When manufacturers and industrial businesses in Atlanta have wastewater they need to get rid of, they are required to disclose how much they dump into the city's water supply. So when a company admits that it dumped more wastewater than it let on, even a company as large as Coca-Cola, it is cause for concern.
Coca-Cola recently filed its annual report with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. Included in the report was an admission that information filed with local regulators regarding how much wastewater the company's syrup plant in Atlanta had dumped "may contain certain inaccurate information." Just how "inaccurate" the disclosures were is not clear from a news report about the SEC filing. The company acknowledged that it may face fines or other penalties as a result.
Clean drinking water is a precious commodity in the Atlanta area, and any extra treatment of wastewater beyond what is disclosed puts a strain on that resource. Environmental statutes and ordinances like the one Coca-Cola violated are intended to protect people from exposure to unsafe water in their drinking glasses and bathtubs.
After the wastewater dumping admission, Coca-Cola issued a statement. In the statement, the company said that the undisclosed dumping did not put anyone's health in danger or pose a threat to the environment. The company is cooperating with Atlanta environmental officials in the matter and is working to better comply with disclosure rules in the future, according to the statement. We hope that Coca-Cola is correct about the lack of danger to the public.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle, "Coca-Cola syrup plant may have violated Atlanta laws," Jacques Couret, Feb. 27, 2013
· To learn more about environmental laws in Georgia, please visit our Atlanta environmental law page.