Heartland Biogas, Weld County file competing injunctions

By Tyler Silvy, Greeley Tribune.

A legal battle between Weld County and a renewable energy company continues to work its way through U.S. District Court, with both sides asking the judge to use force in their favor. 

Heartland Biogas, which breaks down various waste materials to create natural gas, has been under fire for more than a year, with dozens of neighbors filing about 400 odor-related complaints. 

When the Board of Weld County Commissioners on Dec. 28 suspended Heartland’s special use permit for a variety of alleged violations, including odor, the company sued. Heartland continued to operate on Weld County Road 49 near LaSalle in violation of the commissioners’ order. Late Thursday, company officials said in an email, they had stopped operating.

In Heartland’s lawsuit, filed the same day as the resolution, the company’s lawyers paint a dramatic picture of commissioners hostile to Heartland and its “constitutional rights,” and irrationally bent on destroying the company. 

A judge rejected the company’s request for a temporary restraining order, and now the judge must decide on a preliminary injunction. In both cases, Heartland is asking the judge to allow the company to stay open until the case works its way through the legal system. It says shutting down will cost it millions of dollars and millions more each month it doesn’t operate.