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Final report from EPA contractor details air, water quality findings after Barwick Mills fire

We have previously written on this blog about the Superfund cleanup process, which is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency. In previous discussions of the process, we have spoken about the common scenario of industrial plants causing environmental pollution as a result of routine operations, but this is not the only way a site can become contaminated.

Georgia readers may have heard about the fire that took out the Barwick Mills plant in LaFayette last month. For those who haven’t heard, the old textile plant, which stopped operating back in the 1990s, caught on fire last month and burned down. At the time the fire occurred, the southern half of the plant was being leased out, but there were no injuries. 

The fire immediately gave rise to environmental concerns, including air and water pollution, and the EPA subsequently conducted an investigation through a contractor which has since released a final report which details findings on air and water quality in the immediate vicinity of the site. It isn’t clear from sources exactly what the long-term impact of the fire will be, but cleanup of the site will undoubtedly take time.

Understanding the Superfund cleanup process is certainly important for businesses who are targeted as potentially liable parties for cleanup purposes, but it can also be important for those negatively impacted by local contamination to understand the process as well, since community involvement is an important aspect of the cleanup process. Working with an experienced environmental attorney, of course, can help ensure that one has a proper understanding of, as well as assistance navigating, the process.  


Northwest Georgia News, “Health, environmental officials answer residents' concerns over LaFayette plant fire,” Josh O’Bryant, Nov. 18, 2015.

Chattanooga Times Free Press, “Massive environmental cleanup ready to get underway in LaFayette,” David Cobb, Dec. 7, 2015. 

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