Wilbros Hearing Tonight

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s public hearing on the proposed Wilbros consent order is set for tonight.

The hearing will start at 7 p.m. in the Tugaloo Center for the Performing Arts at Stephens County High School in Toccoa.

Stephens County Commission Chairman Dean Scarborough said this is the public’s chance to speak with the EPD on the matter.

“It is very important for those citizens that have reason to complain, those that live near the plant,” said Scarborough. “We hope everyone will come out and make their voices heard.”

EPD representatives are scheduled to make a brief presentation at the beginning of the hearing and participants who wish to comment for the record are requested to sign in upon arrival this evening.

During the hearing, oral statements will be limited to three minutes in length.

Long statements or statements of a very technical nature should be submitted in writing for the record.

According to the EPD, the public hearing is a formal process to receive comments on the proposed consent order.

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.

Under that proposed consent order, the EPD would require improvements to the facilities wastewater treatment system, including an investment in an impervious cover over the primary treatment pond with a gas collection system and a flare system to properly burn off gases, third-party odor monitoring, implementation of a Design Development Report to give the EPD an enforceable plan for operation of the wastewater system, and payment of $25,000, among other things.

Officials with the EPD say the agency believes these are corrective actions that will reduce odors coming from the Rose Lane facility.

The proposed consent order can be viewed by going online to www.georgiaepd.com and clicking on the “What’s New at EPD” button.