A Johnson County judge held the owner of a human waste recycling facility in contempt of court for violating a previous order and told the company to stop operating, according to court documents.
“The defendant had willful intent to violate and did willfully violate the order on seven specific dates,” visiting Judge Jerry Ray wrote.
He fined the company, Harrington Environmental of Godley, $700 and expanded the previous order, barring Harrington from “all land application” on the site in question.
Johnson County and the city of Cleburne took the company and its owner, Lord Harrington, to court, claiming runoff from the waste threatened the water supply.
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A judge previously ordered the company not to spread its waste on rainy days when the runoff could end up in the lake where Cleburne gets its water.
In a hearing last week, the city presented videos and photographs of what it said were Harrington's trucks working in soaked fields and getting stuck in the mud.
The company takes treated waste from septic tanks and spreads it across fields to dispose of it. It is licensed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
“While our support of business remains unwavering, this was not a case of local government getting in the way of business but was necessary to protect our residents,” Mayor Scott Cain said. “Justice was served.”
The court order is temporary until a trial in the case which is set for December.
Harrington could not immediately be reached for comment on the judge's decision.