Judge Signs New Wilbros Order

A new court order in Stephens County’s civil suit case against Wilbros is now officially on the books.

Judge Robert Adamson signed the order last Friday and WNEG received a copy of that signed order on Wednesday.

This new order modifies the original court order issued last December by Judge Adamson in regards to the Wilbros’ odor situation.

Its terms come out of a hearing held last month in Stephens County Superior Court.

At the conclusion of the September 12 hearing, Judge Adamson laid out the framework of the order.

The official signed order goes into more detail regarding timeframes.

Under the judge’s order, Wilbros has until October 27 to build and begin using an in-vessel composting pilot program.

Dr. K.C. Das, a composting expert from the University of Georgia, testified for the county and the other plaintiffs that in-vessel composting will control odors better than composting out in the open.

The order has called for the in-vessel pilot program to run for 45 days, with experts providing a report to the court on the pilot program’s results no later than December 21.

Judge Adamson also stated in his order that the plaintiffs’ experts shall have unlimited access to the Wilbros’ site during business hours or other reasonable times with notice to Wilbros.

Also, the judge has ordered Wilbros to consult with the plaintiffs’ experts throughout the pilot program, calling Dr. Das beneficial and critical to the implementation of the in-vessel composting program.

The order called on both sides to share the costs associated with Dr. Das’s involvement.

Wilbros must also submit an operational plan for proceeding with construction and operation of the full in-vessel composting program no later than December 21, as well as submitting all necessary applications for the program to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

The order then stated that within 90 days of EPD’s approval of the full in-vessel composting plan, Wilbros shall have the full in-vessel composting facility completed and fully operational.

Along with the in-vessel composting requirements, the order also immediately mandates Wilbros to decrease the amount of chicken waste being used on the compost pad by 30 percent, increase the carbon-nitrogen ratio in the compost on the compost pad, and cap compost windrows with wood chips and a permeable cover for the first 30 days of each windrow.

All of these were also things Dr. Das testified should have an effect on the odor.

The order also stated that if Wilbros misses any deadlines in the order, it must decrease the amount of chicken waste by another 20 percent.