Regulation of Aquifer Storage and Recovery
During the 2016 session of the Georgia General Assembly, House Resolution (HR) 1198 was adopted. That resolution directed the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to review its current regulations as they relate to aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) to ensure that they are sufficient to provide for the protection and preservation of the state's aquifers, to revise such regulations when necessary, and to consider the availability of other water supply sources in the permitting of any potential aquifer storage and recovery project. HR 1198 also directed EPD to issue a report detailing its review of current regulations relating to aquifer storage and recovery to the Board of Natural Resources.
EPD completed a final report as directed by HR 1198 in September 2017. In the final report, EPD concluded that the existing state regulations are sufficient to protect water supplies, including underground drinking water, and provide for the protection and preservation of the state’s aquifers. While the existing regulations are sufficient for these purposes, EPD also identified four actions to facilitate a more integrated and transparent approach to implementing these authorities and therefore accomplish better outcomes for affected resources and resource users.
EPD has prepared the following Guidance for Regulation of Aquifer Storage and Recovery to address these actions and provide guidance on permitting of ASR systems under the rules and regulations that currently guide the relevant programs at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. The guidance was prepared following public review and comment on a draft guidance. The guidance document addresses permitting and regulation of projects that involve injecting water, which has been treated as needed, into groundwater via an injection well and then, after a certain amount of time, recovering the injected water from the same well.
At this time, EPD does not have any applications for an aquifer storage and recovery project and is not aware of any ASR projects in Georgia in the design or planning stages.
For more information, contact the Watershed Protection Branch’s Underground Injection Control Unit.