Georgia Thermal Discharges regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Georgia Thermal Discharges: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Water quality standards: Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia (GRR) 391-3-6-.03 to 391-3-6-.06

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Thermal discharges for water use classifications: GRR 391-3-6-.03(6)

Definitions: GRR 391-3-6-.03(3)

Mixing zones: GRR 391-3-6-.03(10)

Regulatory Agency

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Watershed Protection Branch

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Georgia has developed specific temperature discharge limitations for wastewaters discharged into state water bodies and has also adopted the federal alternative limitations program for thermal discharges. See the national section THERMAL DISCHARGES for more information.

Administration and enforcement. EPD's Watershed Protection Branch is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the state's thermal discharge regulations.

State Requirements


GRR 391-3-6-.03(6)

Georgia sets specific thermal limitations based on the classification use of the surface water. The state regulations apply to intrastate and interstate waters of Georgia. The following categories of water use are applied in the classifications of thermal discharges:

  • Drinking Water Supplies
  • Recreational Uses
  • Fishing, Propagation of Fish, Shellfish, Game, and Other Aquatic Life
  • Wild Rivers
  • Scenic Rivers

Typically, thermal discharges are not allowed in either wild or scenic rivers. Specific thermal standards for the water-use classifications are specified in the Table in this section.


GRR 391-3-6-.03(3)

"Natural conditions" are the collection of conditions for a ...

Read more about Thermal Discharges