The Georgia Environmental Protection Division appears to be giving Wilbros more time to comply with one facet of a consent order in effect against the Rose Lane business.
EPD Assistant Director Jim Ussery said the agency granted Wilbros an extension of the deadline for complete installation of the cover for the anaerobic pond until next month.
“It has been extended until April 8 due to rainfall that has affected the construction,” said Ussery. “The cover is actually over the anaerobic pond now. They are finishing up the final elements of it.”
Documents indicated that the original deadline per the consent order to cover that wastewater treatment pond was March 16.
In granting the extension, Ussery said that Wilbros should take “all reasonable steps” to complete installation of the cover as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, Ussery stated that the EPD considers Wilbros to be on track with compliance on the rest of the consent order.
Wilbros and the EPD entered into a consent order last December in an attempt to resolve excessive odors coming from the Rose Lane facility.
When asked if the EPD felt the order was working, Ussery said the agency feels it has helped.
“Just by nature of the waste we restricted them from taking, I think there is no way it could not be helping,” said Ussery. “In addition, one of the things we did was station agents up there for two weeks, monitoring what loads were coming in and coming out and responding to complaints. They noted the odors are less intense with less frequency. That does not mean that all odors have been involved.”
Meanwhile, Stephens County Marshal Tom Bennett said that the odor is still is a problem, adding that there are still odor complaints and he has continued to write citations. However, he said that those complaints have been less numerous at times.
When asked about ensuring that Wilbros was not accepting certain types of waste prohibited by the consent order, Ussery said the EPD has received no reports that Wilbros has accepted any outlawed waste, saying it the facility did do that, the EPD would consider that a major violation of the consent order.
Ussery went on to say that Wilbros has applied for a modification of the consent order to do something called in-vessel processing, where the composting will be done in a tank.
Ussery said the EPD is reviewing that in-vessel processing proposal at this time.
He also once again said that if the consent order does not fix the problem, the EPD will require more of Wilbros in the future.