Meeting Summary: Middle Ocmulgee Council November 17, 2016


To: Middle Ocmulgee Regional Water Planning Council

From: Ted Hendrickx, Georgia Environmental Protection Division

Michelle Vincent, Jacobs

Date: December 22, 2016

Subject: Middle Ocmulgee Regional Water Planning Council Meeting 3

Regional Water Plan Review and Revision Process

Draft Meeting Summary (subject to Council review and approval)    

This memorandum provides the meeting summary of the Middle Ocmulgee Regional Water Planning Council Meeting 3, held in the afternoon of November 17, 2016 at the Oconee Fall Line Technical College in Dublin, Georgia.  A Joint Council Meeting was held for the six eastern Regional Water Planning (RWP) councils (Altamaha, Coastal Georgia, Middle Ocmulgee, Suwannee-Satilla, Savannah- Upper Ogeechee and Upper Oconee) from 10 AM to 4 PM.  The Middle Ocmulgee RWP Council held a brief individual council meeting during the afternoon portion of the Joint Council Meeting. This memorandum provides a summary of the items discussed at the individual Middle Ocmulgee RWP Council meeting that was held from approximately 1:15 PM to 2:30 PM.

1) Breakout Sessions Debrief

The Council discussed water quality impacts into Jackson Lake. It is important to think about what is just downstream of the Metro District (including water intakes which are not mentioned in the existing Metro Plan). The Council discussed with Danny Johnson, Metro District, possible coordination with the District to include stakeholder sessions with upstream water entities to discuss downstream concerns (DeKalb County mentioned as one possible entity).

The Council discussed the watershed “heat maps” (specifically those starting on page 35 of the WQ handout packet), and discussed specific questions about dry and wet inputs from Clayton County (presumably the constructed wetlands wastewater discharge system).  The Council discussed downstream gaps and possible impacts from the Middle Ocmulgee Region.

The Council requested more specifics on the Macon 2 node, and what was done to create it. The Council would like a technical write up to be included in updated Resource Assessment document or a technical memo to be provided to the council, and to be included in the revised RWP.

2) Brief Recap of Plan Elements and Management Practices Identified for Review and Revisions

The process and schedule to review Management Practices (MPs) was discussed; the next Council Meeting will focus on MPs.  Council was referred to a previous Memo from the Middle Georgia Regional Commission (dated Aug 31, 2015). The following Management Practice revisions and related issues were discussed:

  1. Consider future needs for expanded centralized wastewater treatment in undeveloped or current septic-only areas. May require entirely new plants and/or collection systems rather than just existing plant expansion.
  2. Consider future scenarios where current LAS facilities might have to become direct-discharge NPDES facilities to increase return flows to select surface waters and how to incorporate that into the revised RWP.
  3. Question about permit lists and industrial forecasts being updated or refreshed, plant expansions or plant closings, NPDES permits being terminated (example being Georgia Power’s Plant Branch). Additional questions about industrial permit transfer process and how to ensure that local industrial expansions or new facilities are adequately and properly captured in the revised plans.
  4. Consider revising discussion of upstream inputs in light of new watershed “heat maps” (with specific mention of Clayton County, which may not have been addressed in previous plan).

4) Council Coordination Recommendations

The Council would like to continue to explore ways to communicate with and know about the Metro District plan and their revision process. Danny Johnson, Metro District, mentioned that while they won’t have a full plan draft ready for release until at least February 2017, they may be able to have a discussion “summary of changes”  document by January 2017 council meetings.

5) Report Back to Joint Meeting Afternoon Session

Vice-Chair Ben Copeland will report back to Joint Meeting. (For specific details, see Joint Meeting Summary.)

Council Business:

6) Approve Agenda/Meeting Summary from last Meeting

Vice-Chair Ben Copeland acknowledged the planning contractor (PC), Michelle Vincent, who called the meeting to order and thanked members and guests for attending.

General consensus was achieved on approving the minutes from last Council meeting, as well as the agenda for this meeting.

7) Section 319 (h)/Seed Grant Updates

Ted Hendrickx with Georgia EPD presented this agenda item.

EPD updated the Council on the status of the 319(h) project: The Middle Georgia Regional Commission has completed their scope of services for the Middle Ocmulgee’s 319(h) grant project to develop a new Watershed Management Plan to meet USEPA’s 9 key elements. The plan will address nonpoint sources of pollution in a priority watershed in the Middle Ocmulgee region. Upon execution of the contract and scope, the general overall timeframe of the project is approximately 2 years. Ted will send out a brief summary of the project and the priority watershed based upon the final scope.

Council Member Marcie Seleb with Butts County Water and Sewer Authority gave the Council an update on the proposed Regional Water Planning seed grant project application that they wish to submit for consideration for funding under the FY17 Seed Grant to councils. The project will be conducted by UGA and the project seeks to investigate causes of increasing bromide concentrations in Butts County’s Ocmulgee River drinking water supply. The proposed project will help meet some critical data needs identified in the Middle Ocmulgee Regional Water Plan (RWP).  It will also help with implementation of specific management practices and further important efforts that were identified in the Middle Ocmulgee RWP as Recommendations to the State.  Council members in attendance were in favor of supporting the application as one that furthers the RWP’s objectives and MPs.

8) Office Hours Call/Subcommittee Conference Call

Council discussed having an office hours or subcommittee conference call.  A meeting may be scheduled as needed by the PC, but general consensus is that there are no immediate needs right now. Vice Chair recommend that PC check with Chairman Richardson to gauge his interest and/or desire to schedule something.

A Council Member also referenced coordination with the Metro District and stakeholder process meetings or calls as something the Council would like to be involved in.

9) New Business

Council Members requested more information from the Metro District about the Peachtree Creek Greenway acquisition process and expected outcomes (ideas for other areas of the state).

A Council Member requested drought contingency plan ideas, templates, or examples from Metro District entities.

10) Public Comment/Local Official Comment

No further public comments were made during the allotted time.

11) Wrap Up/Next Council Meeting

EPD is proposing to extend the schedule for updating the Regional Water Plans to June 2017. The next council meeting (Council Meeting 4) will be scheduled some time in January or February 2017. Council Meeting 5 will take place in March 2017. There is a possibility of a 6th meeting, if necessary, to finalize updates to the Regional Water Plans.

12) Meeting Attendance

Middle Ocmulgee Regional Water Planning Council Members in attendance:

  • Ben Copeland, Jr. (Vice Chair)
  • John Bembry
  • Don Cook
  • Marcie Seleb
  • Lawrence E. McSwain
  • Ron Shipman (proxy for Thomas Wicker)

Georgia EPD Representative in attendance:

  • Ted Hendrickx

Reginal Water Council Planning Contractors in attendance:

  • Michelle Vincent

Public attendees:

  • Danny Johnson, Metro District

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