Georgia Renewable Power (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.”

MCCPC has links to documents, including the 66-page application, at madisoncleanpowercoalition.com.

Carey Davis, executive vice-president of GRP, declined to comment this week on the application.

EPD officials said this week 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.”

Fact sheets are available on EPD’s website accessible through the publicly available Georgia EPD Online System (GEOS) at https://geos.epd.georgia.gov/GA/GEOS/Public/GovEnt/Shared/Pages/Main/Login.aspx by searching for Submittal No: 462714.

Those wishing to comment on the application can e-mail EPDcomments@dnr.ga.gov. The time for public comment on the application is nearing an end.

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