Ogeechee Update: Local officials want independent inspection of King America factory discharges
Monday night, state legislators, EPD reps, and concerned citizens met in Pooler to discuss the settlement the state reached with King America Finishing. At the meeting, five local state legislators called for independent inspection of King America’s factory discharges into the river, saying: “I think we’ve all lost confidence in the system,” and “We have to overcome that by increasing the scrutiny and the public awareness of the scrutiny.” Legislators, river-users, and a scathing Savannah Morning News editorial all called for a third-party to inspect the factory’s discharges and not leave the company in charge of monitoring itself and its pollution.
Also discussed – how King America would spend the $1 million they are required to put up for “environmental projects.” Landowner David Gay put it clearly: “We’re not looking for goods to appease the peasants, we’re looking for a clean environment.”
From the news stories it appears questions weren’t directed at the lawmakers about the role they played in the loss of “confidence in the system,” particularly the role that chronic underfunding of EPD – the agency charged with monitoring factories like King America – played in what happened.