Senate Long-Term Aquifer Storage Study Committee Holds First Meeting

ATLANTA (August 6, 2014) | Senator Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) chaired the first meeting of the Senate Long-Term Aquifer Storage Senate Study Committee on Monday, August 4, 2014 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center.  Interested stakeholders and state agencies attended to discuss the moratorium on aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) in Georgia; ASR allows for water to be manually pumped into an aquifer for recharging and/or storage, and allows the stored water to be withdrawn in time of need.

“I want to thank everyone for attending the meeting in order to learn more about the aquifer storage and recovery process in Georgia,” said Sen. Tolleson.  “As our population and demands continue to grow, we must analyze different possibilities to managing our water.  However, we must also review the science behind the process and take into account the possible damage that could occur to our natural resources.  I look forward to meeting with the members of this committee again to further discuss action on this issue such as pilot programs, application processes and geology modeling.”

Experts on the issue discussed the background, geological conditions, water chemistry and technologies used in ASR across the country, and what ASR could do for Georgia if implemented.  Speakers included Russ Pennington of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), John Sawyer, Bureau Chief of the City of Savannah Public Works and Water Resources, Doug Meill, Energy and Natural Resource Advisor from the Georgia Chamber and Benjy Thompson, Chair of the Georgia Coastal Region Water Council.  The committee also took public comments and answered questions regarding ASR.

The Senate Long-Term Aquifer Storage Senate Study Committee was created pursuant to the passage of Senate Resolution 4 during the 2014 legislative session in response to Senate Bill 306.  SB 306 would permanently extend the ban on utilizing ASR in the coastal region and was not passed during the legislative session in order to conduct this study committee.

The next committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, September 16 at 1 p.m. at the Georgia State Capitol.

For Immediate Release:
August 6, 2014

For Information Contact:

Jennifer Yarber, Director
Emily Williams, Communications Specialist