Tomorrow’s Public Hearing to Discuss Massive Water Withdrawal Permit from the Savannah River for New Vogtle Nuclear Reactors

Guest Blog | May 7, 2014 | Press Releases

Citizens, Organizations to Express Concerns

Rev. Charles Utley, Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, 706-831-7180
Courtney Hanson, Georgia WAND, 308-631-8543
Sara Barczak, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, 912-201-0354

What: The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is holding an important public hearing tomorrow, Thursday, May 8 to hear the concerns of Georgia’s and South Carolina’s upstream and downstream residents, communities and businesses that rely on the Savannah River as EPD considers approving the massive surface water withdrawal permit request from Southern Nuclear for the two new Vogtle reactors under construction near Waynesboro. Residents are encouraged to attend and comment on the draft permit.

The reactors, which may operate for 60 or more years, could withdraw up to 74 million gallons of water per day (gpd) from the river. This would be in addition to the 127 million gpd of water that the existing two reactors are already permitted to withdraw. Together this represents much larger withdrawals than the cities of Savannah and Augusta use combined. The consumptive loss, water that is never returned, will be significant, with tens of millions of gallons lost per day. EPD has acknowledged a worst-case scenario of consumptive losses up to 88% for the new reactors.

When: Thursday, May 8, 2014 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Where: Augusta Technical College Auditorium, 216 Highway 24 South, Waynesboro, GA. For directions call 706-437-6801.

Who: Local residents and advocates for clean, safe and less water-intensive energy choices including Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Center for a Sustainable Coast, Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff, Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club, Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions, Nuclear Watch South, Savannah Riverkeeper, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and others will be available for media interviews regarding the threats the Vogtle expansion poses to the Savannah River and the surrounding communities.

The public can sign up to speak at the meeting; a sign-up sheet will be available on a first-come-first-to-speak basis. The EPD is accepting written comments until 4:30 pm on Thursday, May 15. Public comments may be emailed to [email protected] with the subject line “Plant Vogtle” or by regular mail: Branch Chief, Watershed Protection Branch, Suite 1152, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30334.

For more information, visit From there, you can find the meeting notice, the draft permit and previously filed comments. For further information from EPD, contact the Watershed Protection Branch (404) 463-1511.


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Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) * Center for a Sustainable Coast * Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff * Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club * Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions (Georgia WAND) * Nuclear Watch South * Savannah Riverkeeper * Southern Alliance for Clean Energy * Southern Environmental Law Center * Emory’s Turner Environmental Law Clinic