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Community concerned about proposed Rivian electric car factory in Walton County |  News

WALTON COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) — This is the state’s largest economic development project ever. The new Rivian electric car plant in Walton County has been touted as a huge boost to the local economy, but not all residents are happy.

“It feels like we have been stripped of our rights as owners,” said Chas Moore, who lives in Rutledge and is part of the group Our Communities Oppose Rivian Assembly Plant. “Maybe Rivian would be a great partner, but we don’t know because they haven’t spoken to us.”

There has been a meeting for the owners with officials since the December announcement.

The community said the fact that the 20 million square foot plant, which could house almost 10 Mercedes Benz stadiums inside the area, will be on a site that fills their water supply is concerning, and does not can’t see how their water would in any way be harmed.

“We don’t have the infrastructure to access city water if there’s a problem, all of our water, unless you live in the city of Madison, comes from our wells,” Moore said.

The Jasper, Morgan, Newton & Walton Development Authority is a collaborative group formed by members of the counties mentioned above and is listed as the developer of the site.

They say groundwater will be protected through stormwater management, use of water and sewer services through the Newton County Water & Sewerage Authority, and strict adherence to national guidelines and federal regulations concerning soil erosion.

The company would also benefit from the biggest tax break ever offered by the state, which the government says will create 7,500 jobs.

“There’s a substantial amount of industrial jobs available around here that are already vacant,” Moore said.

Rivian’s vice president of public policy said they hope to begin construction of the plant this summer.


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