Wilbros Appeal of EPD Order Filed

The Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings will handle the appeal filed by Wilbros against the administrative order issued last week by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

The EPD said it has received an official petition appealing the order the agency issued last week to revoke the Rose Lane facility’s environmental permits and close the plant.

In the appeal filed against the EPD, Wilbros called the administrative order unlawful “because the EPD did not comply with procedural prerequisites to its issuance, because the EPD lacks authority to order injunctions, and because the allegations underlying the administrative order are so riddled with inaccuracies that the administrative order’s drastic enforcement measures are arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and not in accordance with law.”

Wilbros disputed EPD’s assertions regarding all of the alleged violations of Wilbros’ solid waste and wastewater management permits, as well the alleged violations of the December 2012 consent order.

Furthermore, Wilbros said in its appeal that if there were some violations, they do not support the administrative order’s enforcement terms.

Also, Wilbros said in its appeal that the administrative order contains terms radically different and more draconian than the proposed consent order that the EPD offered in January.

According to Wilbros, the EPD offered a Consent Order that included a $250,000 fine and the ceasing of production until EPD was assured that Wilbros’ operation complied with environmental requirements and was unwilling to negotiate terms with the facility.

Wilbros also claims that the EPD failed to allow the facility reasonable time to make necessary arrangements or preparations for the elimination of the alleged pollution.

Wilbros is asking in its appeal for a declaration that the administrative order is unlawful and ineffective, an order providing instructions to EPD on remand, and such other and further relief to which Wilbros may be entitled.

There is no hearing date for the appeal as of yet.

Until the appeal is heard and ruled upon, Wilbros is allowed to continue to operate and the EPD’s order is stayed.