Update 2019-05-01: The WWALS comment letter.
As usual, the closest public meeting to the biggest city in the Suwannee River Basin is two hours away, this time in Dawson, Georgia. Received Monday via email. The documents attached are on the WWALS website.
When: Friday, March 29, 2019 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Where: 152 N. Main Street, Dawson, GA
EPD Watershed Protection Branch
This notice is to announce that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Watershed Protection Branch will be holding five workshops at various locations. These meetings are to review and discuss proposed changes to Georgia’s Statewide Nonpoint Source Management Plan document.
- Friday, March 29, 2019 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at 152 N. Main Street, Dawson
- Monday, April 1, 2019 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Oconee County Civic Center, 2661 Hog Mountain Rd., Watkinsville
- Tuesday, April 2, 2019 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Gordon County Agriculture Service Center, 1282 GA-53 Spur, Calhoun
- Wednesday, April 10, 2019 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Susan Shipman Environmental Learning Center, 1 Conservation Way, Brunswick
- Friday, April 19, 2019 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at EPD Tradeport Training Room, 4244 International Parkway, Suite 114, Atlanta
The purpose of these meetings is to provide the public and stakeholders with opportunity to learn about and provide comments and input on changes to this document. A copy of the current version of Georgia’s Statewide Nonpoint Source Management Plan document, the draft updated Statewide Nonpoint Source Management Plan, and a summary of proposed changes to the Plan, can be found at https://epd.georgia.gov/watershed-protection-branch-technical-guidance.
EPD will consider the discussions held and comments received during the stakeholder process for the revisions of this document. Please share this information with persons who may be interested. To insure their consideration, written comments should be received on or before April 26, 2019.
Written comments may be sent to EPDComments@dnr.ga.gov or mailed to Environmental Protection Division, Watershed Protection Branch, Nonpoint Source Program, Suite 1462 East, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr., Atlanta, GA 30334. If you choose to e-mail your comments, please include the words “NPS Plan” in the subject line to help ensure that your comments will be forwarded to the correct staff.
Georgia’s initial Nonpoint Source Assessment Report and Nonpoint Source Management Program were completed in compliance with the Water Quality Act of 1987 and approved by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in January 1990. The biennial report, Water Quality in Georgia, as required by Section 305(b) of Public Law 92-500, serves as the current process adopted by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GAEPD) for updating the Nonpoint Source Assessment Report. Similarly, every five years, GAEPD reviews and revises the Statewide Nonpoint Source Management Plan (Plan). The Plan provides specific long term goals and short term activities to ensure the implementation of the Nonpoint Source Management Program. The Plan keeps the Nonpoint Source Management Program current and serves as an up-to-date tool for controlling and preventing pollution from nonpoint sources. This document represents a revision of the Statewide Nonpoint Source Management Plan, updated in 2000 and 2014, and will be in effect from 2019 through 2024.
The revision is intended to meet the requirements for funding under Section 319(b) of the Clean Water Act and USEPA Section 319 program guidelines published April 2013. The Statewide Nonpoint Source Management Plan continues to implement a watershed approach and is designed to be an informative planning document for all partners and stakeholders involved in the prevention, control, and abatement of nonpoint sources of pollution in Georgia.
This revision reflects new priorities and practices toward nonpoint source pollution control and achieving Georgia’s water quality standards for fishable and swimmable waters. The Plan includes the following updates:
- The 2019 Plan is organized by significant land use categories (agriculture, silviculture, urban, wetlands, coast, surface mining, and groundwater). This structure is a change from the 2014 version, which organized the Plan by functional areas. GAEPD chose to reformat the Plan along land use areas to better align with the TMDL development and implementation process. The Plan continues to include the comprehensive categories of nonpoint source pollution identified by USEPA (agriculture, silviculture, construction, urban runoff, resource extraction, land disposal, and other nonpoint sources).
- The 2014 Plan was developed as an inventory of all nonpoint source management in Georgia. The 2019 Plan is intended to be a useable planning document with direct implementation goals. The 2019 Plan refocuses on long-term and short-term goals and reduces the amount of background information provided. Through this process, the Regional Planning and Statewide Water Planning sections were combined, as were the Healthy Watershed Initiatives and 319 Grants sections. The New Tools and Watershed Prioritization sections were identified as providing historical value, but no new goals or recommendations. As a result, these sections were removed. No other sections were removed in this revision.
- The 2019 Plan includes a number of new or updated goals under each chapter and section. Completed goals, such as the update to the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual or the approval of the Coastal Nonpoint Source Program, have been removed. Goals have been updated to refocus on current nonpoint source management priorities and lessons learned.
- The 2019 Plan includes a new “Assessment of Plan Implementation” chapter. This chapter has been added to reflect how GAEPD will assess the efficacy of various Best Management Practices (BMPs) and water quality improvement efforts. This chapter will go beyond the tracking procedures outlined in the previous version to explicitly connect plan implementation to water quality.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!