The State of Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has withdrawn King America Finishing’s (KAF) water pollution permit today, and is requiring the company to perform an anti-degradation analysis.
As you will recall, EPD issued the permit in August 2012 after heated opposition from us and many of you, the citizens. We believed the draft permit would allow excessive amounts of ammonia and other toxic chemicals to be released into the Ogeechee River. In September, Ogeechee Riverkeeper filed a permit appeal in the Office of State Administrative Hearings stating the permit continued to allow King America Finishing to pollute the river.
Public Hearing in Effingham County
With the appeal and subsequent withdrawal of the permit, Ogeechee Riverkeeper has successfully forced EPD to do a careful analysis of whether the degradation of water quality KAF’s permit allows is justified.
“We are glad the state of Georgia has decided to take King America Finishing’s pollution seriously,” states Dianna Wedincamp, Ogeechee Riverkeeper. “The discharge limits of toxic chemicals by KAF’s permit would cause irreparable harm to the fragile ecosystem of this blackwater river, and allowing KAF to add effluent equaling 10% of the flow of the river is outrageous. We hope the anti-degradation analysis will show that allowing KAF to dump toxins into the Ogeechee at any level is absolutely unacceptable.”
Because the permit has been withdrawn by the Environmental Protection Division, Ogeechee Riverkeeper will be submitting an order to the court dismissing their current permit appeal. There is always the opportunity to file another appeal if an unsatisfactory permit is issued again.