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EPD seeks public input in fish kill
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SAVANNAH — The public can comment on a water permit for a firm caught illegally discharging into the Ogeechee River after a large fish kill.

The Georgia EPD will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. June 12 at Effingham County High School, 1589 Highway 119 S., Springfield.

The purpose of the hearing will be to present and receive comment on the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for King America Finishing. The permit allows the discharge of treated wastewater into the Ogeechee River near Dover. The hearing will be confined to water quality issues as they relate to the draft permit.

The Ogeechee Riverkeeper wants regulators to ban King America Finishing from releasing ammonia and formaldehyde and set stricter rules on colored discharges.

An estimated 39,000 fish died last year below the company’s outfall pipe into the river. Inspections revealed the company had been discharging for five years from an unpermitted fire retardant line. Investigators said pollution was likely among several factors that weakened the fish.

Company attorney Lee DiHihns III said the company has already submitted its comments on the draft permit, which is the first new one at the site since 2000.

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