EPD/DNR Investigates Fish Kill in Indian Creek caused by Biofuel Plant Run-Off
By MJ Kneiser, WLHR
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is working with the Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division to investigate reports of a major fish kill in Indian Creek.
According to complaint run off coming from the GRP Franklin Renewable Energy Facility on at 3465 Highway 198 in Carnesville has been leeching into the creek.
John Maddox, State On-Scene Coordinator with the EPD’s Emergency Response Program, said a complaint was filed Saturday.
In a statement released late Saturday to Franklin County residents by County Manager Beth Thomas, Maddox said Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division representatives are currently investigating the fish kill.
Maddox said EMA Director was called to investigate the run off. He said it was determined employees of the plant were using water canons to put out fires in tree mulch piles.
He said the amount of water used caused their retention pond to overflow and spill over into the creek.
According to Maddox, and fire suppression operations were stopped and a berm was constructed by facility personnel around the mulch pile(s) to prevent further discharge.
According to Maddox, the EPD is working with the person who initially reported the fish kill to determine if conditions at Indian Creek have improved.
Maddox also said he has turned his report over to the EPD Athens District office for follow up investigation and enforcement as appropriate.
Last month, dozens of citizens living near the biofuel plant flooded the Franklin County Commission work session to complain about the noise, the foul smell, and soot ash that they say is destroying their quality of life.
Jerry Wilson is another resident who lives near the biofuel plant on Whipporwill Lane.
Wilson told the Commissioners representatives from Georgia Renewable Power need to meet with residents in the near future.
County Manager Beth Thomas said she is working to get Company officials to come and speak to the public about the plant and to address their issues and concerns.
WNEG’s sister station WLHR spoke to Maddox by phone Monday but he declined to speak on the record.
However, Maddox did say the EPD is committed to keeping citizens informed about their oversight of the biofuel plant. He went on to say he has referred the case to the EPD Athens office which is overseeing the investigation of the fish kill.