STATEMENT OF ISSUE: The South Fulton Municipal Regional Water & Sewer Authority (Authority) proposes to construct a 440-acre pumped storage water supply reservoir on Bear Creek in South Fulton County, Georgia to serve the three member cities: Fairburn, Palmetto and Union City. The proposed project is located along Campbellton-Redwine Road (Highway 70), approximately 8 miles north of the Fulton-Coweta County line. The site is northwest of the City of Palmetto in Fulton County, Georgia. The reservoir would provide the projected 2050 water demand of 16.44 million gallons per day. The reservoir would be supplemented by pumping water from the Chattahoochee River. Water from the reservoir would then be pumped to a water treatment plant proposed for construction along Highway 70. The earthen dam and impounded basin would impact 40,913 linear feet (7.65 miles) of perennial, intermittent and ephemeral streams; 30.06 acres of wetlands; and 5.55 acres of open water.
BACKGROUND: The Authority’s proposed reservoir was announced in a Joint Public Notice on March 18, 2009, resulting in the receipt of numerous written comments from citizens, Federal agencies, and state agencies in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. If the project were constructed as proposed, there would be a reduction in water entering the Chattahoochee River from the damming of Bear Creek and its tributaries. To offset the loss of flow below the dam, the applicant is proposing to pump water from the Chattahoochee River to the base of the dam where it would be released to flow down Bear Creek to its confluence with the Chattahoochee River.
CURRENT STATUS: Savannah District received an updated mitigation plan on June 11, 2014. The applicant was advised of several concerns the District had with the mitigation plan on October 14, 2014. A meeting was held between the applicant and Savannah District on December 18, 2014, to discuss the outstanding issues on the mitigation plan. By letter dated January 5, 2015, the applicant re-stated their position regarding the implications of a hardship determination being granted for the Mulberry Creek and White Sulphur Creek mitigation sites. The applicant believes that mitigation actions implemented on these sites should not have to comply with the 2008 Mitigation Rule, and has also requested that Savannah District make a determination on whether 7 specific aspects of the mitigation plan can be addressed post-permit issuance. The District is preparing a formal response to the applicant’s January 5, 2015, letter.
The State of Georgia has not yet issued Section 401 Water Quality Certification or water withdrawal permits for the project.
DISTRICT POC: Elisha Bradshaw, Piedmont Branch, Regulatory Division, (678) 422-2723.