By John Schaffner

The Capital City Club, one of Atlanta’s oldest and most exclusive clubs, has learned it will have to pay the state Environmental Protection Division (EPD) a fine of $150,000 for violating clean-water rules while reconstructing its Brookhaven golf course last year.

The EPD’s fine is one of the largest ever levied by the state for violations of erosion regulations designed to keep mud and silt out of rivers, streams and lakes. And the club likely has not seen the last of the fines.

As Reporter Newspapers pointed out in its Jan. 23-Feb. 5 editions, the club at 53 W. Brookhaven Drive faced fines and penalties from the city of Atlanta, the state EPD and the federal Environmental Protection Agency totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because of pollution running into streams and lakes that feed Nancy Creek.

In addition to the EPD fine, the club paid a $3,000 fine to the city, and negotiations apparently are still in progress regarding fines and compensation for the EPA. An EPA document dated June 10, 2008, listed the total compliance action cost from that agency at $313,000.

The club’s general manager and chief operating officer, Matt McKinney, has said the intent was to improve water quality on the 18-hole golf course, which is scheduled to reopen this spring. Several streams that were run through pipes on the course decades ago have been uncovered and restored.

The EPD’s Mountain District manager, Bert Langley, said in January the club was back in compliance, and he praised club officials for being responsive after the problem occurred in February 2008.