The deadline is today for people to submit written comments on the proposed Wilbros consent order.
The proposed order can be viewed by going online to www.georgiaepd.com and clicking on the “What’s New at EPD” button.
The e-mail address for submitting comments is EPDcomments@dnr.state.ga.us. If e-mailing, include the words “Proposed Consent Order Comments, Wilbros LLC” in the subject line.
Comments can also be mailed to:
Ms. Linda MacGregor
Watershed Protection Branch
4220 International Parkway, Suite 101
Atlanta, Georgia 30354
The EPD reached a proposed consent order with Wilbros last month to address what the EPD calls violations of rules for solid waste management and water quality control.
The Rose Lane facility has remained at the center of controversy over complaints of excessive odor coming from the facility.
According to the EPD, the proposed consent order requires Wilbros to allow only compostable wastes that should not generate excessive odors, not allow wastewater to go to the wastewater treatment facility that would overload the system and exceed treatment capacity, install a cover for the anaerobic basin of the wastewater treatment facility, and put in place repairs and procedures to reduce odors from the compost operation, among taking other steps.
Officials with the EPD have said the agency believes these are corrective actions that will reduce the odor.
In addition, the proposed order requires Wilbros to pay a $25,000 negotiated settlement and submit to third-party odor monitoring.
Hundreds turned out last week at the Tugaloo Center for the Performing Arts at Stephens County High School in Toccoa for a public hearing on the proposed order.
Numerous speakers said that reducing the odor was not enough; they want it eliminated, citing the odor’s effects on quality of life, nearby industry, and potential health concerns. Other speakers questioned who would conduct the odor monitoring and why the $25,000 fine was not higher. A number of speakers also expressed a lack of confidence in the EPD to solve the problem at all.
The EPD said that any written comments submitted on the proposed consent order had to be in by the close of business today.