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River pollution seeing little progress

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POSTED: August 21, 2012 9:53 a.m.

Editor, Remember the “consent order” the Environmental Protection Division came up with to let King Finishing off the hook for polluting the Ogeechee?

It’s the shell game they play.

An example: The Altamaha River is heavily polluted by Rayonier Corp. Over 50 miles of the river is inundated with “black ribbons of filth and foul smell for 50 miles downriver,” as stated by the Altamaha Riverkeeper organization. Fish caught seem OK until you open them up and they stink! Swimmers can’t wash the smell from their bodies.

This has been going on for many years. The Altamaha Riverkeeper organization has been struggling for many years to get the situation corrected. After a lot of effort on the part of the Altamaha Riverkeepers, ending in a threat to sue the EPD and Rayonier, the EPD and Rayonier a few years ago decided to enter into a consent order to avoid going to court.

Ever heard that phrase before — as in consent order for King Finishing?

In the consent order, Rayonier agreed to a gradual process of cleaning up the mess and eliminating the pollution. Sound familiar? Does it sound like the agreement — reached in secret — with King Finishing and the $1 million that the public will probably never see? Have there not been even more fish kills on the Ogeechee since the big one last year?

To date, there seems to have been little or no progress by Rayonier, and now they have petitioned the state to modify the original consent order. You can look for King Finishing to do the same thing sometime in the future.

It’s business as usual in Atlanta. The only time certain politicians are for the people is just before an election.

— Roy Hubbard, Richmond Hill

 

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