***UPDATED MONDAY, AUGUST 28, 2017 at 5:30 P.M.***
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Drivers can pass through an Augusta roadway now. Early Monday morning, crews closed the road when a food processing plant truck spilled animal byproduct.
It’s the view down Deans Bridge Road that Tonya Bonitatibus did not want to see or smell.
“A combination of cow manure, cow parts, chicken, some chicken parts,.” said Tonya Bonitatibus, who is also the Savannah Riverkeeper.
Slaughterhouse byproduct spilled there, where Bonitatibus commutes daily.
She told us, “This is the second time that I’ve seen this in three days. The first one was Friday afternoon. It was clear that the same type of event occurred. Somehow this stuff is getting out of the truck and it was left. No clean up at all.”
After dropping her kids off at school she stopped, took to Facebook Live and called for help.
And it came. Augusta Utilities cleared the meat-bone mixture from the road.
Ted Staak told us the byproduct fell off of an FPL Food, LLC truck headed for the landfill.
The company released this statement:
“Early this morning FPL Food was first notified about a spill on Deans Bridge Road in Augusta, Georgia involving a third-party vendor. At FPL Food, we take immense pride in our community, and we are disappointed by this incident.
Our team members have collaborated with state and city workers to clear the road, and we will provide compensation to cover costs that result from today’s spill.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has reopened the road. FPL Food is evaluating its business with the third-party vendor that was transporting the rendering materials. We will continue to work closely with authorities to investigate the cause of the event.”
Ted Staak, Environmental Protection Division Program Manager, told us, “Its got a lot of grease in it. It’s slaughterhouse residue. It’s on its way to the landfill, shouldn’t be on the road. It’s a traffic accident danger because of the grease.”
Staak watched cleanup to make sure none of it flowed into nearby storm drains causing a bigger problem. A problem Bonitatibus said she has seen four times.
Bonitatibus added, “Stuff like this it flows immediately into the stream as soon as it rains. It smells God awful. It’s rotting animal. It’s not healthy for anybody to be around. The audacity of a company to just leave this in the middle of the road should take everybody a step back.”
We are still not clear on how the spill happened, but the three lanes on Deans Bridge Road that were blocked are now open. No word yet on if FPL will be cited.Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Local crews spent the morning cleaning up a mess on Deans Bridge Road, near Barton Chapel Road.
The local Savannah Riverkeeper says animal waste and parts were dumped by an FPL foods truck.
She posted a video to Facebook this morning, claiming that nobody came to clean it up until she called.
She also says it’s the second time over the past several days this has happened.
A representative of the City of Augusta released a statement to us saying,
A customer of the city landfill experienced a waste spill on Deans Bridge Road this morning. FPL Foods was hauling the material to the city landfill when the spill occurred, blocking three lanes of roadway.
The City of Augusta notified the Sheriff’s Office of the spill and dispatched crews from the Environmental Services and Utilities Departments to assist. Representatives from FPL and EPD also responded. The crew cleaned the roadway, making it passable once again. The Georgia Department of Transportation will assist us as we continue to monitor the transport of these materials, in an effort to prevent further incidents.
We’ll have more on this tonight on NewsChannel 6 at 5 and 6.