Augusta landfill facing long list of violations from EPD, including trash spilling into Spirit Creek

Richmond County

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Environmental Protection Division is citing the Augusta Landfill with a long list of violations stemming from a routing visit back in December. Some of those violations include not have the proper equipment to large amounts of trash spilling into Spirit Creek.

“Some of the issues has to do with employment out there,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.

District 8 Commissioner Brandon Garrett points to a lack of training of employees for the long list of violations coming from the Environmental Protection Division. The City of Augusta was given notice of 5 state violations 5 state deficiencies and several other issues. This is not the first time the city has been cited for these same violations.

“Back in 2020 there was another issue with a director. There were a lot of the same types of problems. We actually had to bring in some contractors to help fix those problems, and unfortunately those problems have shown themselves again,” he said.

One of the violations included a large amount of trash spilling into Spirit Creek.

“So the trash that ended up down in the creek happened from some of these big rain storms that we had. Another one of the issues that the EPD found was from the trash not being properly covered and so it’s washing down,” he said.

Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonatatibus says that heavy trash could lead to flooding and cause other problems.

“That’s been one of the big issues in the past which is the amount of liquid that’s leaving and getting into the creek. So we definitely don’t want trash, but we for sure don’t want leachate because that’s the juice that’s leftover after everything kind of melts together and that could be pretty nasty.”So we definitely don’t want trash, but we for sure don’t want leachate,” said Bonatatibus.

The landfill was also cited for a large amount of solid waste in a sediment pond on the site.
The EPD says that waste had not been removed for the past two months and that the water in the pond is leachate. The landfill also faces violations for not having the proper equipment.

“The issues that the landfill is currently dealing with are far greater than, oh we just put it in the wrong place. There has been over the last couple of years, in particular, the state has been getting far more aggressive about really requiring and the city has had a number of pretty significant violations and fines that have been paid out,” she said.

Commissioner Garrett says he’s hopeful the problems will soon be corrected now that there’s a new landfill director.

“They’ve actually put in a corrective action plan in the past few weeks to help the employees understand what their day to day operations should be and what it should look like,” said Commissioner Garrett.

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