DeKalb fined $294,000 for sewage spills

Snapfinger Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility on Sept. 20, 2013. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

DeKalb County is being fined $294,000 for spilling sewage into public waterways and underreporting the number of spills to environmental regulators.

Federal and state environmental agencies levied the fine this week for the county's shortcomings as it's under a judge's order to drastically reduce its raw sewage overflows.

The largest part of the fine, $147,500, is a punishment for the county’s failure to report all of its sewage spills from 2012 to 2016.

When DeKalb officials discovered the problem last year, they fired an employee and sought to correct the record.

DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond said in a statement the fine is an “amicable resolution.”

“The DeKalb County government has undertaken an aggressive sewer cleaning program aimed at the most congested lines based on age, repeat overflows and known maintenance problems,” Thurmond said.

A letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division acknowledged the county’s efforts to correct the problem.

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Channel 2's Richard Belcher reports.

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