GA DNR serves Albany with notice of violation after sewage spills

Georgia Department of Natural Resources served Albany with notice of violation

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The city of Albany has been served with a notice of violation after several sewage spills in the Flint River.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials said the notice was sent to the city now because of the number of sewage spills in a short period of time. But officials said it isn't actually unusual for cities to receive these notices.

MORE: Georgia EPD issues notice of violation to city of Albany

State officials said they want answers from the city of Albany when it comes to the recent sewage spills in the Flint River.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources served the city with a Notice of Violation letter.

"We are going to ask them some questions, come up with alternate plans and when they are going to fix it, what they are going to do and when they are going to do it," said Marzigh Shahbazaz, a DNR official.

The letter states that the city has 15 days to contact the Environmental Protection Agency within 15 days of receiving the notice. That was August 2.

Then, the two will set up a meeting to discuss what can be done to prevent anymore spills. But officials said that sending out a notice like this is actually fairly common.

"An NOV is kind of like a warning ticket. It's like you got pulled over and the officer is writing you a ticket. And he has a little conversation," explained Gordon Rogers, the Flint Riverkeeper.

Rogers said although this type of notice isn't unusual, it means the EPD has taken official notice of the number of spills into the Flint.

"So they've now put down their marker in the legal structure that helps protect our waters. And this is a good thing. They said they're officially involved," said Rogers.

The letter also states that the EPD is concerned that the repairs the city has done so far have just been short-term repairs. The division wants the city to submit all of its reports and documents from the spills to create a long-term plan that will prevent these spills from continuing to happen.

"That what the city is already working on with their engineering staff and the contract engineers at Jacobs, I think that that report is exactly what this NOV is asking for," Rogers said.

The DNR officials said they do expect to hear from the city soon. They said they have no reason to think the city will not respond within the 15 days.

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