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.
Our previous post continued the story of struggle for those who have been fighting so hard to make some right out of the immeasurable wrong that's been done to Georgia's Ogeechee River. Not only is there still upset with King America Finishing for its pollution of the river that killed thousands of fish; there's still upset with the entity meant to put such environmental recklessness in-check.
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.
In various past blog posts we have discussed the water contamination case of the Ogeechee River. But that river isn't alone in being a poor example of respect for Georgia's water resources. In fact, there are so many areas of environmental concern that a group called The Georgia Water Coalition has created a list of what it calls the "Dirty Dozen" bodies of water in the state.
It's already been more than a decade since the success of the movie Erin Brockovich, but Brockovich herself is real and joining a familiar environmental fight here in Georgia. The river contamination case against King America Finishing continues, and now perhaps the celebrity status of Brokovich will create more buzz around the pollution case.