Georgia Power


Update on Georgia Power

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2012 Lake Harding Drawdown Cancellation
September 4, 2012
Dear Lake Resident:

You are probably aware of the continued severe drought conditions we are experiencing in the State of Georgia. These conditions have resulted in very low inflows within the Chattahoochee River. In the absence of significant rainfall, these inflows are expected to continue to decline.

We are concerned with dropping the lake level for a drawdown during an extended, severe drought. Doing so in a drought could affect our ability to refill in a timely manner. Due to this concern, we are cancelling the 2012 drawdown on Lake Harding. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. However, taking this step will help us better manage our resources through the drought. We hope that conditions improve and our intent is to re-schedule the drawdown for the Fall of 2013, given adequate inflows.

If you have already submitted plans for construction or repairs that have been approved, we will renew the permit for Fall of 2013.

Thank you for your understanding. Please contact me or your Georgia Power Company lake representative if you have questions regarding this matter or if we can assist you in any way.

Keith T. Hill
Lake Resources Manager
Preliminary Licensing Proposal
August 10, 2012
Ms. Susan Tompkins
Harding Homeowners Association Georgia Board

Dear Ms. Tompkins:
This email is to inform you that on July 17, 2012 Georgia Power filed its Preliminary Licensing Proposal (PLP) for the Bartletts Ferry hydroelectric project. The PLP may be found through FERC’s e-library on their website at

George A. Martin
Hydro Relicensing Project Manager
Courtenay O’Mara, P.E.
Hydro Relicensing Coordinator
February 10, 2012 – Bartlett’s Ferry Dam Relicensing
To: Lake Harding Homeowners, Columbus Boat Club and Other Interested Stakeholders
From: Lake Harding Association
Subject: Bartlett’s Ferry Dam Relicensing

Georgia Power is in the process of Relicensing Hydro Power Generation at Bartletts Ferry Dam with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). On April 13, 1978 FERC issued a new license to Georgia Power for hydropower operation that is set to expire on December 14, 2014. In 2008, Georgia Power began the relicensing project using FERC’s Integrated Licensing Procedure, a process that continues to ensure adequate resource protections.

Under the relicensing process, Georgia Power was required to submit studies regarding such issues as fish and aquatic resources, geology and soils, recreation and land use, and endangered species. Beginning in 2009, Georgia Power has given notice of and held public meetings regarding these studies.

Many rumors have recently circulated among homeowners regarding the impact that the relicensing procedure may have on lake levels. We want to take this opportunity to share with you what we currently know.

The Rumors

  • Georgia Power is preparing to drop the lake eight feet-UNTRUE
  • The whitewater project in Columbus, GA is going to cause lake levels to drop-UNTRUE
  • Georgia Power does not care at what lake levels they operate as long as they are generating electricity-UNTRUE-the hydro power generation works best with a full lake
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers is going to tell Georgia Power how to operate the lake-UNTRUE

The Facts

  • As part of the relicensing studies, Georgia Power was asked by FERC to develop an Operation and Drought Management Plan in order to assess the existing water storage in Lake Harding.
  • In the Bartletts Ferry Operation and Drought Management Plan Study (March2011) submitted in response to this request, Georgia Power has stated that it proposes to continue operating Lake Harding and Bartletts Ferry Dam as it is currently operated.
  • Regarding lake levels, Georgia Power has operated the lake at elevations of 518-521 feet above sea level 99.7% of the time except for maintenance draw downs. The normal daily fluctuation of Lake Harding is about 0.75 feet

Lake Harding’s Role in the Chattahoochee River Flow

  • Lake Harding is a modified run-of-the river reservoir (i.e. inflow=outflow over 7 day period), not a water storage reservoir. It has only about 3.4% of the total water conservation storage on the Chattahoochee River. See Chart Below.
  • Lake Lanier, West Point Lake, Lake George (Lake Eufaula) and Lake Seminole were built as federal water storage reservoirs with specific authorizations from the United States Congress using tax payers’ dollars. They have large water storage conservation pools for daily releases that are required by federal law.
  • Unlike these four lakes, Lake Harding is NOT a federal water storage reservoir but was built instead with money from private investors for hydropower generation.

What is Next

  • On March 6 and 7, 2012 Georgia Power will conduct Preliminary Licensing Proposal meetings. These meetings are not required by FERC’s Integrated Licensing Procedure but are being offered by Georgia Power for additional stakeholder education and input. The meeting schedule is attached.
  • By July 17, 2012 Georgia Power will file their Preliminary Licensing Proposal with FERC.
  • By October 15, 2012 Public Comments are due to FERC on the Preliminary License Proposal.
  • By December 14, 2012 Georgia Power will file their license application. FERC has two years to issue the final license and operating parameters.

Need for Lake Harding’s Input

  • For several years the City of LaGrange, West Point Lake Coalition and several other organizations have been exerting pressure on the Corps of Engineers, the State of Georgia and FERC regarding the operation of the dams in the Chattahoochee River system during times of drought, and in particular Lake Harding’s participation in water releases which could negatively impact lake levels.
  • As homeowners and land owners, boat club members, fishermen, boaters, campers, homeowner association members, realtors and businesses just to name a few, the time has come for all of us (stakeholders) to begin working for the benefit of our lake. We can begin by making sure that the March 6-7, 2012 meeting is well attended by all Lake Harding stakeholders. We will keep you apprised of our efforts to coordinate an effective strategic plan to protect our lake, its levels, and the economic welfare of the region.

Tuesday March 6, 2012

  • 9:00am EST (8:00am CST), Preliminary Licensing Proposal Discussion, Lunch Provided, Discussion Continuing as Necessary
  • 7:00pm EST (6:00pm CST), Same Discussion as Above

Valley Sports Complex
130 Sportsplex Drive
Valley, Alabama 36854
Facility Contact:(334) 756-5281

Wednesday March 7, 2012

  • 9:00am EST (8:00am CST), Preliminary Licensing Proposal Discussion, Lunch
    Provided, Discussion Continuing as Necessary
  • 7:00pm EST (6:00pm CST), Same Discussion as Above

Mountain Hill School
47 Mountain Hill Road
Fortson, Georgia 31808
Facility Contact: Nick Mirabella (706) 325-2982


  • Welcome
  • Relicensing Update
  • Proposed Project Operations
  • Proposed Enhancement Measures
  • Water Resources
  • Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Species
  • Wildlife and Botanical Resources
  • Wetlands, Riparian, and L:ittoral Habitat
  • Fish and Aquatic Resources
  • Recreation and Land Use/Management
  • Geology and Soils
  • Cultural Resources
  • Wrap Up/Next Steps

To: LHA Members
From: LHA Board
Dear Members,

As you know Georgia Power Company (GPC) is currently re-licensing our lake with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). During this re-licensing FERC has the power to change how GPC operates the lake. The Lake Harding Homeowners Association’s primary concern is the water level and thus the value of our property. The board has been in contact with many of the involved parties (stakeholders), and we are concerned that a coalition of up river interest are trying to convince FERC to include Lake Harding in drought management plan. For multiple reasons the federal reservoirs must release 40,000 gallons a second from Lake Seminole into the Apalachicola River Basin, and this burden falls on Lakes Lanier, West Point, George (Eufaula), Seminole and Flint River. The upriver stakeholders want us to share in their misery with this mandate. We contend as the LHA that our lake is privately owned and operated, has no reserve capacity by design and was built to produce electricity. GPC has asked FERC to renew the current license with no changes.

LHA would like to thank the Chattahoochee River Wardens ( for their help in producing this fact sheet. They are a valuable resource for the association. Please take the time to read the following information and feel free to share it with your non-member neighbors. Please encourage your non-member neighbors to join the LHA to help us support the groups that support us.

Thank you
Dr. Donald C. Neal
President LHA
Dear Lake Harding Residents:

I am writing you to ask you save the date and be sure to attend these crucial meetings that may well have a serious impact on the water level of Lake Harding. There are two meeting dates, the one mentioned in the letter below (October 26) and the next on March 7th & possibly the 8th with the location to be announced. It is crucial we have good support for the meeting on October 26.

There are number of parties that are lobbying for Lake Harding to be lowered to supply more flow down stream to the Apalachicola-Chattahoocee-Flint (AFC) basin. These include but are not limited to Upper Chattahoochee River Keeper, The City of LaGrange, GA & West Point Lake Coalition. Lack of support by our residents may potentially have you looking at mud and losing your water access. This is especially true for those currently on shallow water.

We are looking for a Hydrologist to join our fight as well as anyone who may have knowledge on the subject. Please contact me as soon as possible if you can help.

Additionally I am asking each of you forward this email or distribute it by hand to all of your neighbors and friends that are not association members or folks who use the lake the lake for recreation and fishing.

We will keep you posted.
Joel Donovan
Board Member
Lake Harding Association
Mr. Boyd Giles
Harding Homeowners Association Alabama Board
288 Lee Road 2098
Valley, AL 36854

Dear Mr. Giles:

Georgia Power will file the Study Results by October 11, 2011 for its “Operational Study of Measures to Enhance Summer Dissolved Oxygen in the Bartletts Ferry Tailrace Area” (Summer D.O. Study), which was approved by FERC on July 18, 2011. After filing, this report may be found on Georgia Power’s relicensing website at and through FERC’s e-library on its website at Recent filings may also be found on these websites, including the updated relicensing schedule which accommodates the Summer D.O. Study.

Georgia Power will then host a Study Results meeting for this specific study only, on October 26, 2011 at the project facilities (clubhouse). The address of the meeting location is 61 Lee Road 335, Salem, AL 36874. The Study Results meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time and will be in accordance with the following schedule.

  • Welcome (10:00 a.m.)
  • Presentation of Study Results for the Summer D.O. Study (10:00 – 12:00 p.m.)
  • Lunch (12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
  • Discussion of Summer D.O. Study (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)
  • Relicensing Schedule Next Steps and Closing Remarks (2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

To appropriately accommodate for our guests, we are asking that you R.S.V.P. no later than Thursday, October 20, 2011 by reply to this email.

George A. Martin
Hydro Relicensing Project Manager
Courtenay O’Mara, P.E.
Hydro Relicensing Coordinator

1516 Bartletts Ferry Road
Fortson, Georgia 31808

Tel 706.322.0228
Fax 706.317.6048
July 21, 2011
Dr. Don Neal, President
Lake Harding Association
RE: Georgia Power Update
Dr. Neal,

Congratulations on another outstanding Independence Day weekend fireworks display! As summer draws to a close, we’d like to wish you and the Lake Harding Association a safe and enjoyable season. The following are a few items that may be of interest to the association membership:

Tax Assessments— The 2011 tax assessment was sent out to all Georgia Power residential lessees in early July. As always, this year’s tax assessment was based on taxes paid by Georgia Power in the prior year for each lease lot.

For Alabama side lessees, the 2011 tax assessments reflected an increase in Lee County property tax values of approximately 10%. In Georgia, the 2011 tax assessment was the same amount as the 2010 tax assessment. Values and millage rate were unchanged in Harris County.

Drawdown Schedule— All drawdown dates are tentative based on rainfall, flows from upstream, and other factors. No drawdowns are scheduled for 2011. Our current Drawdown schedule is:
•   Lake Harding – 2012
•   Lake Oliver and Goat Rock Lake – 2013
Blanton Creek Park is now open for the season; for more information or to reserve a campsite, call 706-643-7737. $18 per night for self contained units; $16 per night for tents.

Georgia Power received the “Spark of Energy” award from the Renew Our Rivers organization for its 2010 clean-up efforts on Lake Harding, Lake Oliver, and Goat Rock Lake. The award was in recognition of the lake clean-up totals posted by the Bartletts Ferry Land Office, Chattahoochee Hydro Group, and Plant Franklin in 2010.

Finally, please remember to call our office at 706-322-0228 if you are planning any construction or repair work along the shoreline or on your lease lot. Bill Glisson (GA side) or Ricky Stearns (AL side) are always happy to talk with lake residents about their plans. Permits are provided at no charge.

Keith Hill
Keith Hill
Lake Resources Manager
Bartletts Ferry Land Management Office
March 21, 2011
Ms. Susan Tompkins
Harding Homeowners Association Georgia Board

Dear Ms. Tompkins:

This email is to inform you that on March 17, 2011 Georgia Power filed its Study Reports for the Bartletts Ferry hydroelectric project.  These reports may be found on Georgia Power’s relicensing website at and through FERC’s e-library on their website at

George A. Martin
Hydro Relicensing Project Manager
Courtenay O’Mara, P.E.
Hydro Relicensing Coordinator