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Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 8:16am

Ogeechee Fish Kill Meeting Tonight

Updated: 2 years ago.
Last year's fish kill in the Ogeechee River was a sourse of much anger and several lawsuits. (photo Ogeechee Riverkeeper)

Hundreds of residents are expected to turn out when state environmental regulators take public comment Tuesday night in a case related to last year's massive fish kill in the Ogeechee River.

The Environmental Protection Division is proposing stricter limits and more monitoring for a Screven County textile factory being sued over the May 2011 fish kill.

The permit would allow the company to discharge chemicals such as and formaldehyde into the river.

But EPD Assistant Director Jim Ussery says, there are new proposals that make the draft permit different from the existing one.

"They have to certify annually that they have not changed their process at all," Ussery says. "So this will be one of the the tightest permits in the state, probably the tightest permit in the state."

The permit also would account for river droughts.

"When they are drought times or periods when the river flow is lower, then you don't get to discharge as much," Ussery says. "So, the permit will ensure that what happened last summer won't happen again."

The fish kill last May was the largest in the state's history, killing an estimated 33,000 fish and spoiling the river.

Area residents claim, it made them sick.

The meeting will be at Effingham County High School at 7pm.