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Meeting set on LCDA sewage plant
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A decision on whether or not the Liberty County Development Authority will get a permit to build a wastewater plant on the Laurel View River might be clearer after March 31.
On that date, EPD meets with an independent stakeholder group to discuss the results of EPD’s study of the Laurel View River, which recently concluded. The group is made of individuals from the LCDA, the Coastal Estuary Protection Association and the Skidaway Institute of Technology.
Jeff Larson with the EPD said the step after this meeting is final permit determination by the EPD. He said the decision may come within 30-60 days after the March 31 meeting.
The results of this closed meeting, along with public comments received prior to this, will be forwarded to EPD officials prior to their decision.
“The EPD will be addressing every public comment before a decision is made,” Larson said.
Larson did not comment on the results of the study. He said he is reserving that for the stakeholder group.
Many Bryan and Liberty residents have voiced their concerns about the plant, which includes the potential destruction of the ecosystem from the discharge which would flow along the marshlands of Liberty and Bryan County.
Last March, Coastal Estuary Protection Association President Allen Davis, who is in the stakeholder group, said the fact that the EPD agreed to an independent study is a “victory” for the local environmental group. The Bryan County Commission also applauded the EPD for initiating the study.
Stakeholder group member and Ogeechee Riverkeeper Chandra Brown also commends the EPD for seeking additional input, “but the trick is whether or not they listen to it. It’s one thing to ask but another to implement it.”
Brown said the permit that was originally on the table is “fatally flawed” and sure to lead to environmental damage along the Laurel View River. She said she is hopeful the new draft of the permit will include the addition of nutrient monitoring and other environmental safety measures that have been suggested.
Carmen Cole, Director of Administration and Finance for the LCDA said the project is environmentally sound. She said the EPD agreed that this project was safe during the first draft process and she sees the recent study as a way to support the previous study.
“The reason we chose this project was to protect the environment,” Cole said. “Hopefully, in the end, this will be something we can all agree on.”
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