Coosa-North Georgia (CNG) Water Planning Council
From: Christine Voudy/GA EPD, Brian Skeens/Jacobs, and Craig Hensley/Jacobs
Subject: Meeting Summary: Coosa-North Georgia Water Planning Council Meeting
Date: November 8, 2018
Welcome and Introductions/Approve Agenda
Brooke – introductions
Brooke – entertain motion to approve last meeting summary; Berg – motion; Frank Riley – second; All voted in favor to approve.
Appalachian Regional Port
Wesley Barrell – Georgia Ports Authority
Presentation on the Appalachia Regional Port in Murray County.
- Shared video connecting Savannah operations to Murray County operations.
- Described logistics and components of the port.
- Mega Rail in Savannah – Connecting CSX and Norfolk Southern
- Future growth planned for Murray Co. facility.
- Brooke – Hall County Port?
- Barrell - Gainesville/Hall County port still in design phase.
- Berg – Future expansions?
- Barrell – Raise/extend bridge on Savannah River to serve larger vessels.
Brooke – overview of council outreach activities
- GMRC meeting in Forsyth County on August 30, 2018
- Reviewed contents of the plan to increase awareness.
- Planning to attend NWGRC meeting in Calhoun on Jan 17 2019.
- New EPD permits mentioning the CNG Plan. Local permit holders have contacted Brooke.
Brook provided a seed grant update. Opportunity in December for additional funding.
Christine provided overview of seed grant application process.
- Purpose – Implementing RWPs
- Deadline for application 12/14/18
- Need letter of endorsement from council chair.
- Can contact 319 grants manager at EPD for assistance in developing grant ideas.
- Veronica Craw – EPD 319 grant manager
- (404) 651-8532
- Covered qualifying in-kind matches for the grants.
- Seed grant website – https://epd.georgia.gov/regional-water-plan-seed-grant-funds
Brooke – alt nutrient management strategies study – led by Partnership
- Help navigate NPDES/stormwater permits
- Develop nutrient trading guidance document
- Step by step for obtaining a trading permit
- Specific for Georgia
- Partnership moving to advance this seed grant idea.
- Christine – Councils can request grants smaller than $75k. EPD tries to award as many small grants as possible.
- Seed Grants originally intended for other 10 councils, Metro District not included.
- Brooke – typically one grant per council.
- Christine reviewed the Seed Grant Fund and Match Calculator from EPD website.
- Brooke – Asked for motion to write letter for guidance doc seed grant
- Lamar Paris – Motion
- Mike Berg – Second
- Council unanimously approved.
CNG Website Updates
Brian Skeens provided council website overview.
- Revisions to top tiles to give more information more conveniently.
- Plan to revise and roll out website before the next council meeting.
- Provide county-specific information.
- Merge Partnership info and guidance documents.
- Add an “accomplishments” page.
- Berg – should the council websites all be the same?
- Christine – no, allowing the councils to create or emphasize particular content. Each website will follow the same visual format.
- Mike Hackett – Analytics for web traffic
- Brian – Can ask GTA or EPD for that data.
- General discussion followed regarding website format, type of information, etc.
Upcoming Education Topics Survey
Brian Skeens asked for input regarding future topics. A survey will be conducted to get more ideas. Will send an electronic survey with a list of topics and the opportunity to write-in future topics.
- Berg – suggested topics
- Water System interconnectivity
- ACF Stakeholders
David and Malinda Bakara shared a presentation about the American sasquatch and their small business, Expedition: Bigfoot.
Utility Climate Resiliency Study
Danny Johnson discussed the Metro Water District Climate Utility Study.
- Significant drought about every 5 years in Georgia.
- Intend plan to be adaptive. Don’t know what trends are most likely.
- Used Delta Method to model 100-year historical weather data and modify it based on climate model projections.
- Sensitivity of water quality to climate futures
- Preemptive and Adaptive Strategies in the Metro District Plan.
- Green infrastructure can potentially curb future risks.
- Drought management plans and incentivizing green infrastructure
- Brooke: potential 2020 seed grant idea – comparative model drought study. Potentially replicate the Metro study for Coosa-North GA region.
Drought Planning Workshop
Brian Skeens led a workshop about drought planning.
- Drought rules in GA passed in 2015.
- EPD Director determines whether we are in a drought or not.
- Three levels of drought
- 1 – conservation awareness campaign
- 2 – some watering restrictions and choose 4 response strategies to implement. Certain outdoor activities are banned.
- 3 – All outdoor watering is banned. Implement all drought response strategies.
- Drought response strategies – exemptions for professionals and businesses.
- Current drought rule (passed in 2015)
- Resources available for drought planning
- Water Supply, Demand Management, Communication and Partnerships
- Hogansville, GA Case Study – 12 mile pipeline from neighboring utility. Relates to CNG interconnectivity study and GIS mapping initiatives.
- Brooke Etowah WSA Drought Response Initiatives
- NRCS Watershed Lakes – https://gaswcc.georgia.gov/watershed-dams
- Etowah River Protection– Changed out the pump and impacted the river CFS less.
- Berg – Hear about agriculture for next drought discussion at council meeting.
- Get an update on poultry.
- Greg Bowman – Have residential drought discussion as well. Talk through BMPs for homeowners.
Comments from Non-Council Members, Visitors, or the General Public
No public comments.
Next Steps and Wrap Up
Brooke Anderson led a discussion about the plan for future council meetings, frequency, etc. Requested feedback from council members.
- Frequency? Location? Times?
- Partnership member (Denise Wood) – Thinks we should keep council meeting coinciding with Partnership meeting at Tellus/Booth Museum.
- Berg – Meeting frequency depends on the Council’s scope of work. Twice a year seems fine unless the Council is working on a project that requires more frequent feedback.
- Brooke – Location – How much does location matter?
- Partnership Member – How much coordination to set up meeting times, locations, etc? Are we using RSVPs? How much communication?
- Skeens – may need to get back to personal phone calls to council members in advance of meetings.
- Lamar Paris – How to engage water providers? Council members could invite others.
- Brooke/Lamar – Suggested door prizes or something to motivate folks to attend.
Council Members Present
- Brooke Anderson
- Donald Anderson
- Jerry Barnes
- Mike Berg
- Lamar Paris
- Greg Bowman
- Keith Coffey
- Mike Hackett for Jamie Doss
- Haynes Johnson
- Larry Lykins
- Tom O’Bryant
Partnering & Other State Agencies
- Nicole Wein/Black & Veatch
GA Environmental Protection Division
- Christine Voudy, EPD Council Lead
- Brian Skeens
- Craig Hensley