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Settlement nears with tea company

Counties: Discharges damaged infrastructure

POSTED: December 13, 2012 12:33 a.m.

A south Forsyth tea company is expected to finalize a settlement agreement next week with Forsyth and Fulton counties that will pay for repairs to reportedly damaged public infrastructure.

Forsyth County commissioners on Tuesday voted 4-0, with Brian Tam absent, to approve the consent order and settlement agreements with Amelia Bay.

The final version will likely be approved with the commission’s consent agenda next Thursday.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the company will pay $25,000 to Forsyth and $86,000 to Fulton to cover the cost of repairs.

The draft of the settlement agreement states that though the business agrees to the terms, it “denied and continues to deny any and all wrongdoing.”

Amelia Bay officials did not respond to a request for additional comment.

The company on Lakefield Drive, which creates tea and coffee extracts, stopped discharging effluent into the system in April, after the county issued a cease-and-desist order.

Forsyth infrastructure carries the wastewater from the business to the Cauley Creek treatment facility in Fulton.

“We believe that the discharges through our system were improper and were in violation of the county’s wastewater treatment ordinances,” Jarrard said.

“We have worked with them trying to figure out the extent to which we have been damaged, Cauley Creek has been damaged, and the extent to which they need to get right with the count[ies.]”

Amelia Bay appealed Forsyth’s violation notice, which was issued in March.

The counties have since been in discussions with the company to find a resolution, Jarrard said.

The business can continue to “pump and haul” as it’s been doing since April, rather than discharge into system, according to the consent order and settlement.

If the company wants to use the sewer system again, it must comply with pretreatment requirements and notify the counties 90 days in advance, the consent order states.

According to Amelia Bay’s Web site, the company was founded in 1989 and recently completed a new headquarters building at the south Forsyth location.

“This state-of-the-art complex effectively triples our capacity,” the description states. “With our new facility, Amelia Bay has made a commitment to ‘green manufacturing practices’ through the use of extensive warehouse sky lighting, waste water pretreatment systems and water reclamation procedures.”


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