Agreement protects Flint River tributaries from textile pollution

Southern Mills sits alongside Georgia’s Flint River. (© Beth Young)

A federal judge has approved a settlement in a lawsuit against a textile manufacturer in Georgia that will clean up wastewater produced by the plant. The suit was brought by SELC on behalf of Flint Riverkeeper.

Under the consent decree, Southern Mills, which manufactures fire-resistant fabrics, agreed to meet new pollution limits for wastewater it sprays on fields near its Molena plant. The plant uses a series of aerated ponds to treat wastewater before spraying it onto large spray fields — which is supposed to further filter the water and remove contaminants as the water is taken up by plants and absorbed by soil.

The lawsuit alleged that pollution was reaching groundwater and tributaries of the Flint River at levels exceeding permit limits. The company denied that, but agreed to new effluent limits and improvements to its wastewater treatment system.

We are pleased the company has worked with us and the private property owners to resolve this case,” said Gordon Rogers, executive director of Flint Riverkeeper. “The new effluent limits and improvements to the company’s wastewater treatment system should substantially improve water quality, both for the waters immediately adjacent to the site and for nearby tributaries. The improvements also may have the ancillary benefit of controlling odors near the plant.”

Under the consent decree, Southern Mills will construct significant improvements to its aeration ponds and wastewater pretreatment system so that the water applied to the spray fields will have fewer contaminants. The spray fields will also be improved to increase their treatment capacity.

SELC represented Flint Riverkeeper along with Stack and Associates, an Atlanta law firm that additionally represented nearby property owners.

More News

Southern Virginia highway proposal threatens recent progress

This week, SELC filed comments on behalf of itself and 16 organizations on the draft environmental impact statement for the wasteful and destruct...

Nashville mayor signs letter urging Congressional climate action

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is one of nearly 200 U.S. mayors advocating for a zero-carbon green economy that creates jobs and emphasizes equity b...

Thank you for fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline with us

When, on July 5th, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy abruptly cancelled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, it didn't come out of nowhere. For years, SELC...

SELC seeks nominations for 2021 Reed Environmental Writing Award

We are now accepting submissions for the 2021 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including reader...

Lawsuit: Government illegally ‘cut corners’ to ram through NEPA changes

SELC is representing a group of 17 environmental organizations in a lawsuit filed today accusing the government of racing through an industry-fri...

Settlement provides relief for Duke Energy customers

The Southern Environmental Law Center recently reached a partial settlement with the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and Duke Energ...

More Stories