News | January 3, 2024

Plans for toxic facility in Georgia canceled

A message from Keri Powell, SELC's Air Program Leader
Plans for a polluting log fumigation facility in Georgia are cancelled. (@Getty/Rob Hainer)
Keri Powell
Keri Powell

A rural community off the Georgia coast is breathing easier now that one of the largest wood product companies in the world has canceled plans to build a highly toxic gas-emitting facility. 

The operation, located in the majority Black city of Riceboro, Georgia, would have been one of the largest sources of the toxic pesticide methyl bromide in the nation and would have been sited within two miles of Geechee Kunda Cultural Arts Center and Museum. Similar operations have been shown to cause severe birth defects in infants living up to five miles away, among other health effects.  

Weyerhaeuser Company, who is Georgia’s largest landowner, was asking state regulators for a permit to release up to 10 tons of methyl bromide a year. After learning about the permit, SELC took swift action to alert the local community and our partner organizations, meet with community leaders, and file formal comments opposing the facility.  

On December 18th—just two months after submitting its application and one month after SELC submitted our public comments—Weyerhaeuser announced they were withdrawing their plans for the log fumigation facility citing significant public pushback.  

A special thanks is owed to our partners on the ground at One Hundred Miles who played a critical role in this win. 

While we’ve successfully stopped Weyerhaeuser in Riceboro, our concern remains. I assure you: SELC will stay vigilant against any attempts to relocate the facility within our region.