New Hearing Date Set in Wilbros Civil Suit

In light of the Georgia EPD’s order last week that called on the Wilbros facility at the center of a years long odor controversy to shut down, the civil suit filed by Stephens County Commissioners and others against Wilbros is now scheduled to head back in to a courtroom next month.

A hearing has been scheduled for February 24 and 25 in Stephens County in front of Judge Robert Adamson.

The purpose of the hearing is to consider a motion from the Plaintiffs for Contempt to determine if Wilbros has complied with existing court orders and to reconsider the motion filed by the Plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction to shut the facility down pending a trial on the civil suit.

Judge Adamson issued his most recent court order last October in the case.

That order required Wilbros to build an in-vessel composting system, decrease the amount of chicken waste on the compost pad, increase the carbon-nitrogen ratio in the compost, and cap the outdoor compost windrows, all by certain deadlines.

Last week, the EPD announced an administrative order to revoke the environmental permits for Wilbros and ordered the facility on Rose Lane to close.

In its announcement, the EPD said Wilbros has been cited for numerous violations of the state’s Solid Waste Management and Water Quality Acts.

The EPD said those violations include loading and unloading waste in unpermitted areas, amounts of materials being stored and processed exceeding regulatory limits, and wastewater discharges exceeding limits for total residual chlorine, dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, and oil and grease.

Georgia EPD Director Judson Turner called the order appropriate considering Wilbros’ record of chronic non-compliance with state laws.

Wilbros does have 30 days to appeal the EPD’s order and if it does, the order is put on hold pending resolution of that appeal.