Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has released a permit renewal for Milliken (formerly known as King America Finishing). It is effective as of April 1, 2022. The output from this facility affects the Ogeechee River.
The permit included some improvements requested by ORK, but it also made some concerning changes, including removal of monitoring for formaldehyde.
ORK continues to monitor for compliance, and is also tracking the facility’s repeated permit violations.
- Download and read the 2022 permit
- ORK’s official statement on the draft permit
- Download and read the draft permit
- Download and read the 2014 permit
- View facility EPA violations
- View side-by-side comparison of the 2014 permit and the new draft permit
- Pilot fish tissue study results – Detectable levels of PFAs found in all fish sampled
- ORK’s official comments sent to GA EPD
In the news
Georgia Water Coalition releases 2021 Dirty Dozen report – December 2021
Georgia poised to allow more pollution in Ogeechee River – Savannah 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
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.
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.
King America Finishing was purchased from Westex Inc. in May of 2014 by the South Carolina-based Milliken & Co.
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