found here: https://zoom.us/

To dial in by phone, call this number: 1-470-381-2552

The meeting ID is 968 8136 4173

The passcode is 572750

If you choose to participate by phone, your number may be visible to other meeting attendees.

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