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DHEC Western Capacity Use meeting for Aiken Aquifers scheduled for Thursday

November 9, 2018

The meeting to decide upon DHEC’s proposed Western Capacity Use Area, which would place restrictions on how much water can be withdrawn from aquifers in Aiken, will be held this Thursday.

The meeting will take place at 10 a.m. in Columbia at 2600 Bull Street.

Capacity Use is a DHEC program that requires entities who withdraw over a certain amount of groundwater from aquifers to apply for a permit before withdrawals can be made.

This would especially affect so-called ‘mega-farms’ who withdraw billions of gallons of groundwater from aquifers every year for agricultural purposes.

Many parties in favor of capacity use, such as Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon and County Council Chairman Gary Bunker, have cited concerns over impacts to aquifers due to large-scale withdrawals as their reasons for supporting the program.

The SC Farm Bureau is among those against implementing capacity use in Aiken during Thursday’s meeting.

DHEC is asking people who plan on speaking during the hearing to limit their comments to five minutes and to provide written statements as a courtesy.

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