jefferson, county (WFXG) -since July, JEFFERSON COUNTY some residents have been experiencing an environmental problem. THEY ARE CALLED SOIL AMENDMENTS. BUT many refer to IT AS THE SPREADING OF INDUSTRIAL WASTE.

on tuesday, the JEFFERSON COUNTY COMMISSION MEt to discuss the issue, the residents say stinks, in many ways. for 63 days, farm owner, ANGELA WALDeN says they have dealt with this problem. it began with A PUTRID SMELL, FOLLOWED BY BUZZARDS AND THEN FLIES. NOW, THEIR NORMAL OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ARE NO MORE. “CUTTING THE GRASS, WALKING TO YOUR MAILBOX, TILLING YOUR GARDEN....YOUR GRANDCHILDREN PLAYING IN THE YARD, ALL of THESE THINGS ARE NOW ALTERED,” says walden.

SHORTLY AFTER, their health began to shift. HER HUSBAND and elderly father STARTED GETTING HEADACHES and experiencing lack of energy, among other symptoms. After seeing an internal medicine doctor, HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH AN ILLNESS DOCTORS LINK TO HIS ENVIRONMENT.

IT BEGAN WITH ONE SITE, JUST DOWN THE ROAD FROM THE WALDeN’S. SINCE THEN, TWO MORE SITES HAVE BEEN ADDED WITHIN MILES OF EACH OTHER. she SAYS THE METHOD OF FERTILIZING INVOLVES SPREADING BY-PRODUCTS LIKE CHICKEN AND OTHER ANIMAL CARCASSES OVER SOIL.  they are allowed to inject this material into the ground per the department of agriculture, but not spread it, a rule she claims was broken. “WE ACTUALLY HAVE VIDEO FOOTAGE OF THEM SPREADING THE MATERIAL, NOT INJECTING IT. THE INJECTING IS ALLOWED BY THE DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE BUT THE SPREADING IS NOT.” this incident was REPORTED TO THE DEPARTMENT.

11 COUNTIES THROUGHOUT THIS PART OF GEORGIA HAVE FILED COMPLAINTS. BUT, THIS KIND OF FERTILIZING IS LEGAL. 

the meeting was STANDING ROOM ONLY AS MANY RESIDENTS SHARED THEIR EXPERIENCES. one resident citing that his daughters cannot go outside and play without their hair being covered in flies that requires immediate washing to be removed.

OGEECHEE RIVERKEEPER, CARLY NIELSEN who has been studying the situation ASKED COMMISSIONERS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS before it goes too far and continues in other places. “IT’S NOT JUST A CONCERN FOR JEFFERSON COUNTY OR GEORGIA, BUT YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAKE A CHANGE FOR YOUR COMMUNITY.”

the department of agriculture has until friday to address Walden's requests for change and others. however, walden AND THE COMMISSION still ENCOURAGE THE PUBLIC TO LEAVE COMMENTS ON THE DEPartment's PAGE. THEY ALSO SUGGEST REACHING OUT TO LOCAL SENATORS, IN HOPES THAT they might enact STRICTER LEGISLATION IN THE FUTURE.

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