2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 5 - WATER RESOURCES
ARTICLE 3 - WELLS AND DRINKING WATER
PART 5 - PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS
§ 12-5-179 - Permits for operation of public water systems; performance bonds
. Permits for operation of public water systems; performance bonds
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to own or operate a public water system, except in such a manner as to conform and comply with all rules, regulations, orders, and permits established under this part and applicable to the waters involved.
(b) Except as to those owners or operators of public water systems excepted from Georgia primary drinking water regulations under Code Section 12-5-177
, any person who owns or operates a public water system or who desires to commence operation of a public water system shall obtain a permit from the director to operate same. Any person who desires to own or operate a public water system but who was not operating such a system as of July 1, 1977, must obtain such permit prior to the operation of same. The director, under the conditions he prescribes, may require the submission of such plans, specifications, and other information as he deems relevant in connection with the issuance of such permits. The director may issue a permit which authorizes the person to operate a public water system, upon condition that the owner or operator of such system meets or will meet, pursuant to any schedule of compliance included in such permit, all rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this part, including, but not limited to, drinking water regulations established pursuant to this part.
(c) The director is authorized to require as conditions in permits issued under subsection (b) of this Code section the compliance with maximum contaminant levels established pursuant to this part. Maximum contaminant levels shall be complied with in the shortest reasonable period of time consistent with this part and the federal act. The director is further authorized, in conformity with this part and the federal act, to set schedules of compliance and include such schedules within the terms and conditions of such permits and to prescribe terms and conditions for such permits to assure compliance with applicable maximum contaminant levels and drinking water criteria established pursuant to this part, including, but not limited to, requirements concerning recording, reporting, monitoring, entry, inspection, and laboratory analyses, to the extent permissible under this part, and such other requirements as are consistent with the purposes of this part.
(d) Each permit issued under subsection (b) of this Code section shall have a fixed term not to exceed ten years. Upon expiration of such permit, a new permit may be issued by the director and upon condition that the continued operation of such public water system meets or will meet all applicable drinking water standards, maximum contaminant levels, and all other requirements established pursuant to this part. The director is authorized to include in permits issued under this subsection such terms and conditions as are authorized under this subsection and subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section.
(e) The director may revoke, suspend, or modify any permit issued under subsection (b), (c), or (d) of this Code section for cause, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Violation of any condition of the permit;
(2) Obtaining a permit by misrepresentation, or failure to disclose fully all relevant facts;
(3) Change in any condition that requires either a temporary or permanent decrease in the maximum contaminant levels or elimination of the permitted operation.
(f) In the event of modification, suspension, or revocation of a permit, the director shall serve written notice of such action on the permit holder and shall set forth in such notice the reason for the action.
(g) (1) A performance bond or letter of credit may be required by the director to further assist in the assurance that a public water system serving year-round residents maintains compliance with the established contaminant levels and the provision of an adequate supply of water at or above the required minimum pressure. Such a performance bond or letter of credit shall be required of the owner or operator of any public water system serving year-round residents if:
(A) After the first violation of contaminant or water supply standards or requirements, the owner or operator of the public water system fails to make the necessary corrections after receiving a notice from the director specifying:
(i) The corrections which must be made; and
(ii) A reasonable period of time for the completion of necessary corrective action; or
(B) After a second violation of contaminant or water supply standards or requirements, the director makes a determination, based on factors such as past performance, frequency and severity of violations, and timeliness of corrective action, that a performance bond or letter of credit is required.
(2) Any owner or operator of a public water system serving year-round residents who is required to obtain a performance bond or letter of credit pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall file with the director the following:
(A) A performance bond, payable to the director and issued by an insurance company authorized to issue such bonds in this state; or
(B) An irrevocable letter of credit, issued in favor of and payable to the director, from a commercial bank or other financial institution approved by the director.
(3) The bond or letter of credit required in paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be:
(A) Conditioned upon faithful compliance with this part, the regulations promulgated pursuant to this part, and the conditions and terms of the permit issued for the operation of the public water system;
(B) In such amount as determined by the director as necessary to ensure the continued lawful operation of the public water system for a period up to ten years in the event the owner or operator fails to do so; provided, however, the range shall be as follows:
(i) Systems with 25 service connections or less -- an amount not to exceed $30,000.00;
(ii) Systems with 26 to 50 service connections -- an amount not to exceed $40,000.00; or
(iii) Systems with more than 50 service connections -- an amount not to exceed $50,000.00;
(C) Subject to termination or expiration only upon 120 days' written notice to the director; and
(D) Conditioned upon coverage for any violation occurring during the term of the bond or letter of credit of which written notice has been given to the owner or operator prior to 120 days after said term even though the initial or final determination of the violation occurs after the term of the bond or letter of credit.
(4) If an existing bond or letter of credit is to expire or terminate, the owner or operator of the public water system shall file a replacement bond or letter of credit meeting the requirements of this subsection at least 60 days prior to the termination or expiration of the existing bond or letter of credit.
(5) Upon a determination by the director that an owner or operator has violated this part, the regulations promulgated under this part, or the terms or conditions of a permit, the director may, after written notice of the violation to the owner or operator:
(A) Forfeit or draw that amount of such bond or letter of credit that the director determines necessary to correct the violations determined and continue the lawful operation of the public water system; and
(B) Expend such amount for such purposes.
(6) No action taken by the director pursuant to this subsection, including the forfeiture of a bond or the drawing of funds from a letter of credit, shall relieve the owner or operator of a public water system from compliance with all provisions of this part, including the requirement to maintain in full force and effect a bond or letter of credit meeting the requirements of this subsection.
(7) Every permit issued under this part shall be conditioned upon compliance with this subsection.
(8) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to:
(A) Any public water system of the state, an agency of the state, a county, a municipality, or of any other political subdivision or governmental entity;
(B) Any water system owned by a church or other religious institution;
(C) Any water system owned or provided by an employer and used primarily to serve employees; and
(D) Any water system which is jointly owned by private individuals who are the users of the water supplied by the system.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer