Milano: Public Meeting Set On Alcoa Groundwater Permit

By: Brittany Semadeni Email
By: Brittany Semadeni Email

MILANO (October 8, 2012)--A public meeting is slated for Tuesday in Milano to address concerns over Alcoa's request for a groundwater permit.

Alcoa is requesting a groundwater permit from the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District, which is charged with protecting aquifers and preventing waste of groundwater.

In a public meeting last month, some residents expressed concern that if granted the permit, Alcoa would pump the water outside of the two counties the conservation district is responsible for, Milam and Burleson.

According to General Manager Gary Westbrook, Alcoa already has a permit and wants to add more wells for its industrial needs.

The company would pump water from its own property for on-site use, Westbrook added.

While some residents are still skeptical that the water would remain local, according to the conservation district's website, a person who seeks to transport groundwater must obtain a transport permit from the district before transporting groundwater outside of the district boundaries.

A transport permit is not required for the transport of groundwater that is part of a manufactured product, or groundwater that is to be used on property that straddles the District boundary line and that is owned by the owner or operator of a well or wells that produce the water, the website says.

In order to obtain a permit through the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District, an application must be submitted for review.

A hydrologist and attorney are then used to confirm that all of the necessary information is obtained before the evaluation begins.

According to Westbrook, a permit was requested by Alcoa for 24 wells.

The application fee is $100 per permit.

If the request is granted, production fees will be 1 cent per 1,000 gallons of water permitted, Westbrook said.

Permits are good for about 40 years with reviews conducted at least once every five years.

The public meeting is set begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Milano Civic Center.


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