Habersham Residents Reportedly Complaining of Odor Connected to Wilbros’ Owner

The owner of the Wilbros facility already at the center of an odor controversy in Stephens County is reportedly causing a stink again in Habersham County.

The Northeast Georgian newspaper reported that residents in the Alec Mountain Road area near Clarkesville are complaining of odor that is caused by soil amendments being applied to property by Wilbros’ owner Joe Wilbanks.

According to the Northeast Georgian report, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division says Wilbanks has a permit to apply material from chicken processing to agricultural property in the area.

The paper’s report went on to state that the EPD acknowledges that what Wilbanks is doing in Habersham County is causing an odor, but states that it is completely within their rules for the permit.

Habersham County officials told the Northeast Georgian they are looking into the situation.

Wilbanks’ Wilbros facility on Rose Lane in Stephens County has been at the center of controversy in Stephens County regarding odor for years.

Wilbros is currently under an order to cease and desist from releasing offensive mal odors at a distance of 1,000 feet or more that are detectable on a continuing basis.

That came after the judge hearing a civil suit filed by the Stephens County Commission and others against Wilbros over the odor from the facility found that Wilbros was in contempt of his previous orders in connection to the suit.

Also, the EPD issued an administrative order earlier this month ordering Wilbros to close over numerous alleged EPD permit violations.

Wilbros is appealing that EPD administrative order, so it has not taken effect pending the outcome of the appeal.