Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has released a draft permit renewal for Milliken (formerly known as King America Finishing). The output from this facility affects the Ogeechee River. 


A virtual public hearing was held via Zoom at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. Written public comments were due 5 p.m. Friday, November 20, 2020.


In the news

Georgia poised to allow more pollution in Ogeechee RiverSavannah Morning News, October 22, 2020

Permit could set less water testing at Ogeechee River plant – AP, FOX28, Statesboro Herald, Alton (Illinois) Telegraph, Huron (Michigan) Daily Tribune, Wichita (Kansas) Eagle, Antelope Valley (California) Press, October 24, 2020
 

Permit could ease water testing for Screven County plant – WRDW, October 27, 2020

Milliken Asks to Lower Pollution Permit Standards for Ogeechee River Plant – The Current, October 28, 2020

Ogeechee Riverkeeper says plant discharge harming fish – WTOC-TV, November 17, 2020

Dirty Dozen: Pollution concerns in Altamaha and Ogeechee rivers; state weighs in on permits – WSAV-TV, WRBL-TV, November 17, 2020

Georgia Water Coalition releases 2020 ‘Dirty Dozen’ report – WALB-TV, WTVM-TV, November 17, 2020

Annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ report details water concerns across Georgia – Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 18, 2020

Citizens question relaxed permit proposal for Ogeechee River Milliken plant – The Current, November 19, 2020

Study says chemicals found in Ogeechee fish – Bryan County News, November 19, 2020


Background

In May of 2011, the Ogeechee River experienced one of the largest fish kills in our state’s history.  38,000+/- fish were killed along with alligators, turtles, and birds over a 77-mile stretch of the river.  This trail of devastation began in Screven County, just downstream of the discharge pipe of a textile treatment facility – King America Finishing (KAF), Inc.

Read more about the fish kill in 2011

Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) sued KAF in 2012 for violations of the Clean Water Act, arguing that the light punishment was not enough to correct KAF’s behavior in the future. After a lengthy legal battle, the lawsuit was settled in January of 2014. The settlement agreement put in place comprehensive and stringent environmental protections and established programs to aid in restoration efforts along the river.

Ogeechee River fish kill, 2011

King America Finishing was purchased from Westex Inc. in May of 2014 by the South Carolina-based Milliken & Co.


Background articles

Hundreds meet to discuss Ogeechee River fish kill – Statesboro Herald, June 6, 2011

Ogeechee fish kill prompts lawsuit – Savannah Morning News, June 7, 2011

Ogeechee River Suffers Major Fish Kill – Georgia Outdoor Network, July 1, 2011

Company faces $1 million sanction for polluting Ogeechee – Savannah Morning News, Sept. 22, 2011

State restocks Ogeechee River after fish kill – Savannah Morning News, October 12, 2011

Outrage on the Ogeechee – Connect Savannah, June 19, 2012

More Ogeechee River fish kill suits settled – Savannah Morning News, August 9, 2013

Divide remains over state’s response to Ogeechee River fish kill – Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 23, 2013

Company linked to massive Ogeechee River fish kill sold to South Carolina-based firm – Savannah Morning News, May 9, 2014

5 years after fish kill, Ogeechee on the mend – Savannah Morning News, May 31, 2016

The fishkill on Georgia’s Ogeechee River – Scalawag Magazine, May 24, 2018

8 years after fish kill, an Ogeechee update – Savannah Morning News, April 3, 2019