By Alex Bridges -- email@example.com
Shenandoah County planning officials are considering a proposal to open a new poultry slaughterhouse near Mt. Jackson.
Edwin and Dana Wilson applied last month for a special use permit to operate a 600-square foot slaughterhouse at 4154 Conicville Road, according to documents provided by Shenandoah County.
The site, zoned for agricultural use, lies at the intersection of Conicville Road and Pleasant View Road less than a mile south of Hamburg Road.
The Shenandoah County Planning Commission are scheduled to hold a public hearing on the permit request at its June 7 meeting.
The facility will be equipped with a kill room, cooler box, poultry processing center and counter sales. The developers plan to post a sign outside the slaughterhouse and allow customers to enter the facility to buy packaged poultry product. The facility also will include an office with a restroom for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services/U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector.
The property owners must go through many more steps even if the county grants the permit. The owners face strict requirements under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
The owners must dispose of the wastewater generated by facility. A state agency official noted in comments submitted to the county Thursday the owners have three options. The first option, which does not require a DEQ permit, calls for the plant to send collect and send the wastewater to a treatment facility. The owners would need to submit a description of the slaughterhouse operation, including the amount of wastewater likely generated, its storage and the name of the facility which would receive the wastewater.
Owners could apply the wastewater to agricultural fields. The option may or may not require a DEQ permit but the official stated the owners would need to submit information to the agency.
In addition to a description of the slaughterhouse operation and amount of wastewater generated, the owners would need to provide information on what makes up the wastewater, including the chemicals used in the slaughtering of the animals or cleaning of the equipment.
The owners would need to describe how the facility would handle the blood and offal of the slaughtered animals. They also would need to provide information about the equipment used to apply the wastewater to agricultural land, a map showing the location and number of acres available for the application, buffers maintained around the site, rate in inches per day the facility would apply the wastewater and a record sheet used to track the process. The DEQ also would seek a statement from the owners the facility would not apply wastewater to frozen or bare ground.
The owners could install a septic tank and drainfield system which would fall under the EPA's Underground Injection Control and require approval by the federal agency. The facility also could discharge the wastewater if treated but the plant would first need a state permit, a local government ordinance form and a payment of $10,200 to cover an issuance fee, according to the DEQ official.
Such a facility also would require the owners construct an entrance to the plant.
The Virginia Department of Transportation noted in comments submitted to the county regarding the proposal that the owner would need to install standard commercial entrance improvements to the front of the property.
The site currently does not have a VDOT-standard entrance along Va. 710 or parking for customers and deliveries, according to the agency. The entrance and part of the fence would have to be moved to the south of the proposed building to achieve sight distance, according to VDOT.