Georgia's toxic sites await cleanup as funds are diverted

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia has more than 500 hazardous sites in need of costly cleanup, but an analysis of state spending shows that it routinely shorts the trust fund that's supposed to pay for them.

Less than half of the $14.5 million in fees the state collects on average for hazardous waste cleanup annually is spent on that need, a WSB-TV analysis of state budget figures shows. The rest goes into Georgia's general fund for other purposes.

"We find that a lot of people had no idea this was going on," said Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman with the Georgia Water Coalition. The issue of the hazardous waste sites was included in the Georgia Water Coalition's publication, "Dirty Dozen: 2017's Worst Offenses Against Georgia's Water."

"We know for a fact that there's a tremendous backlog of hazardous waste sites that are not receiving the remediation that they need," Demonbreun-Chapman added.