A landfill fire that has been sending sulfur-scented smoke into the air in the city of South Fulton since September 2018 was finally extinguished this summer.
A recent letter from the Environmental Protection Division (EPD), along with a recent judgement, includes a corrective action plan (CAP) and an assessment of civil penalties against the owner of the landfill, according to Rep. Debra Bazemore, D-City of South Fulton, Chair of the City of South Fulton Delegation.
Fulton County and owner of the landfill Tandy Ross Bullock have been fighting legal battles since at least 2007, and Bullock has been arrested three times over the fire.
As the fire continued to burn for about eight months, smoke from the property located at 7635 Bishop Road spread throughout the surrounding community. Federal health officials warned the smoke may cause headaches and respiratory irritation, but is not expected to cause long-term health issues. The burning debris included trees, stumps, and wood from demolished buildings.
“Now that this fire has been put out, I am pleased to see the EPD and courts taking swift action to try to rectify this situation,” said Bazemore. “It is time for the property owner to take responsibility for his actions and start complying with the law.”
In the judgement, the court ordered that civil penalties be assessed against the property owner in the amount of $1,085,550 for violating the Georgia Comprehensive Solid Waste Act.
The court order and letter also indicate that the property owner must comply with certain conditions going forward. The property owner must complete remediation of the site within 16 months from the court’s May 20 ruling. Bullock is ordered to cease receiving any solid waste immediately at the landfill location and must remove 100 percent of the waste from the site.
Additionally, he must install best practices management to prevent sediment from leaving the site, as well as a storm water pollution prevention plan.
Bullock has 30 days to appeal.