News about the Naylor Boat Ramp in an Engineering Projects Report! Chad McLeod also reported about the 911 center, the North Lowndes Soccer Complex, the fire warehouse classroom, the animal shelter, and the courthouse renovation project, all still to be completed from SPLOST VII funds, which run out next year. Even with that three-and-a-half-minute special engineering report, the whole meeting took ten minutes Monday morning.
The Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline and others already in the county came up in the Comprehensive Plan approval discussion, as you can see in these LAKE Videos from Monday morning; they vote tonight 5:30 PM.
Stephen Spradley and Georgia Forestry were still helping after Hurricane Matthew, but Ashley Tye reported on evacuees, Chad McLeod reported on engineering projects including the Naylor Boat Ramp at the Alapaha River, and Angela Crance reported on an art district; actually Buddy Boswell did that.
They also heard about a self storage rezoning, three road abandonments, a road widening, the annual MIDS bus service renewal, and a county resolution about bonds for another private LLC by the South Regional Joint Development Authority (SRJDA), different from the one with the public hearing October 21st at a private law firm. What does the resolution say? It’s not in the documents with the agenda.
Below are links to each LAKE video with a few notes, followed by a video playlist. Continue reading
They’ve been working with Dr. Acree on land aquisition, and with GA-DNR on flow levels and ramp placement, as well as anticipation of survey and final designs, they said during the SPLOST agenda item, reports Gretchen from the Lowndes County Commission retreat. No word of when they anticipate completing the boat ramp, and it sounds like they haven’t actually purchased the land yet.
First public update since May: Valdosta has had several recent meetings with other governmental groups and has agreed to co-fund a flooding study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
WCTV has also picked up Valdosta PR 23 July 2013, City Enters Agreement with USACE for Flood Risk Management Study,
The City of Valdosta hosted a Regional Flood Preparedness meeting with the Georgia Silver Jackets on June 25—a continuation of discussions that began earlier in the year focused on regional interests and on maximizing area resources.
Representatives from the cities of Moultrie, Sylvester, Tifton and Valdosta and from the counties of Lowndes and Turner attended the meeting to discuss current and future flood monitoring and forecasting issues throughout the Little River and Withlacoochee River watersheds. These two watersheds are part of the overall Suwannee Basin that is approximately 10,000 square miles in Georgia and Florida.
Among other information shared, Continue reading
After I called Lowndes County and got referred to voice mail, I filed an open records request with the county. I then called GA EPD in Albany and talked to Mary Sheffield. She said that compliance issues are handled from the Atlanta Office and provided the number.
I called GA EPD in Atlanta and asked for the Lowndes County Compliance Officer. She kindly told me that there had been some confusion about what government was responsible for the spill, because Valdosta called first but then Lowndes County did call and take responsibility for the spill.
She said that the spill had been 1.32 Million Gallons and that so far they had had a verbal report from the county and that the county has 5 days to make a written report.
Further, she said she would e-mail me any information that she had at this time, although the verbal reports are not “official”. And before I finished typing this up, she sent this response:
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 11:34:19 -0400
From: Kim Hembree
Subject: Lowndes County Spill
The Lowndes County spill was originally reported to the Environmental Protection Division by the City of Valdosta on 4/25/2013. After responding to the spill, the City of Valdosta determined that the spill was coming from a portion of sanitary sewer collection system that belonged to Lowndes County. Lowndes County (County) responded to the spill on 4/25/2013. This morning, the County reported that the spill was approximately 1.32 million and entered the Withlacoochee River.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
To which I replied:
If I understand correctly, Lowndes County now has 5 days to file a complete spill report. I’ll be interested in that when it is available.Gretchen
Also, has Lowndes County put up a sign at the spill site to replace the Valdosta spill sign?
In addition to calling Lowndes County, I also filed this Open Records Request:
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 10:56:39 -0400
To: Paige Dukes, Mike Allen, Phyllis Judge
Subject: Open Records Request – 20130426 – Waste Water
Please find attached an open records request for the following:
1) All written reports to EPD about waste water spills for the last 3 years
2) All year long monitoring programs/results after each spill
3) published notices in legal organ of all spills for last 3 years
4) a copy of the Overflow Emergency Response Program
I would prefer electronic copies of these documents if they are available.
I attached a scan of the paper Lowndes County Open Records Request form I filled out.
The person that answered the phone said that he was not available and perhaps she could answer my question or put me through to his voice mail. I figured that perhaps I could get some of my questions answered so I asked about the status of the current waste water spill. She said that it had been repaired as of 5am today (April 26).
I then asked if it would be possible to get a copy of the Overflow Emergency Response Program and she asked my name. When I said my name (Gretchen Quarterman) she said that I would have to talk to Paige Dukes and she would transfer me. After a long wait, she came back on the phone and said she would transfer me and I was transferred to the voice mail of Paige Dukes. I did not leave a message.
Apparently whoever is responsible for a major spill into Georgia waters needs to immediately tell GA EPD DNR and the local health department and post a sign, and the sewage leak at GA 133 into the Withlacoochee River qualifies as a major spill. The City of Valdosta reported it as such, but it’s not clear it was their spill (update: it was Lowndes County’s spill). Excerpts below from GA DNR’s guidelines. -jsq
Water Quality: A Guide for Municipal Compliance by Mick Smith, Environmental Engineer.
Spills and Major Spills
- Any discharge of raw sewage < 10,000 gallons to waters of the state
- Any discharge of raw sewage > 10,000 gallons to waters of the state
- BOD5 or TSS = 1.5 x weekly avg. permit limit
- Any discharge resulting in a water quality violation
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) didn’t know there was a large water problem hereabouts, but now they do, and they want to take a watershed-wide approach, from the headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico, including both surface water and aquifer issues, perhaps starting with redrawing FEMA’s flood maps, and maybe even including once again funding the state water council.
Thursday 11 April 2013 there was a rather large governmental meeting organized by USACE in response to the City of Valdosta’s request of 11 March 2103. Yesterday, Valdosta City Council District 5 Tim Carroll sent the appended list of attendees, augmented by a conversation with him on the phone 13 April and a blog comment by him later that same day on the original post on the WWALS blog, in which he also remarked:
Very good preliminary meeting that hopefully will yield real action on our region wide water issues. Thanks for sharing this info with WWALS.We know little else, because no media or private citizens were invited.
- USACE Savannah office: Jeff Morris, Georgia Silver Jackets Coordinator and Beth Williams, Hydraulic Engineer
- USACE Jacksonville office: David Apple, Chief, Watershed and Restoration Planning Section
- GADNR: Christopher Hill and Tom Shillock, GAEPD Floodplain Management Unit
- GEMA: Dee Langley, Planning Program Manager and Terry Lunn, Director, Hazard Mitigation Division
- GEMA: Gary Rice – Regional Field Coordinator
- USGS: Brian McCallum, Supv. Hydrologist/ADir and Keith McFadden, Physical Scientist
- FEMA Region 4: Susan Wilson, CFM, Floodplain Management and Insurance Branch Chief and Janice Mitchell, Insurance Specialist and Lender Compliance
Those state and national agencies were brought by:Continue reading
Received today; he sent it to all the Commissioners. -jsq
To the commission on the proposed idea of road abandonment on County Rd. #16:
On the morning of 2/25/13 after the county commission’s morning work session, my wife and I spoke with Joyce Evans and Bill Slaughter on some of our concerns and new found technical information about road abandonment, Georgia state waterways, and what the county and state are expected to protect.
During our conversation we were told that for unexplained legal reasons the county would have to give the road back to the land owner. At this time my thoughts and questions come back to: Why if for legal reasons do we have to give the land back or away, and why are we even having to have a public hearing on this matter, if the public has no say?
Also during this conversation Bill mentioned