A judge's ruling entered on Friday afternoon enjoins Harrington Environmental Services from applying waste to their land at 7501 County Road 1009 until a trial can be held on the matter. That trial is scheduled for Dec. 18.

Visiting District Judge Jerry Ray held Harrington in contempt of court and assessed fines of $100 per violation for a total of $700 for each violation of a temporary injunction entered in November.

Ray found that Harrington made land applications of domestic septage (sewer and water collected from septic tanks) on saturated soil on Jan. 7, 8, 15, 21. 22. 24 and 28 in violation of November's temporary injunction.

Ray found that such violations are likely to continue unless the temporary injunction is modified.

November's injunction allowed Harrington to continue their business, but required them to operate within the guidelines of their Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issued permit. Harrington, Cleburne and Johnson County officials argued, has on several occasions failed to do so since the injunction.

City and county officials filed suit in 18th District Court arguing, among other things, that waste runoff from Harrington property poses a threat to Lake Pat Cleburne, Cleburne's primary water source.

Harrington officials denied any wrongdoing and argued that closure of their facility could spell ecological disaster for Johnson County. Harrington officials, during Tuesday's hearing on the injunction modification request, argued that prohibiting the company's ability to accept waste could set the county back 30 years to the days of raw, untreated sewage being dumped throughout the county. Harrington owner Thomas Harrington said he started his business at the request of the county several decades ago in order to help curb such abuses.

The Joshua company applied for and received a permit from the TCEQ in 2016 to apply domestic septage their tract of land.

Several residents living near the property joined city and county officials to protest that application during public meetings held by TCEQ at the time, but to no avail.

Several residents living near Harrington's property testified of instances of illegal dumping since the November injunction was entered with several of those same witnesses providing photo and video evidence.

A separate case concerning Harrington remains ongoing in Austin.

Last year Cleburne and county officials challenged TCEQ’s issuance of the permit in an Austin court.

The judge sided with Cleburne and the county but TCEQ appealed the ruling and the case remains ongoing.

Cleburne requested but did not receive an injunction against Harrington while that case remains on appeal.

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