PowerSouth: Time to seek permits for work

Published 1:12 am Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Gantt Lake drawdown will begin in September

PowerSouth reminds property owners that they should begin the permitting process now for projects during the scheduled Gantt Lake drawdown this fall.

PowerSouth announced last fall that a drawdown is scheduled for 2019 so that it may maintain specific safety factors at the dam and spillway of Gantt Hydroelectric Dam, as required and regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The drawdown allows access to make necessary repairs to the dam and inspect certain structural components.

Property owners who plan to construct or perform maintenance to boat docks and piers must obtain permits by contacting PowerSouth’s Land Management Department at (334) 427-3000. Before PowerSouth can grant a permit for construction of or maintenance to boat ramps, seawalls and jetties, as well as dredging or fill projects, property owners must first obtain a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District Regulatory Office via their website at http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulartory.aspx, or by phone at (251) 690-2658 and callers should request the South Alabama Branch.

Property owners are encouraged to begin the permitting process early because it may take up to six months to receive the necessary permits.

Permitted construction activities may begin after Oct.  9, 2019. The drawdown is scheduled to begin Sept. 20, 2019, and last until mid-November. Refill may begin sooner if repairs to the dam have been completed.

In preparation for the drawdown, PowerSouth will close all public access to the lake on Sept. 19, 2019. Anyone who needs to remove boats from the lake is encouraged to do so prior to this date.

Point A, Gantt Lake, Conecuh River and Patsaliga Creek are listed as critical habitats for several mussel species. During the drawdown, PowerSouth, in cooperation with multiple state and federal natural resource agencies, will make a concerted effort to protect and conserve these species by relocating certain stranded mussels to Point A Lake or Patsaliga Creek.

PowerSouth, along with officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Troy University, will also use this opportunity to conduct research on these species.

“Mussel study locations will be clearly marked, and the public should refrain from entering these areas,” said Baynard Ward, PowerSouth Corporate Communications Manager. “In the interest of public safety, the public should also not enter the lakebed, including operating vehicles, fishing and other activities.”

More information about the drawdown, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available on PowerSouth’s website at www.powersouth.com/gantt-drawdown.