Earlier this week, residents who live near the Ogeechee River in Georgia gathered. Many of them spoke before regulators from the Environmental Protection Division and used some choice words. Their hopes range from wanting to tell the EPD just how disappointed they are with the division's reaction to King America Finishing's destruction to pleading for the group to do right by the residents and put a stop to KAF's illegal discharge into the river.
We have shared posts in the past about the river pollution in Ogeechee. Nearly two years have passed since discharge from the textile company contributed to the deaths of nearly 40,000 fish. Still, residents, including the Ogeechee Riverkeeper group, are awaiting justice for the damage that's been done to their community.
This Georgia resident's quote suggests the level of passion and frustration that exists among environmental advocates in the Ogeechee area: "The environmental and economic harm from this fish kill has been enormous. KAF's actions are an egregious assault on our natural resources and the people who utilize those resources for fishing and recreating. Polluter responses, accountability, punishment and remediation should not be taken lightly."
The feeling that the EPD has taken KAF's actions and environmental harm so lightly has given residents two, not one entity to take aim at. Not only do they want KAF to be more harshly punished for the river pollution it is responsible for; they want the EPD to take accountability for its role in allowing KAF to get away with its environmental wrongdoing.
The EPD is supposed to respond to legal requests against it by next week. We will post an update when it does and when there are further developments in the Ogeechee river pollution case.
Source: Savannah Morning News, "Ogeechee plan redux: Citizens are disgusted," Mary Landers, March 6, 2013