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Complaint ID 97851 — Public Copy

Report generated on May 28, 2024, 10:26 PM.

Status: Approved/Closed

Date Received September 13, 2021, 4:00 PM
Assigned Office Coastal District
Date Complaint Closed October 7, 2021, 8:16 AM
Review Comments [Not entered]


Complaint is being added from an email from Mr. Sam Williams with DNR LE to follow up with the permitted facility. The email from Mr. Williams containing details of this complaint are copied below: The incident occurred at the Chesser Island Landfill in Charlton County. I received a call from the Sheriff’s Office about a sick eagle at the landfill. All the caller provided to the dispatcher was the general area where it could be found. He would not provide his name or a call back number and stated to the dispatcher something along the line that he could get into trouble or lose his job for reporting stuff like this. I responded to the area and located the eagle on the ground, standing erect. I approached withing 5 – 6 feet and it seemed to be in a dazed or disoriented state. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Officer Pam Garrison met me at the landfill to assist in capturing it. It allowed me to place a blanket over it and pick it up without any struggle. A recently retired biologist with USFW kept the eagle overnight for observation, given the fact that we were unable to make phone contact with anyone on Friday evening. I transported it to the Sea Turtle Center Saturday morning in a very degraded condition, than it was in 12 hours prior. Surprisingly, I found out that it recovered and was released near the Altamaha River 3 – 4 days later. Blood samples were taken and sent off for testing. The results came back positive for pentobarbital, a drug commonly used by veterinarians to euthanize animals. Officer Garrison had asked to be kept in the loop on any testing that was done. She was interested in the results, because she was aware of at least one, if not two eagles in the past several years that had died due to suspected pentobarbital poisoning. Test results were never provided to her in any previous incidents for official documentation. Once we had received the results of the blood test, we made an impromptu visit to the landfill. Of course the only two employees available were the two ladies operating the scales. They did contact someone by phone that stated he was in a position of management at the facility. Officer Garrison may still have his name, if needed. We spoke with him over speaker phone and obviously got the canned statement that is prepared in advance of any potential wrong doing or negative publicity. The point of his response was that they have no way of knowing if anything of a hazardous nature ends up in the trash and was certain this was an isolated incident. It was Officer Garrison’s concern that there maybe a veterinarian in NE Florida who was disposing of animals improperly and/or the landfill maybe negligent in properly handling any such waste. They also had to throw in the fact of how they took pride knowing that there facility was recognized as a wildlife sanctuary and all they do to provide for the wildlife in the area. Although, that would be the last thing I would consider a landfill and they were unable to point me to the sign that recognized them as a wildlife sanctuary, state what government entity, club, or non-profit organization gave them that designation, or state what exactly they do to positively promote wildlife at the site. If you feel there is a need to look further into this incident, contact me back and we can plan a meeting between myself and Officer Garrison. If you feel this may warrant an inspection of the facility and/or a more formal conversation with person(s) responsible for the operation of the landfill and would like our presence in attendance, let me know and that can be arranged also.

Primary Concern Comprehensive Solid Waste
Secondary Concern [Not entered]
Location of Complaint Chesser Island Road Landfill
City of Complaint Folkston
County of Complaint Charlton


Facility ID Number 024-006D (SL)
Source Name Waste Management - Chesser Island Road Landfill
Source Contact Morris Purvis
Source Address 367 Chesser Island Rd Folkston, Georgia 31537


September 14, 2021 — Initial Investigation

I called and spoke with Bobby Isham with Waste Management. He stated that he was familiar with this but the landfill is not aware of any animal carcasses that have been brought in since he has been there since 2006. He stated that he was unaware if they had any written procedures pertaining to disposal of this type of waste but would check and let me know. He also stated that they do have procedures for this if it were to come up and they would promptly bury any waste of this type. I later received a call from Morris Purvis with Waste Management. He stated that he was not aware of the landfill ever receiving any animal carcasses. He stated that a majority of the waste the landfill receives is brought to transfer stations and that if an animal carcass was discovered that they would give him a call to notify. He stated that Chesser Island did not have a written procedure for accepting and disposing of these types of waste but would provide me with an email detailing how they handle this.

September 14, 2021 — Initial Investigation

I received an email at 3:39PM from Mr. Purvis, which is copied below: If Chesser Island Landfill receives a request to bury any animals we would use the same process the way we bury Asbestos. CILF would either dig a hole and cover immediately. or push out an area at the toe of the slope in the MSW and bridge over the animals immediately with approx. 4-5 feet of MSW waste.

September 15, 2021 — Initial Investigation

Additional information was provided by DNR LE Officer Sam Williams via email. A google earth file was also attached to the email with the approximate location of where the eagle was found. Email below: Beth, I’ve attached a google earth image that has a place mark near where the eagle was located and the test results we received. I know there has been one additional eagle, possibly a second, but the more I think about it, the second one may have been located at the Camden landfill a few years ago. The other one in Charlton County was around a couple of years ago. USFW staff picked up the deceased eagle along Hwy. 121, near the landfill. Someone with them facilitated having it tested somewhere in Florida. Officer Garrison was advised that the results were positive for pentobarbital, but she was unable to get documentation stating that.

September 20, 2021 — Follow-Up Investigation

Recommend closing this complaint as CIRL has provided their protocol for these types of wastes. Follow-up with the landfill will take place as needed to ensure that they are following their protocol and all other waste disposal procedures.



(Attachments may not be available for complaints resolved before April 2018. Please note that not every complaint has attachments.)