King America Finishing, the textile manufacturing plant many say was the primary cause of a massive fish kill in 2011, has been sold. Westex, Inc., King America’s parent company, was purchased by South Carolina firm Milliken & Company.
In 2011 more than 39,000 fish died in the Ogeechee River. Investigation into the fish kill revealed that King America had been dumping chemicals into the river for several years without a permit. The chemicals released into the river from the plant in Dover in Screven County were from a fire retardant added in the textile finishing process. Investigators say that practice was among several environmental factors that caused the fish kill. King America Finishing agreed to a million dollar settlement with the EPD as well as several individual lawsuits filed against the company.
The sale to Milliken & Company still requires KAF to adhere to the settlements.