If you have been following our blog, you've read about the protests organized by Savannah Riverkeeper to oppose Kinder Morgan's development of its Palmetto Pipeline. According to Oil & Gas Journal, the pipeline would have transported 167,000 barrels of refined oil products a day through the southern states. The 360-mile span of the pipeline was one reason the group resisted the project due to the possibility of oil spills that could occur in the event of a pipeline rupture. Citing concerns about the risks the pipeline would expose to clean drinking water, wildlife and the environment in South Carolina and Georgia, Savannah Riverkeeper was ultimately successful in its attempt to shut down the project because the Kinder Morgan decided to abandon its proposed plans.
Statesboro, GA - On June 19, 2013, Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the U.S. District Court (Southern District of Georgia) ruled in favor of the Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) in an attempt by King America Finishing to have the lawsuit against it brought by ORK dismissed in its entirety. The lawsuit against King America Finishing, Inc., owned by Chicago-based Westex, Inc. alleges that KAF has in the past and continues to this day to violate the federal Clean Water Act by continuing to discharge pollutants into the Ogeechee River. The suit filed by Stack & Associates and GreenLaw on behalf of ORK seeks to force KAF to cease such discharges and be held accountable for its contribution to the May 2011 fish kill that led to the death of nearly 40,000 fish of a dozen different species.
The drama over the pollution in the Ogeechee River has gone on for almost two years now, since King America Finishing allegedly caused such pollution in the Georgia water that 38,000 fish died. According to The Savannah Morning News, the judge in the water contamination case has set a date for the beginning of the civil case involving 63 individual lawsuits.
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.