Tandy Bullock, the owner of the Bishop Road Landfill, went before Superior Court Judge Constance Russell during a compliance hearing earlier today. The hearing was held to determine if Bullock was in compliance with an order to extinguish the fire that had been burning on his property since September 2018.
Bullock’s attorney, Charles T. Brant and an attorney representing the State of Georgia jointly testified before the judge that the fire had been extinguished. Satisfied with what was presented by the litigants, Judge Russell ruled in Bullock’s favor.
The decision came as a disappointment for residents who attended the hearing wearing shirts that read “No Landfills, No Warehouses” on the front and “South Fulton Lives Matter” on the back. They brought photos of their own showing smoke emanating from the property within the last 24-48 hours, but were not permitted to address the court.
Judge Russell acknowledged the residents in attendance from the bench, but said that the matter was out of her hands. “Those of you who are not happy, feel free to be citizens and let these folks know exactly what you’re not happy about because there’s nothing else that the court can do.”
Following the judge’s decision, the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) will move forward with requiring Bullock to carry out the agency’s action plan, which includes removing the accumulated materials from the property. The EPD has also filed a civil suit against Bullock in the amount of $1 million.
While the EPD first visited the Bishop Road landfill following reports of the fire in September, the agency has cited the property owner multiple times dating back several years. A full timeline of events is available on the City of South Fulton’s website.
Photo: While waiting to enter the courtroom, residents show photos of smoke emanating from the landfill to Mayor William “Bill” Edwards.