GSMNP – Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials invite the public to comment on a proposed water quality project through December 10, 2017. The National Park Service is proposing to upgrade the Elkmont Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant serves the Elkmont Developed Area including the Elkmont Campground.

Treated effluent from the plant is currently discharged to the Little River downstream of the campground as authorized by National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit number TN0022349 issued by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The plant operates seasonally for about nine months from March through November based on the campground schedule. The effluent consistently complies with all permit limitations.

The purpose of the proposed action is to provide a modern, efficient, and sustainable wastewater treatment system for the Elkmont Developed Area, ensure continued permit compliance, and maintain or enhance water quality in the Little River. The action is needed because the existing treatment plant, which was originally built in 1959 and modified in 1969 and 2008, has exceeded its expected service life.

The park is currently evaluating alternative approaches for treating wastewater at the Elkmont Developed Area and is identifying issues that should be considered during the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act compliance processes. The public is encouraged to participate by providing input on important issues that should be considered and alternative ways of achieving the project objectives.

Park staff invite the public to comment on the proposed project using the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment, and Public Comment website and following the link titled “Elkmont Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade” at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/grsm or by mail to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, ATTN: Environmental Planning and Compliance, 107 Park Headquarters Road, Gatlinburg, TN 37738.