What does the proposed Well Mitigation Program between Bryan and Bulloch counties entail?

Bulloch County Commissioners will vote Tuesday night on a Well Mitigation Program between Bryan and Bulloch counties, in addition to an agreement to supply water and sewer services to Bryan County for the Hyundai/I-16 Mega Site.

The MOU is based on the promise of Bulloch and Bryan counties to contribute ‘toward the total funding required for the initial water and sewer infrastructure necessary to support large scale development at the I-16 Mega-Site’ and the anticipated development in the regional area based on the agreement signed in 2022.’

It also relies on the four well permit applications submitted to EPD on August 15, 2023 for groundwater use and the special conditions returned by EPD in January 2024. Those special conditions include:

  1. a joint fund managed by Bryan and Bulloch counties that is funded by contributions to address ‘any potential unreasonable impacts’ on residential or agricultural wells proximately caused by the construction and use of the four wells they seek to have permitted. They must be in the 5-mile radius of I-16 and the Highway 119 interchange.
  2. the requirement of an independent investigation which indicates ‘an unreasonable impact’ to an existing water well caused by a draw on the Floridian Acquifer thanks to the use of the four wells as used by the Bryan County I-16 Mega Site and ‘associated industrial, commercial, and residential growth.’

The money from the fund will be required to be used for mitigation efforts for those impacted so long as there is ‘appropriate documentation to substantiate the loss and the costs to remedy such loss.’

Remediation options include:

  • resetting the water pump deeper, OR
  • ‘other proposed solutions mutually acceptable to GA EPD and the Parties,’ meaning Bulloch and Bryan counties.

In summary, the MOU for the Well Mitigation Program entails:

  • Justification because both Bulloch and Bryan counties received ARPA funds from the federal government, which are allowed to be used for water and sewer infrastructure
  • Justification because Bryan County is designated as a ‘yellow zone’ and Bulloch County is a designated as a ‘green zone’ for groundwater use by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division
  • Acknowledgement that ‘unreasonable impacts could occur to some domestic or agricultural wells due to the proposed four municipal wells within the portions of North Bryan County and Southeast Bulloch County.’
  • Definition of ‘agricultural wells’ as those that provide water for producers of commodities including agriculture, horticulture, floricultural, silviculture, livestock and livestock products, poultry and poultry products, fish, and seafood
Plan & Framework

The plan and framework portion for the Well Mitigation Program does not yet exist and ‘criteria for eligible applicants’ remains is still to be determined. The agreement would require Bulloch and Bryan counties to:

  • conduct a feasibility analysis
  • structure the program
  • Provide public outreach and education
  • Outline eligible mitigation services
  • define criteria for eligible applicants
  • Structure fiscal management of the fund
  • Design how the program will be implemented and monitored
  • Conduct annual reviews and generate reports
Other Parameters of the Program
  • Three individuals from each county will serve on the advisory committee for the program.
  • Allows Bulloch and Bryan counties to seek third-party assistance to manage this program
  • Allows Bulloch and Bryan counties to seek ‘monetary contributions and assistance to the fund,’ which can include contributions from Hyundai, other industries, local tax dollars, state coffers, and federal funds.
  • The program will remain in place for 25 years or until the Mega Site finds another supplemental or primary source for water, whichever comes first.

View the proposed MOU for a Well Mitigation Program

Commissioners will vote Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. at the county annex. The meeting is open to the public. Those wishing to speak must sign up by 4:30 p.m.

MOU Bulloch Bryan Well Mitigation Program June 25 2024

Jessica Szilagyi

Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of TGV News. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement and corrections. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and co-creator of of the Peabody Award-nominated podcast 'Prison Town.'

Sign up for her weekly newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gzYAZT

1 Comment

  1. The information you provide is very helpful to understand sometimes complex issues. This particular article provides a good overall context for the MOU, although it raises a lot of other questions.
    It would be nice to read a complete background on how the metaplant came into being, what agencies, individuals, and organizations were involved, what concessions were given to Hyundai to build the plant, who agreed to those concessions, and who was shut out of the negotiations. It would be enlightening to know how much of a role Bulloch and Bryant counties played and who was involved.
    Finally, while the info TGV provides is great, the format of your website is truly awful with redundant ads dominating the column space. Reading an article requires a lot of perseverance.

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