Georgia's toxic sites await cleanup as funds are diverted - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Georgia's toxic sites await cleanup as funds are diverted

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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.

An Atlanta media outlet's analysis of state budget figures shows that 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. The rest goes into Georgia's general fund for other purposes.

There are 528 sites on Georgia's cleanup list, ranging from closed dry-cleaning businesses to old landfills.

The trust fund was created in the 1990s to clean sites deemed hazardous by the state, but money collected first goes to the state's general fund. Then, lawmakers appropriate how much of the money goes toward cleanup each year.

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