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New hearing set on east-end sewage plant
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As debate continues to surround the $30 million water reclamation plant proposed for construction near the Laurel View River, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division will have a public meeting to discuss plans and solicit ideas from the community for an in-depth study of the project.
The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on May 27 at the Midway Civic Center.
Earlier this year, the EPD had a public hearing regarding the proposed Liberty County Development Authority Tradeport East Water Reclamation Facility. After that hearing, EPD agreed to conduct a site-specific stream study to verify the model that was used to develop the waste-load allocation for the proposed permit.  
Locals, worried about the impact of the 3 million gallons of water that the system would be permitted to dump each day into the river, have voiced concern over the issue since mid 2008. The Liberty County Development Authority has been working on the project for about two years.
According to EPD representative Jeff Larson, a final determination on whether to issue the permit will take place around November-December.
“We’re moving as fast as we can in launching a stream study of the Laurel View River,” Larson said. “We generally know what a study plan consists of, but we want local input to help us decide things such as where to put monitoring stations.”
On May 8, the Georgia EPD met with several stakeholders to discuss a plan for the study. Among those in attendance were representatives from the Coastal Estuary Protection Association, LCDA, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeepers.
The LCDA remains hopeful that the findings will be in their favor and the permit will be approved.
“We’re anxiously awaiting the results of the study and remain confident that the studies will show this project to be environmentally sound,” Carmen Cole with the LCDA said.
Construction started last year.
Along with spoken complaints or questions, the EPD is also accepting written comments. To ensure their consideration, written comments should be received by close of business on June 5. Address comments to: Jeffrey Larson, assistant branch chief, Watershed Protection Branch, Environmental Protection Division, 4220 International Parkway, Suite 101, Atlanta, Georgia 30354.
The Laurel View River Study Plan is available for review at 4220 International Parkway, Suite 101, Atlanta, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday and on EPD’s website at
Ross Blair contributed to this report.

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