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Brunswick County: man's trash hurting environment

READ MORE: Brunswick County forcing man to clean up property
WINNABOW -- Officials in Brunswick County say one man's trash could be hurting the environment. Attorneys for Brunswick County are in a battle with one property owner, trying to get him to clean the mess in his yard by the end of the month. Phillip Rivers lives off a remote road in Winnabow. He's owned his seven acres of land for 20 years and says it's not until recently that the county started pressuring him to clean up the junk in his yard. County attorneys say the oil drums, old soda machines and rusting equipment are leaking chemicals into the soil. Since rivers lives near wetlands and nearby neighbors water wells, county officials are afraid the pollutants are a danger. Rivers says he'll comply with the clean-up, but he can't do it in the time allotted. Rivers said, "Now they gave me an ultimatum to clean it up in 30 days, but how can they tell a man to clean up in 30 days what he's been doing for 20 years?" Environmental chemists have done initial tests of the soil on rivers property and in some places found more than 800 times the amount of oil and grease than experts say is safe. After the 30 days is up a county clean-up crew will clear out the property, but at Rivers's expense. Rivers says he's on a fixed income and expects the cost of clean up to exceed $30,000 -- a price he can't pay.

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