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Outrage and fight over Ogeechee pollution continues

In a previous water pollution post, we discussed the environmental lawsuit between Ogeechee Riverkeeper and King America Finishing textile plant. The plaintiffs have sued the textile mill for the river water pollution that they believe improper drainage from the factory has caused.

The pollution of the water has drastically affected the wildlife, leading to the death of thousands of local fish. Fish aren't just a source of sporting fun; they have been a source of food for many Georgia residents in the river area. The legal battle goes on, and the passion for the fight was demonstrated at a recent fundraiser for the Riverkeeper organization.

With the legal help of Stack and Associates and Green Law Firm, the Riverkeepers continue their passionate fight against KAF with a lawsuit under the Clean Water Act. Perhaps the defendants thought that the environmental battle was over when a court recently required that they put $1 million toward environment-friendly causes, but they were wrong.

The plaintiffs and other critics of KAF are further motivated to fight in response to the company's statements regarding the lawsuit. First, they are holding on to the idea that a bacterial contamination of the river water led to the death of the wildlife, not its drainage. And perhaps in an argument that is most irritating for some, the company emphasizes how if it goes under people in the area would lose their jobs.

In an economy where jobs are hard to come by, that is a sensitive, strategic point to make. But the plaintiffs don't necessarily want the textile factory shut down. They want a new drainage process put in place that would still allow for production at the factory but also keep the river safe from devastating and likely unnecessary pollution.

For the plaintiffs to win in this case wouldn't necessarily mean that KAF and its employees lose. It could be a win-win situation if the river and local jobs were protected.

Source: Connect Savannah, "Three cheers for the water warriors," Jessica Leigh Lebos, Oct. 9, 2012

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