MACON, Ga. — The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is considering issuing frost protection groundwater withdrawal permits from the Floridan Aquifer in portions of the lower Flint River Basin (FRB) and sub-area 4 where a moratorium on new and/or expanded permits is currently in effect. All or portions of the following counties would be affected: Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Turner and Worth.
To support the development of a feasible frost protection permitting program, EPD will hold a public meeting to receive input. The meeting will be held Wednesday, June 21, from 1 P.M. to 3 P.M. at the Candy Room at the Riverfront Resource Center, 125 Pine Avenue, Albany, Georgia, 31701.
In addition to attending the public meeting, stakeholders may email written comments to EPDComments@dnr.ga.gov or mail them to the Environmental Protection Division, Watershed Protection Branch, Suite 1470A East Tower, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr., Atlanta, Ga., 30334. E-mailed comments should include the words “Frost protection permits” in the subject line. EPD will accept comments at any time, but to ensure consideration in the frost protection permitting development process, submit comments by June 30.
Frost protection permits have limited water needs compared to traditional crop irrigation permits. Although frost protection requires a large amount of water, frost conditions only occur a few days each year and the use would be limited to the traditional recharge season (October 15 to April 15) and limited in quantity. Frost protection permits are anticipated to have a negligible effect on flows in the FRB while responding to the needs of the agricultural community.
EPD anticipates it will begin accepting applications for frost protection permits in the suspension area in September 2023.
–Georgia Farm Bureau