Georgia Department of Law, from the office of Thurbert E. Baker, Attorney General


Georgia Supreme Court Denies Latest Bid by Agri-Cycle to Re-open Its "Burning Pond" Talmo Waste Facility

January 24, 2008

The Georgia Supreme Court has denied Agri-Cycle, LLC’s latest bid to re-open a JacksonCounty waste processing facility that caught fire in early September 2007.  Following the fire, which included a pond catching fire that was supposed to contain water which had been fully treated and was ready for field-spraying, Attorney General Thurbert Baker and Environmental Protection Division Director Carol Couch sought an emergency restraining order against Agri-Cycle, LLC and Richard Harville, Managing Partner of Agri-Cycle, to prevent their continued operation of Agri-Cycle's waste processing facility in Talmo, Georgia.  Agri-Cycle fought the restraining order during a two and a half hour hearing in front of Superior Court Judge David Motes of the Piedmont Judicial Circuit, but Judge Motes ultimately decided in favor of the State and granted a temporary restraining order on September 7, 2007.  Judge Motes entered an injunction on October 15, 2007 against Agri-Cycle, also opposed by Agri-Cycle and its attorneys, that prevented the operation of the facility until Agri-Cycle came into compliance with state environmental laws.

Rather than rectify the problems at its Talmo facility, Agri-Cycle filed motions with both the Jackson County Superior Court as well as the Georgia Supreme Court, seeking to lift the injunction or in the alternative to have the State of Georgia post a bond equivalent to Agri-Cycle’s claimed lost profits during its appeal of Judge Motes’ ruling.  In a one sentence ruling issued on Tuesday, January 22, 2008, the Georgia Supreme Court stated that, after consideration of Agri-Cycle’s motion to lift the injunction or in the alternative to have the State post an appeal bond, the relief sought by Agri-Cycle was denied.

It is uncertain at this point if Agri-Cycle will continue to pursue legal appeals attempting to set aside Judge Motes’ rulings protecting the citizens of JacksonCounty, or if Agri-Cycle will now attempt to bring its waste processing facility into compliance with basic environmental laws.

Attorney General Baker and Senior Assistant Attorney General John Hennelly, head of the Attorney General's Environmental Section, are representing Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division and EPD Director Couch in this matter.