BRWA Reaches Another Project Milestone with FERC Permit Approval

BRWA Reaches Another Project Milestone with FERC Permit Approval

March 6, 2014


​On May 29, 2014, the Bedford Regional Water Authority (“Authority”) received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to expand the water intake at Smith Mountain Lake.

This approval is another milestone reached by the Authority in the process of building a new water treatment plant and waterline that would expand water services throughout both Bedford and Franklin County (via Western Virginia Water Authority, an equal partner in the new plant).

“Receiving the FERC permit is another stamp of approval for the project. Each permit we receive continues to show how this project is a positive and necessary step in providing for the increasing needs of the community,” said Brian Key, P.E., Executive Director of the Authority.

The permit confirms this stating: “The licensee’s application… to increase the capacity of BRWA’s water withdrawal would enable the BRWA to provide water for consumption to meet the domestic water needs of the surrounding communities.”

Currently the Authority has an intake capable of 2 million gallons a day (mgd) with a top capacity of 2.99 mgd during peak times. The intake would increase the permit to 6 mgd with a peak of 12 mgd. However, drought regulations are also written into the permit that requires the Authority to implement water conservation when necessary.

The permit concludes, “The application includes appropriate provisions to minimize or avoid impacts to environmental resources. Based on an independent review of the application and supporting analysis, Commission staff concludes that expanding the raw water intake, as described in the licensee’s application, would not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”

The next steps of the project include receiving a rezoning variance and a special use permit. Construction is anticipated to begin early 2015. More details on the project can be found on the BRWA project page.