Archived Story

Public hearing tonight on Green River watershed reclassification

Published 3:44pm Wednesday, March 26, 2014

by Leah Justice
Hearing at 6 p.m. at Polk middle school

Polk County residents will have a chance tonight, Thursday, March 27 to make comments regarding the reclassification of the Green River Watershed.
A public hearing will be at 6 p.m. at the Polk County Middle School in Mill Spring.
The hearing is being conducted by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR)-Division of Water Resources.
The state seeks to receive public comments on the proposed reclassification for a section of the Green River in Polk County (the Broad River Basin), which is needed to construct a new water supply intake in Lake Adger that Polk County intends to use as a future water source. The waters are proposed to be reclassified to class IV (WS-IV), including the critical area and protected area designations.
The critical area portions of the waters to be reclassified include the portion of the Green River that extends nearly ½ mile from and draining to Lake Adger and includes approximately 3,154 acres.
The portion of the Green River proposed to be reclassified in the protected area extends nearly five miles from and draining to Lake Adger and includes approximately 17,421 acres. Silver Creek, Ostin Creek, Rotten Creek and Panther Creek, which are currently classified as Class C Trout waters are located entirely within the proposed watershed.
“The portion of each water body located within 0.5 mile of the reservoir’s normal pool elevation is proposed to (be) reclassified to WS-IV Tr (Trout) CA (critical area) and the remainder of each water body is proposed to become WS-IV PA (protected area) Tr,” states information from Elizabeth Kountis, with the DENR-Division of Water Resources, Planning Section in Raleigh.
Rash Creek, which is currently classified as class C Tr and its two class C Tr named tributaries, Brights Creek and Harm Creek, are entirely included within the proposed protected area and are proposed to be reclassified to WS-IV (PA) Tr, according to NCDENR’s information.
If the waters are reclassified, which will be determined by the state, regulations affecting new development as well as existing and new wastewater discharges would apply throughout the proposed area. Other requirements, which would apply only in the critical area, are additional treatment for new industrial process wastewater discharges, no new land application sites and no new landfills. Forestry and farming practices will not be affected. There are no permitted wastewater discharges located in the entire proposed watershed, according to Kountis, nor are there any known planned land application sites or landfills in the proposed critical area and no known planned wastewater discharges or developments in the entire proposed area.
The requirements related to the WS-IV designation can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/ps/csu/rules.
Residents are encouraged to attend the public hearing or send written comments to the state by April 21. The proposed effective date for the proposed reclassification is Sept.1, 2014.
Written comments may be submitted to: Elizabeth Kountis of the Division of Water Resources Planning Section, 1611 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1611 or by calling 919-807-6418, fax 919-807-6497 or email to elizabeth.kountis@ncdenr.gov.
Additional information can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/event-calendar (look under “2014-03-27”).

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