Ogeechee’s Clean Water Act Complaint Receives Green Light From District Court

Issues including formaldehyde, ammonia are proceeding

In an order issued yesterday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood ruled that the Ogeechee Riverkeeper vs. King American Finishing case can proceed on the Riverkeeper’s claim that King America has been illegally polluting the River without a permit.

 

Ogeechee’s Clean Water Act Complaint Receives       
Green Light From District Court

June 20, 2013 (STATESBORO) – In an order issued yesterday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Lisa Godbey Wood ruled that the Ogeechee Riverkeeper vs. King American Finishing case can proceed on the Riverkeeper’s claim that King America has been illegally polluting the River without a permit.
 
In July of 2012, Ogeechee Riverkeeper filed suit against King America for violation of the Clean Water Act and Georgia law. The Clean Water Act specifies that it is illegal to introduce pollutants from any point source into the navigable waters of the U.S. without a permit.
 
The illegal discharge was discovered in 2011 following one of the largest fish kills in state history when an estimated 38,000 fish died, all downstream from King American Finishing’s Screven County facility.

King America had sought to have the case dismissed on a variety of technical grounds, but the Court ruled that the Riverkeeper’s case can proceed on the illegal discharge claim.  The ruling also acknowledged that Georgia’s regulatory mechanism does not allow for enough citizen participation as required by the federal Clean Water Act.

“We are glad that the court has allowed this important case to proceed,” said Hutton Brown, senior attorney at GreenLaw. "The federal court has broad powers to remedy the substantial wrong that has occurred here and we will pursue that remedy to the fullest."

GreenLaw is co-counsel on the case with Stack & Associates, representing the Ogeechee Riverkeeper.