US Army Corps of Engineers
Mobile District Website

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1 Why is USACE looking to reallocate water from Allatoona Lake for the State Georgia?
Q.2 Why have the easements at the Weiss and Logan Martin projects not been obtained?
Q.3 Follow-up: Is this proposed change by APC going to affect my property?
Q.4 What is the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)?
Q.5 What type of environmental impacts are anticipated with this effort?
Q.6 Will a decrease in the flood storage at the Allatoona project increase the risk of flooding at my house on the lake or downstream?
Q.7 What kind of endangered species are in the area? 
Q.8 How long is this effort going to take?
Q.9 How will the impacts from the proposed changes be determined?
Q.10 Will climate change be considered in light of the current administration’s policies?
Q.11 Will Allatoona Lake experience lower levels while meeting the water supply request from the State of Georgia?
Q.12 Who is paying for this study?
Q.13 Are the lake residents more important than people downstream of the projects?
Q.14 Is this study going to affect my flood insurance rates?
Q.15 What is the purpose of a Water Control Manual?
Q.16 What are the authorizations for Water Control Operations?
Q.17 Why would you sign a Record of Decision with such significant comments from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Alabama regarding water quality?
Q.18 What do the Water Control Manuals consist of? 
Q.19 What type of public involvement will be available in the study?
Q.20 Why is USACE involved with Alabama Power Company projects?
Q.21 Will I be negatively impacted by the proposed changes at Alabama Power Company projects?
Q.22 Will the Storage Accounting Methodology for Water Supply Change at Allatoona Lake?
Q.23 Are any of the alternatives evaluated in the Final FR/SEIS beyond USACE’s authority to implement?

 


 

 

Q.1  Why is USACE looking to reallocate water from Allatoona Lake for the State Georgia?

A.1 USACE did not address Georgia’s request for additional water supply storage when the ACT Master WCM was last updated in 2015.  In a lawsuit following that WCM update, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued an order directing USACE to take final action on Georgia’s request by March 2, 2021.

Return to Top

 

Q.2.  Why have the easements at the Weiss and Logan Martin projects not been obtained?

A.2. APC owns and operates the Weiss and Logan Martin projects and is responsible for obtaining any necessary property interests incident to project operation. APC has proposed that the Corps approve revised flood control operations, eliminating the need for additional easements upstream of both projects.  As noted in the draft Feasibility Report and Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FR/SEIS), APC may need to obtain additional easements downstream if the proposed operational changes are approved. 

 

Return to Top

 

Q.3  Follow-up: Is this proposed change by APC going to affect my property?

A.3. APC has proposed operational changes that would reduce the maximum flood pool during flood operations at the Weiss and Logan Martin projects, but increase the expected downstream flow during certain flood events.  The Final FR/SEIS has evaluated potential impacts of this change in operation and found only marginal increases in water surface elevations downstream during extreme flood events.

Return to Top

 

Q.4. What is the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)?

A.4. FERC is the licensing/regulatory authority for non-Federal hydropower projects.  The outcome of this study process will recommend flood operations at APC’s Weiss and Logan Martin projects.  Based on that recommendation, FERC may require APC to purchase flowage easements as a condition of its FERC license.

Return to Top

 

Q.5. What type of environmental impacts are anticipated with this effort?

A.5. The analysis described in the Final FR/SEIS has not identified significant environmental impacts resulting from the Recommended Plan.

Return to Top

 

Q.6. Will a decrease in the flood storage at the Allatoona project increase the risk of flooding at my house on the lake or downstream?

A.6. According to our flood risk modeling analysis, the flood risk reduction benefits of the Allatoona project would continue to be provided, and no additional structures will be impacted by major flood events as a result of any operational changes

Return to Top

 

Q.7. What kind of endangered species are in the area?  

A.7. Table 3.5 of the Final FR/SEIS lists the federally protected species of plants and animals in the ACT Basin that could potentially be affected by operational changes. USACE has prepared a Biological Assessment indicating that the Tentatively Selected Plan (now referred to as the Recommended Plan) is not likely to adversely affect any listed species or critical habitat. On November 6, 2020, the USFWS issued a letter with its concurrence of informal consultation that the Proposed Action may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, the species or designated critical habitat addressed in the Biological Assessment.

Return to Top

 

Q.8. How long is this effort going to take?

A.8. USACE is releasing the Final Feasibility Report and Integrated Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement in Fall 2020 and expects to issue a Record of Decision by March 2021, subject to the availability of funds.

Return to Top

 

Q.9. How will the impacts from the proposed changes be determined?

A.9. USACE evaluated the proposed changes through a variety of engineering, environmental, and economic analyses to identify potential impacts to ACT basin resources. Proposed changes were compared to a baseline condition to show any differences across the various resources.

Return to Top

 

Q.10. Will climate change be considered in light of the current administration’s policies?

A.10. Yes.

Return to Top

 

Q.11. Will Allatoona Lake experience lower levels while meeting the water supply request from the State of Georgia?

A.11. 11. The analysis in the Final FR/SEIS (Sec. 5.1.1.2) indicates that the average pool level at Allatoona Lake would be slightly higher under the Recommended Plan than under the no action alternative (current operations).

Return to Top

 

 

Q.12. Who is paying for this study?

A.12. . The study has been fully federally funded to date.

Return to Top

 

 

Q.13. Are the lake residents more important than people downstream of the projects?

A.13. No. USACE values the perspectives of all persons with an interest in the ACT Basin and gives equal consideration to all public comments.

Return to Top

 

 

Q.14.Is this study going to affect my flood insurance rates?

A.14. Flood insurance rates are determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or your insurance carrier.

Return to Top

 

 

Q.15. What is the purpose of a Water Control Manual?

A.15. The operations at each federal reservoir managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are described in water control plans and/or manuals.  These manuals typically outline the regulation schedules for each project, including operating criteria, guidelines and rule curves for varying conditions; and specifications for storage and releases from the reservoirs. The water control manuals also outline the coordination protocol and data collection, management and dissemination of information associated with routine and specific water management activities such as flood control operations or drought contingency operations.

Return to Top

 

Q.16. What are the authorizations for Water Control Operations?

A.16. The authority for Water Control Operations is provided by congressional authorization for federal reservoir projects.  Below is a list of congressional authorizations that apply to the operation of all federal reservoir projects.

•    Flood Control Act of 1944 (P.L. 78-534)

•    Water Supply Act of 1958 (P.L. 85-500)

•    Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1958 (P.L. 85-624)

•    Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (P.L. 92-500)

•    Endangered Species Act of 1973 (P.L. 93-205)

•    Water Resource Development Acts

Return to Top

 

Q.17. Why would you sign a Record of Decision with such significant comments from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Alabama regarding water quality?

A.17. The authorized project purposes and commonly used methods to achieve them:

Flood Risk Management (Formerly Referred to as Flood Control)

•    Winter drawdown at specific lakes

•    Store water in lake during flood events

•    Monitor downstream points for river levels

•    Provide notification to Emergency Management Offices

•    Evacuate water as quickly as practicable when downstream conditions allow

Navigation

•      Make releases to maintain an authorized stage for commercial navigation, navigation periods, and special releases for commercial navigation during other periods.

Hydropower

•    Determine volume of water available for generation on a weekly basis. Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA) makes actual schedule within range specified by the water control manuals.

Recreation

•    Allowing recreation at reservoirs according to the Water Control Plan while maintaining other authorized project purposes.

Environmental and Water Quality

•    Support for fish spawning and other fish and wildlife conservation measures.

•    Provide gradual step-down of river levels where necessary

•    Provide minimum releases from reservoirs according to authorization language

Water Supply Storage

•    Provide water supply storage for municipalities and industries.

Return to Top

 

Q.18. What do the Water Control Manuals consist of?

A.18. Updated water control manuals capture:

•    Project/system operations refined over the years due to changes in basin hydrology and withdrawals/consumption that resulted from years of growth/development

•    Drought contingency requirements to account for new data and operational changes

•    Updated data reflecting current basin conditions

•    New/rehabilitated project structural features

•    Environmental requirements for water quality, endangered species and fish spawns

•    Procedures for capturing/using real-time data provided by additional gages and monitoring devices installed since last manual updates

•    Latest computer models and techniques to evaluate and establish guidelines for project operations.

•    Improved and streamlined methods for data exchange between USACE and other agencies

Return to Top

 

Q.19. What type of public involvement will be available in the study?

A.19. Public participation in the study and the NEPA process promotes open communication between the public and USACE.  The USACE sought and considered public input from the scoping process through the Draft FR/SEIS and Final FR/SEIS stages.Public participation in the study and the NEPA process promotes open communication between the public and USACE.  The USACE sought and considered public input from the scoping process through the Draft FR/SEIS and Final FR/SEIS stages.

Return to Top

 

Q.20.  Why is USACE involved with Alabama Power Company projects?

A.20. Pursuant to the Coosa Power Act, Public Law 83-436 (June 28, 1954), USACE is authorized to prescribe rules and regulations for the operation of four APC projects in the ACT Basin for the authorized purposes of Navigation and Flood Risk Management.  These projects are: H. Neely Henry Dam and Lake, R.L. Harris Dam and Lake, Logan Martin Dam and Lake and Weiss Dam and Lake

Return to Top

 

Q.21. Will I be negatively impacted by the proposed changes at Alabama Power Company projects?

A.21. According to the analysis in the FR/SEIS, the Recommended Plan would not appreciably increase flooding or flood risk in the ACT Basin.

Return to Top

 

Q.22. Will the Storage Accounting Methodology for Water Supply Change at Allatoona Lake?

A.22. The Recommended Plan would address Georgia’s water supply needs through a combined reallocation from conservation and flood control storage, while retaining the current USACE storage accounting practices at Allatoona Lake. 

Under the Recommended Plan, Georgia’s projected water supply needs through the year 2050 would be met with a high degree of reliability, and with only slight impacts to other authorized purposes.  Several alternatives were fully evaluated in the Final FR/SEIS and available to the decision maker, including alternatives that use the State of Georgia’s proposed storage accounting methodology.

Return to Top

 

Q.23. Are any of the alternatives evaluated in the Final FR/SEIS beyond USACE’s authority to implement?

A.23. During the initial screening process, described in section 4.5 of the Final FR/SEIS, USACE eliminated from further consideration certain alternatives that were clearly impractical or in conflict with applicable law.  Based on its analysis, USACE considers each of the alternatives evaluated in the Final FR/SEIS to be a potentially viable alternative that could be implemented, consistent with applicable law.

Several alternatives will be fully evaluated in the Final FR/SEIS and available to the Decision-maker, including alternatives that use the State of Georgia’s proposed storage accounting methodology. After reviewing the Final FR/SEIS, assuming no intervening change in law or regulations, the Record of Decision-maker could choose an alternative that utilizes Georgia’s proposed storage accounting methodology.

Return to Top