January 26, 2023

Meeting Summary: Coosa-North Georgia Council February 7, 2023

To: Coosa-North Georgia (CNG) Regional Water Planning Council


From: Christine Voudy, GA EPD

           Paula Feldman, Freese and Nichols Andrea Druhot, Freese and Nichols


Subject: Meeting Summary: CNG Regional Water Planning Council Meeting


Date: February 7, 2023


Welcome and Introductions

Brooke Anderson, CNG Chairman, welcomed the group, made introductions, and invited everyone in the room to introduce themselves.

Mr. Anderson provided an overview of the process for planning and the agenda topics:

  1. Council Business
  2. Draft Regional Water Plan – Section Updates Review
  3. Lunch
  4. Management Practices Discussion
  5. Next Steps

Council Business

  1. Council members approved the November 2022 meeting minutes.
  2. Council members approved the February meeting agenda.

Regional Water Planning Updates (Paula Feldman and Andrea Druhot, Planning Contractors for Coosa North Georgia, FNI)

Paula Feldman provided a summary of updates to Sections 3 and 5. Andrea Druhot subsequently displayed the draft plan and reviewed the tracked changes in detail with the council. Discussion items are outlined as follows.

  • Section 3
    • The council asked for clarification of what a “challenge” means for the surface water resource assessment.
      • Andrea Druhot noted if the BEAM assessment indicated one or more days over the 80 years simulation period where the withdrawal permit could not be met, then a “challenge” is indicated.
      • Christine Voudy noted that she intends to meet with systems where higher number of challenge days to review the implications of the “challenge” days and what it means for their system specifically.
    • Brooke Anderson noted that some regions wanted to change the designated uses for streams in the area and made the request to EPD; no changes were requested in the CNG region. (Section 3.3.1)
    • The council asked information on the causes of impairment for 303d streams. The leading water quality violations for 303d streams are provided in Section 5.5. FNI will move this discussion to Section 3.3.2.
    • The council requested additional details in the plan about the lake chlorophyll-a TMDLs so they can be more aware of what needs to be done. (Section 3.3.2)
  • Section 5
    • The council requested additional insights into the sentence in the section noting the need for additional study to quantify sustainable yields for the Crystalline rock in North Georgia. Christine Voudy provided an explanation about the difficulties of groundwater modeling, as well as field surveying, to accurately predict the location and volume of groundwater due to the underlying geology and variability. FNI will work with Christine Voudy to add language that captures the modeling limitations and need for localized studies.
    • Brooke Anderson noted that the text on page 5-11 regarding phosphorus TMDL for Coosa River at the AL-GA state line does not align with the Figure 5-9. Additionally, the dry year values on Figure 5-10 do not add up to the total. FNI shared that EPD has not updated modeling results from the 2017 Plan. FNI will reach out to EPD to clarify or correct the figures and text.
    • Larry Chapman noted that the drop in forecasted demand from 2020 to 2060 was surprising given the growth they are seeing in Fannin County. FNI will review the forecasts for Fannin County and discuss with EPD.
    • Dee Anderson noted concern that Table 5-3 is at a county-level and may not represent challenges at the local utility level within the county. He noted that Habersham has a surplus capacity; however, Cornelia needs additional water supplies. The council discussed the difference in the macro scale of the regional water plan as compared to utility level planning. The RWP does not preclude local planning; and the management practices encourage local master planning. FNI will add language to clarify that challenges may exist at the local level that are not captured in the county summaries.

Management Practices (Brooke Anderson, Council Chair)

Brooke Anderson led the discussion to review each management practice and the detailed bullets one last time. The council had no additional changes on most practices or bullets. The council approved the following changes:

  • Water Quality Practice 4, Bullet 2: The council revised to clarify “stormwater”. The new wording is: “Consider stenciling stormwater manhole covers and stormwater sewer grates with words to the effect, ‘Drains to stream. Do not dump contaminants.’”
  • Water Quality Practice 5, Bullet 4: The council removed phrasing about recommending or discouraging development in an area. The new wording is: “Develop plans to identify environmentally sensitive areas, including protecting open space along riparian corridors, wetlands, and groundwater recharge areas to protect water resources.”
  • Water Conservation Practice 3, Bullet 7: The council removed the bullet, “This does not apply to agricultural uses,” due to redundancy. Agricultural uses were already excluded by the first bullet,“Implement conservation pricing for residential customers to provide economic incentive for people to use less water in the region.” The council also requested clear designation of the sub- bullets that fall underneath the first bullet.
  • Water Supply Practice 1, Bullet 3: The council replaced “gap” with “challenge.” The new wording is: “Identify where challenge(s) between available supply and demand will occur.”
  • Administrative Practice 1, Bullet 4: The council removed the bullet, “Support and participate in continued updates of the Redundancy and Emergency Interconnectivity study,” due to redundancy. This is covered by Bullet 9, “Adopt a written emergency water supply plan and assess the need for interconnections to meet reliability targets.”
  • Administrative Practice 1, Bullet 10: The council removed the bullet, “Evaluate potential to purchase from other water systems for short-term emergencies,” due to redundancy. This is covered by Bullet 9, “Adopt a written emergency water supply plan and assess the need for interconnections to meet reliability targets.”
  • Administrative Practice 1, Bullets 11 and 13: The council added lift stations to Bullet 11. The new wording is: “Consider implementing utility resiliency protocols, including back-up generators at critical pump stations and lift stations.” The council removed Bullet 13, “Consider generators or a bypass pump at critical lift stations,” due to redundancy.
  • Administrative Practice 3, Bullets 9 and 10:The council removed the two bullets regarding septic system management due the Health Department’s managing authority.

Next Steps and Wrap Up

Christine Voudy reviewed the Regional Water Planning timeline. Plans will be posted for public comment on March 31, so the plans must be sent to EPD on March 29th. Plans finish the public comment period on May 15. Councils will receive comments and decide if changes should be made. Final plans must be submitted by June 23rd to EPD and approved by June 30th.

Brooke Anderson proposed doing a zoom call in late May instead of an in-person meeting or early June to cover the public comments. The council approved the schedule and proposed May/June zoom call. The council approved Sections 3, 5 and 6 (the management practices).

After the plan is approved by EPD, the council will return to meeting twice a year, with the next meeting in fall. The discussions will focus on plan maintenance, anything to change, and opportunities for a partnership or seed grant to overcome informational challenges and enhance understanding.


Comments from Non-Council Members, Visitors, or the General Public

No public comments.


Council Members Present (15):

  1. Brooke Anderson, Chairman
  2. Donald Anderson
  3. Mike Berg
  4. Mark Buckner
  5. Eddie Cantrell
  6. Larry Chapman
  7. Keith Coffey
  8. Kyle Ellis
  1. Robert Goff
  2. Haynes Johnson
  3. Rebecca Bolden Mason
  4. Gary McVey
  5. Tom O’Bryant
  6. Alex Sullivan
  7. Brandon Whitley


  1. Kim Goldner, City of Jasper
  2. Jane Graves, Upper Etowah River Alliance
  3. Laine Wood, Upper Etowah River Alliance
  4. Don Clark, River Keeper
  5. Jeff Miller, Soque River Watershed Association
  6. Janet Westervelt, Soque Watershed Association
  7. Gretchen Lugthart, Northwest Georgia Regional Commission
  8. Barbara Long, Mannington

GA Environmental Protection Division

  1. Christine Voudy, GA EPD Council Liaison
  2. Clete Barton, GA EPD Program Manager

Freese and Nichols (Planning Contractors)

  1. Paula Feldman
  2. Andrea Druhot

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