January 22, 2008
BEAR CREEK RESERVOIR PERMIT APPLIED
PUBLIC HEARING NEEDED
has applied for a 404 Permit from the Department of the Army to build Bear
Creek Reservoir. The application was dated January 9, 2008
by the USACE (US Army Corps of Engineers). This is the same reservoir that Newton County
tried to get the Jasper County BOC to buy a 25% share in 2003. Four years ago the Jasper County BOC was
ready to sign on and shell out money for a reservoir that didn’t exist and
still doesn’t exist.
See copy of permit application here
With the drought as headline news
on almost a daily basis, the Georgia State Legislature, the Water Council, and
the Governor have all decided that reservoirs may well be the “solution” to the
drought. Bear Creek Reservoir could become a reality
and affect everyone on Jackson
The USACE is soliciting comments from the
public to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny the permit for
Bear Creek Reservoir. It
would be in everyone’s best interest to write and ask for a public hearing
concerning Bear Creek Reservoir. The comments
and/or request for Public Hearing must be made within 30 days of the date on
the application; your request must be received by the USACE by February 8,
Here is the address and suggested format:
Department of the Army
Savannah District, Corps of Engineers
Savannah, Georgia 31402-0839
Request for Public
Application # 200003600
Newton Cty Board of Commissioners, Bear Creek
This is a request for a public
hearing on the above application. We need more information about the
permit. The public has not been informed
as to (see reasons and
facts below to fill in here).
Please schedule a public hearing with the Newton
County Commissioners and County
Attorney moderated by the
cc: Georgia Dept of Natural Resources
Water Protection Branch
4220 International Parkway, Suite 101
REASONS TO REQUEST
A PUBLIC HEARING
County recently built a
reservoir called Tussahaw Reservoir. Henry County
draws water out of Tussahaw Creek continuously to fill the reservoir. Tussahaw Creek has gone from a flow of 40 mgd
(million gallons per day) to 2.5 mgd. What
will Bear Creek Reservoir do to the Alcovy River? Both Tussahaw Creek and the Alcovy River
feed into Jackson
Lake. How will this affect Jackson Lake
and those that live on the lake?
The proposed reservoir will impact 136 acres
of wetlands and 24 miles of streams.
A complete study of each available site should
be completed prior to committing taxpayer monies. In the case of the
proposed “Bear Creek Reservoir” this has not been done.
A competent, independent company should
evaluate all potential local withdrawal sites.
The public has not been informed of the
amount of monies nor has the public been afforded the opportunity to review the
plans or permit application for exactly what and to whom tax dollars are to
The only way to keep the proposed reservoir
at full pool is the pumping of supplemental raw water from the nearby Alcovy
river. The fact is that the flow in
the Alcovy River actually goes below the required
flow during dry times.
Pumping would reduce the flow in the Alcovy River
by 66%. This destroys down stream ecology and affects wildlife and fish.
No public meetings or letters of information
relating to the Bear Creek project have ever been published. No one knows what this project has already
cost, what it is going to cost, and what it entails. The project is a
mystery to the public, only the Newton
County Attorney and Board
of Commissioners are “in the know”.
These are reasons to request a public meeting with the
Newton County Board of Commissioners and the Newton County
attorney moderated by the USACE.
Based on estimated costs to
construct a raw water reservoir, including legal fees, construction, wetlands
mitigation, supplemental raw water pumping station, and Endangered Species Act
can only imagine the total cost of the proposed Bear Creek Reservoir. One must wonder who Newton
County is looking to partner with this
time as it will be burdensome for the Newton County
taxpayers to handle the debt themselves.
Please, write your letter and request a public hearing before
the USACE issues a permit to Newton
County for Bear Creek