Fri., May 25, 2012 2:54pm (EDT)

Questions About What Killed Ogeechee Fish
By Ellen Reinhardt
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
12 more dead fish have turned up in the Ogeechee River in east Georgia. The state Department of Natural Resources has issued advisories against fishing and swimming in the river in Bulloch and Effingham counties.(photo courtesy of Jessica Qualls via flikr)
12 more dead fish have turned up in the Ogeechee River in east Georgia. The state Department of Natural Resources has issued advisories against fishing and swimming in the river in Bulloch and Effingham counties.(photo courtesy of Jessica Qualls via flikr)
12 more dead fish have turned up in the Ogeechee River in east Georgia. The state Department of Natural Resources has issued advisories against fishing and swimming in the river in Bulloch and Effingham counties.

Last year 38 thousand fish died in the Ogeechee. King America Finishing was found to have been illegally discharging fire retardant chemicals into the river.

Lee Dehihns, an attorney for the company, says under an agreement with the state Environmental Protection Division, King America can continue to release chemicals in the river.

“We’re allowed to put ammonia and formaldehyde in the river as part of our existing permit and agreement with the EPD under the consent order. We test for chronic toxicity and acute toxicity daily and we have been passing those tests every day.”

Spokesman Kevin Chambers says the EPD has found no evidence King America has exceeded the limits imposed on the company.

Diana Wedincamp, the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, says the river hasn’t been right since last year’s fish kill.

“They released these hatchlings last year at the same location that they found the dead ones at this year. We were all telling them until we take care of the pollution issues on the Ogeechee, it’s just too early to release those fish. It would just be a waste of taxpayer money.”

The state EPD and Auburn University are doing tests to determine what killed the fish this year.