A few years back, some 38,000 dead fish were found in the Ogeechee River. After some investigation, Screven County’s King America Finishing was found to have discharged chemicals into the river without a permit. While the company never accepted blame for the fish kill, they paid a $1 million fine. This led to lawsuits, and one of the most difficult to complete wastewater discharge permits on record.
The company was issued a discharge permit by the Georgia EPD that will be the most highly regulated in the state.
“This new permit and consent order are based on a significant amount of time and effort from the associates in the EPD Watershed Protection Branch,” said EPD Director Judson Turner. “The process also involved public comment and feedback, which helped to improve both the order and the permit. The result will be longterm environmental benefits for this important river.”
Replacing the original $1 million order, the agreement includes the company’s funding several Supplemental Environmental Projects, including two river studies, improvements to the City of Millen’s wastewater treatment plant and monitoring of the discharge from the plant at a cost of $1.3 million, and $2.5 million for upgrades to improve King America Finishing’s wastewater treatment processes.