Update 2019-12-19: Cleanup finishing at Flying J, Exit 2, I-75, Lowndes County, GA 2019-12-10.
I must compliment Lowndes County Code Enforcement, the Flying J, Dynamis, and Deep South Sanitation, about this cleanup at the Flying J, Exit 2, I-75, Lake Park, Georgia, about a mile from the GA-FL line.
On August 23, 2019, I sent this picture and the location to Lowndes County Code Enforcement:
Code Enforcement Director Mindy Bates responded within the hour:
We currently have an open investigation at this location and are working with the management at Flying J to bring the property into compliance.
Thank you for bringing it to our attention.
A WWALS member had opened that investigation; I was just checking. I thanked the director.
A hurricane looked aimed in our direction; fortunately it didn’t arrive. So I gave it two weeks and asked on September 10th what was the plan.
Once again, Director Bates answered that same day:
Pilot Travel Center/Flying J has hired Dynamis, Inc. to conduct the cleanup of this area. A representative from Dynamis is scheduled to meet with the officer handling the case tomorrow morning to discuss the particulars of the violations and our recommendations to prevent re-occurrence. Clean-up will start in the morning as well. I do not know yet how they plan to proceed but this company specializes in environmental issues so I am confident they are communicating with Pilot Travel to ensure a successful resolution.
I thanked her again.
She added the next day:
Dynamis estimates they will be on-site the remainder of this week and all of next week. Pilot Travel/Flying J is going to considerable expense by having the clean-up done by an environmental services company so I am sure they will take all measures necessary to prevent future problems. They have been very responsive and cooperative throughout this investigation and are very aware of the severity of the issue.
I gave it another week, and went there on September 18th:
The man who seemed to be in charge didn’t want to be pictured, but he said they had already hauled off four dumpsters of trash, and many more tires than the ones you can see in this picture.
They had taken down much of the old fence, cleaned up, and put up a temporary fence:
There was still some trash floating in the water:
But the shore was much cleaner:
They said they would rebuild the fence.
There is still more of the old fence to take down:
And they hadn’t actually gotten to the spot I originally reported, which seemed to have some added trash.
But the contrast between where they have worked and where they haven’t is pretty striking.
You may wonder as I do, what is this wetland?
It appears to be a skinny retention pond around the Flying J’s property (in the upper right of this map). Where it goes if it overflows is not clear. According to USGS, I-75 is the divide between the Withlacoochee and Alapaha Basins at that point. The closest creek seems to have no name, but flows southwest to join the Withlacoochee River just upstream of Sullivan Launch (in the lower left of the map), in Hamilton County, Florida.
Anyway, I will go back and give it another look, but it appears that we have here a case of Lowndes County Code Enforcement successfully getting a business to clean up, in response to a citizen report.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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