According to a court order, civil penalties will be assessed against Tandy Bullock, the owner of the unpermitted landfill at 7635 Bishop Road. He faces a fine in the amount of $1,084,550 for violating the Georgia Comprehensive Solid Waste Act.
The landfill caught fire in September 2018, and burned for eight months. The burning debris included trees, stumps, and wood from demolished buildings.
The excessive smoke became a nuisance for many residents in the area, and a health concern, particularly for residents with existing respiratory problems. During a compliance hearing on May 20, Judge Constance Russell ruled that Bullock had taken satisfactory steps to extinguish the blaze.
In addition to the seven-figure fine, the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) will require Bullock to carry out a corrective action plan, which includes implementation of best practices to prevent sediment from leaving the site, and a storm water pollution prevention plan.
Additionally, Bullock has been ordered to cease receiving any solid waste at the landfill location and is required to remove 100 percent of the waste from the site.
Judge Russell has given Bullock 16 months from the court’s May 20 ruling for remediation of the site. However, the Office of State Administrative Hearing judge provides a timeframe of 120 days. The EPD is working to resolve this discrepancy.
“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 State Representative Debra Bazemore, who gave updates on the case earlier today. “It is time for the property owner to take responsibility for his actions and start complying with the law.”
Photo: South Fulton citizens wait outside of the courtroom to attend the May 20 compliance hearing.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported the amount of the fine to be $1,085,550. Based on new information from the Environmental Protection Division, that figure has been corrected.