Ground Application of Waste

CITIZENS UNITE AGAINST INDUSTRIAL SLUDGE "SOIL AMENDMENTS": Earlier in September, the Agriculture Department concluded the public comment portion of the ongoing soil amendment rule-making process. Ten county council Chairmen, along with State Representatives, Association of County Commissioners in Georgia and Georgia Water Coalition submitted comments alongside Savannah, Ogeechee, Altamaha Riverkeepers and affected citizens. Each set of comments reflects the negative impacts this industry is having on rural Georgia, and together provide a blueprint for the future.

Land owners living next door to sludge operations are being vocal about the large swarms of black flies, heavy presence of Vultures and an overwhelming stench that permeates their communities once a “soil amendment” carrier starts applying. Communities across middle and north Georgia submitted comments begging the Agriculture Department for some relief and are working locally to help pass ordinances restricting application locations.

Three months after thousands of fish died on the Little River an $85,000 fine has been levied against the landowner responsibly for the spill. Sludge spreading operations and lagoon failure on the McAvoy farms resulted in a large spill of the waste into the river. The sludge operators, those providing the waste, were not held responsible or fined despite bringing 222 tanker trucks of industrial wash down water to the facility in 45 days. Landowners considering accepting this waste need to be aware of the risks of allowing unscrupulous waste companies to have access to their sites.

To learn more or join the committee, please contact Tonya Bonitatibus at Savannah Riverkeeper or Gordon Rogers at Flint Riverkeeper