Dozens of angry residents spoke against a new pollution permit for an East Georgia textile mill last night. About 200 people came to an emotional public hearing concerning the proposed permit for King America Finishing. The company is linked to last year's huge fish kill in the Ogeechee River.
The Ogeechee Riverkeeper is challenging Georgia's response to a massive fish kill in May traced to a Screven County textile mill. Environmental Protection Division officials and King America Finishing Company negotiated an agreement last month that lets the company avoid fines. Instead, it will spend $1 million on unspecific river improvement projects.
State environmental officials announced a settlement of charges against an East Georgia textile plant linked to a massive fish kill in May. King America Finishing has agreed to pay for $1 million in yet-to-be-named improvements on the Ogeechee River. The settlement says, the plant illegally dumped a fire retardant into the river.
The Ogeechee Riverkeeper says, tests show new and disturbing pollution levels in the East Georgia waterway. The jump in formaldehyde levels comes months after tens of thousands of fish died in the river in May. Riverkeeper Diana Wedincamp says, this past weekend people started reporting more dead fish on the river.
Imperial Sugar has agreed to pay $80,000 to settle multiple charges that the company violated Georgia's clean water standards. The state Environmental Protection Division says, the company sent sugary wastewater down drains leading to the river. The violations could have occurred as a result of idled or new equipment since the 2008 explosion that killed 14 people.
State officials plan to shut off an air quality monitor in Brunswick, despite high levels of air pollution there. The automated monitor tracks sulfur dioxide and shows Brunswick's air has Georgia's highest level of the irritating chemical compound. An environmental group says, shutting off the monitor will hurt efforts to clean the air.
Federal environmental officials say, it might be impossible to know just what led to thousands of fish dying in Southeast Georgia's Ogeechee River. The US Environmental Protection Agency released a memo this week saying, a common bacteria caused the kill. But biologists already knew that and river-watchers really want to know what made the fish suceptible to the bacteria.