The federal Clean Water Act exists to protect water sources in the United States and to preserve the chemical and biological integrity of the sources of that water. The goal of the act is not only to preserve water as an accessible resource that people require but to also preserve the biological diversity of the country's ecosystems as a natural resource in its own right. This preservation helps with the continuation of traditional activities such as hunting and forestry as well as modern cultural, recreational, and commercial use of the resources.
Water contamination is a big concern in some industries, and corporations engaged in activity that causes pollution to water sources have a social responsibility to clean up their act and reduce their waste and contamination contributions. There are also legal responsibilities for companies as well. At the federal level, for instance, there is the Clean Water Act, which has the purpose of preventing water pollution by holding companies accountable. States also have their own protections against contamination which must be followed. While the federal Clean Water Act is an important means for protecting water sources, there are other federal laws addressing groundwater contamination.
Rayonier Inc., a Jacksonville, Florida-based logging company, is reportedly facing litigation in connection with one of its factories in southeast Georgia. According to the complaint, filed in late March by the Altamaha Riverkeeper, the company routinely dumps waste into the Altamaha River from its Jesup mill without taking steps to come into compliance with anti-pollution laws.
Certainly residents of Georgia understand that they are fortunate to have access to certain products that the millions of various kinds of factories around the globe, including here, manufacture. Home state factories are also a gift because they keep jobs in Georgia. But no amount of good should compromise the well-being of the environment and those who inhabit it.
The fact that the well-being of the environment and politics so often are part of the same conversations might be frustrating for some. But it is true. Environmental laws often depend on the powers that be in Georgia, our nation and beyond.
The Clean Water Act exists as an effort to protect the quality of water in Georgia and throughout the entire U.S. The environmental legislation outlines various rules for entities to follow for them to run a business that is in line with the environmental expectations set in this country.
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 blowout of the Transocean oil rig on April 20, 2010, had a big impact on workers, wildlife and the tourist industry of the surrounding areas. The offshore accident left so much damage in its wake that of course it will take time for all of the legal matters connected to the incident to be over.
Have you ever looked at rainwater running into a storm drain on the street and wondered about the pollutants it might be gathering as it flows? A recent case from California which came before the Supreme Court has some ramifications for cities nationwide. The case began several years ago, when environmental groups noticed that stormwater runoff entering the San Gabriel and Los Angeles rivers was carrying pollutants. The Los Angeles County Flood Control District holds a permit which allows it to direct rainwater into these protected rivers, and this permit states that the runoff must meet cleanliness standards set by the Clean Water Act.
In our past couple of blog posts we have discussed the environmental law case against King America Finishing. The Ogeechee Riverkeepers accuse the Georgia business of polluting the river with its drainage and they want justice to be done.