Both the federal government and the state of Georgia have taken steps to protect the environment through the passage of several laws. One of those laws has to do with maintaining the cleanliness of the public waters. When a city, county or municipality violates those acts, it could face sanctions for water pollution.
For example, something went wrong in one Georgia county, and sewage ended up in more than one public waterway. The county was sanctioned for the spills and for failing to report all of the spills that occurred between the years of 2012 and 2016. The total amount of the fines reached $294,000, of which $147,500 was for not reporting all of the spills that occurred.
Apparently, officials in DeKalb County just discovered the issue last year. An investigation into the matter resulted in an employee being terminated. Then the county set out to correct its records. Both the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the federal Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged the efforts of the county to correct the problem in a letter. The parties were able to come to what was described as an “amicable resolution” to the problem.
Unfortunately, water pollution issues happen far too often. Correcting the problem is only part of the solution. Negotiating a resolution to the problem that satisfies all parties and remains within the law then remains a possibility. When cities, counties and municipalities find themselves at odds with both federal and state officials, it may be a good idea to have a legal ally as an advocate.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, “DeKalb Fined $294,000 for Sewage Spills”, June 23, 2017