STATEMENT OF ISSUE
: The Hall County Board of Commissioners (Hall County) proposes to construct an 850-acre, pump-storage water supply reservoir with a proposed safe-yield of 50 million gallons of water per day to serve Hall County through the year 2060. The project involves pumping water from the Chattahoochee River into Glades Reservoir (Glades), releasing water from Glades through Lake Lanier and withdrawing water from Lake Lanier at existing City of Gainesville intakes. The proposed project is located within the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Rivers Basin (ACF).
: On June 10, 2011, Hall County submitted to the Savannah District an application for an individual Section 404 Department of the Army permit. Proposed impacts to jurisdictional waters would include approximately 39 acres of wetlands and 95,000 linear feet of streams. Hall County proposes to purchase required compensatory mitigation credits from mitigation bank(s) serving the project watershed. By letter dated July 8, 2011, Savannah District informed Hall County that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would be required for the project.
At Savannah District’s approval, Hall County contracted with the engineering firm AECOM to provide EIS preparation services. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Georgia Environmental Protection Division (Georgia EPD) serve as official cooperating agencies. On February 17, 2012, the official Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS was published in the Federal Register. During March 2012, public and agency scoping meetings were conducted in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
On July 10, 2015, the Savannah District provided a preliminary Draft EIS to EPA, Georgia EPD and Mobile District, and their recommendations were incorporated into the official Draft EIS (DEIS). On October 30, 2015, the Glades DEIS was published in the Federal Register. On December 8, 2015, the Savannah District Commander presided over the DEIS Public Hearing in Gainesville, GA. Approximately 65 people attended the hearing and the majority provided oral and written comments.
: On December 21, 2015, Savannah District requested that Hall County coordinate with the Georgia EPD to recertify the need for Glades Reservoir following release of the 2015 Georgia Office of Planning and Budget’s revised population projections for Hall County. Savannah District extended the DEIS public comment period to February 15, 2016 and based on comments and information received, will determine if additional studies, modeling, etc., are necessary to assist with preparation of the Final EIS and Record of Decision. The Georgia EPD has not issued the required Section 401 Water Quality Certification and water withdrawal permits for the project.
: Sarah Wise, Regulatory Division, (912) 652-5550.