Totalwla: Savannah Harbor Expansion Project Chatman County


The total water quality impact assessment (Totalwla) for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project was published by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in March 2017. The study included four components: the TOWI for dissolved oxygen, the NPDES oxygen demand load, and also effluent loading. Each component is important for water quality, and also we will cover them in this article. This study focuses on the TOWI component, which is the most complicated.

TMDL for dissolved oxygen (DO)

In 2006, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (Totalwla) prepared a TMDL for dissolved oxygen (DO), based on a Georgia DO Standard that was not applicable to the basin for Clean Water Act purposes. The USEPA and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division consulted with the South Carolina Department of Health and also Environmental Control (DHEC) to develop a revised TMDL for Savannah Harbor. The USEPA’s Technical Modeling Advisory Group developed the revised TMDL for Savannah Harbor.

The TMDL for dissolved oxygen (DO), which covers both the Savannah River and also the Chatman County sewage system, must also take into account future discharges of CBOD5, ammonia, and also phosphorus. Using the EPA’s Technical Support Document for Toxics (Totalwla) as a guideline, the Savannah River TMDL includes details of future discharges of these pollutants.

NPDES oxygen demand loads

Tetra Tech, Inc. has provided engineering services to assist with the modeling effort. The model uses a dynamic upstream flow condition that accounts for a range of hydrologic conditions.

The TMDL analysis looked at known potential sources of the pollutant in the watershed. It also considers non-point sources of pollution that may have a similar effect on the environment.

BPOTotalWla: The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently celebrated the completion of the $973 million project to expand the Savannah Harbor. This project will link the Port of Savannah with the Atlantic Ocean. The project will include a submerged rock weir and a berm of sediment to redirect saltwater. Additionally, the project will protect 2,245 acres of freshwater wetlands. Other environmental mitigation efforts are ongoing.

The expansion project is a joint state-federal initiative that will deepen Totalwla harbor and shipping channel from 42 feet to 47 feet, allowing larger container ships to call at the port during low tide. Three bend wideners will be constructed as part of the inner harbor expansion, two meeting areas will be built and Kings Island Turning Basin will be enlarged. This project will add to the local economy and help attract foreign investment.

The Totalwla will also affect the habitat of shortnose sturgeon. The deepening will allow additional saltwater into the harbor, reducing their suitable habitat. However, the project will include a fish passageway, reestablishing access to historical spawning grounds for this species. Nevertheless, the project will have negative effects on the ecosystem and the community. In addition, the project will create a huge amount of noise and turbulence, which could cause damage to the ecosystem.

NPDES effluent loading

The proposed NPDES permit for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project in Chatman County, Georgia, will be open for public comment and also review for the next two years. The Department of Environmental Quality will issue a public notice of the permit and also will mail copies to parties on its public notice mailing lists, including those in Clackamas County and also All Permits.

The water quality standards for this project are based on the 2001 permit limits. The permit requires the company to achieve a maximum dissolved oxygen (DO) and also BOD limit. These requirements are more stringent than those for the combined outfalls, which are subject to stricter standards. For those who want more information about the effluent limits for the project, read the permit documents carefully.

Water quality component

The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project started in January 2015. Its goal is to deepen the federal shipping channel in Savannah Harbor so that larger ships can pass through it. The project includes various mitigation efforts, including a dissolved oxygen injection system. Which will maintain pre-SHEP DO levels in the harbor. The project has received support from the public and environmental groups. But the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control. Has not yet formally approved the project.

Final Words:

The modeling report from Tetra Tech outlines the setup, calibration, and validation of the Savannah Harbor models. It took nearly two years to complete and involved input from multiple agencies. It will be used as the basis for the project’s environmental impact assessment.


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