Satilla Riverkeeper joins Brantley County Commissioners in opposition to unlawful landfill
ATLANTA — On Sept. 7, Satilla Riverkeeper and the Southern Environmental Law Center filed an amicus brief in the Office of State Administrative Hearings supporting the Board of Commissioners of Brantley County’s opposition to a proposed landfill situated next to sensitive wetlands and private drinking water wells.
Located in a South Georgia neighborhood where many live below the poverty line, the landfill threatens the Brantley County community as well as the health of the Satilla River Basin. Local officials and community members overwhelmingly oppose the landfill and have complained repeatedly that they were not given timely and accurate information about the project. Despite this, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division recently issued a solid waste handling permit to Brantley County Development Partners, LLC to construct and operate a municipal solid waste landfill a stone’s throw from an elementary school.
The Brantley County Board of Commissioners is challenging the permit in administrative court, arguing that the Environmental Protection Division illegally issued the permit in violation of public notice and involvement requirements and the County’s solid waste management plan.
“The public was denied the opportunity to provide input when it mattered the most: before local decisions about the landfill were made,” says Chris Bertrand, Satilla Riverkeeper. “Allowing the community to come up to bat after the game was over defeated the purpose of state laws that require community engagement early in the landfill approval process. We hope the administrative court will protect the public and invalidate this permit.”
The mission of the Satilla Riverkeeper is to PROTECT, RESTORE, and EDUCATE about the ecological values and unique beauty of the Satilla River. We work to ensure excellent quality and quantity of water in the Satilla River for all uses. We are the eyes and ears of the watershed and estuary.