There was a major fish kill in the Ogeechee River in 2011 and another serious incident this year. I don’t know the extent to which folks have been following this outside our corner of the state, but it’s been big news around Savannah.
Citizens across the political spectrum have called on state regulators to do more to penalize King America Finishing in Screven County. Though the EPD could not definitively link the company to the fish kills, the investigation found that “the company had been illegally discharging from a fire retardant line for five years.”
That quote is from a fairly extensive piece in the Savannah Morning News this evening, Judge throws out Ogeechee River fish kill fix. From that piece:
A Bulloch County Superior Court judge sided with the Ogeechee Riverkeeper Monday, invalidating what many see as the state’s weak punishment of textile processor King America Finishing and upholding the right of the nonprofit to challenge the EPD’s actions.
In his four-page decision Judge John R. Turner wrote “it is the finding of this Court that the Consent Order is invalid for a lack of public hearing and that the Ogeechee Riverkeeper has standing to bring this action.”
Turner remanded the case to the administrative law judge.
In a press release on its website, the Ogeechee Riverkeeper notes in part:
Judge Turner’s ruling stated “[t]he Consent Order referenced not only a laundry list of violations, but also found that KAF’s discharge from their facility produced objectionable conditions which interfered with legitimate water use in violation of Georgia law’ and “[r]ather than make an affirmative finding and/or take enforcement action against KAF for its violations, the EPD entered into a Consent Order which has not corrected the harmful actions of KAF.”