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Posted September 6, 2012 | comments 9 Comments

Rendering plant's request to step up processing gets OK

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- A poultry rendering plant's request to process more material sparked protest from Shenandoah County residents Thursday night.

However, the Shenandoah County Planning Commission, after hearing from the public, voted unanimously to recommend the Board of Supervisors approve the request.

Mountain View Rendering Co. LLC sought to amend its existing special-use permit to allow the facility at 173 Rocco Road, Edinburg, to take in additional animal products from George's Chicken LLC in Harrisonburg. The plant lies on 6.6 acres of land at Rocco and Stoneburner roads, near the George's plant at 1992 Senedo Road. The county approved the original permit in 1986, which limited the facility to material from certain sites.

The commission held a public hearing with supervisors present on the request and heard from residents who expressed concerns about the impact of the expansion on the environment, safety of the roads near the plant and the smell they say the facility currently generates.

Several commissioners lauded the facility's efforts. Member Hilda C. Vann commented that she thought it better such a facility process material rather than the products end up in a landfill. Others commented that odors often occur with agriculture.

But the people who spoke did not see the facility as a good neighbor.

Joseph Bosco, of 1214 Back Road, recalled he and 100 other residents stood in opposition to the original permit when it came before the county.

"Our fears have been realized," Bosco said. "The smells are horrendous."

Chairman Gary Lantz cited a letter from The Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River which referred to alleged violations of its Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. However, according to Woodstock attorney Jay Neal the rendering plant has had a clean record with the DEQ.

Supervisor Sharon Baroncelli asked the Mountain View general manager Bob Forry if George's made a business decision to seek to process the material at the plant. Forry noted he couldn't speak for George's but indicated that Mountain View does compete with other rendering facilities in the area.

"Where is the smell coming from?" commissioner Rick Miller asked of the general manager noting the comments from speakers about the odor.

"A lot of that smell's coming from George's," the general manager replied.

Outside the meeting room after the hearing several of the concerned residents spoke with Forry and other representatives of Mountain View who defended the facility.

Zoning Subdivision Administrator Joyce Fadeley gave a presentation on the request and noted that she and some commissioners took a tour inside and outside the facility.

"We stood outside and there was no odor," Fadeley said. "I was really shocked because I expected something different."

The facility's use of negative pressure -- sucking air in -- keeps odor from escaping, Fadeley explained. The group did smell an odor outside which seemed to come from the area of George's Chicken facility, she said.

Neal represented Mountain View and explained the rendering process and the desire by Mountain View to take added material from the George's facility in Harrisonburg. Neal noted that Mountain View is owned in part by George's which has expressed a desire to render its own products. Neal also addressed the environmental issue and told the commission the facility operates under a strict permit.

"As near as I can tell this will not have an impact on anyone," Neal told the commission, adding later, "It truly is an extremely regulated situation."

While the Virginia Department of Transportation gave a statement to the county planning department that the increase of four to six trucks would not impact nearby roads, the speakers expressed concern the added vehicles would make Va. 42 more hazardous.

Mountain View employs 26 workers and operates 24 hours a day, according to Neal and company representatives. Neal and others noted the facility doesn't reach its permitted capacity and still would not come close to that mark with the added material.

9 Comments | Leave a comment

    MORE, more, more! Rendering Plant. . . "to process more material". TO KILL MORE ANIMALS, why don't you call this sickening business by its real name?

    Yes, I'll bet it does stink - death stinks!

    Between being the biggest IMPORTER of trash in the nation and this "Fowl" business, this state isn't for lovers - it's for business and Virginia employers have total control. I feel sorry for anyone who has to take these unhealthy jobs: not sure if local people work here or illegal aliens, probably both.

    So it's out of sight and out of mind, just get your nose plugs out and buy some expensive bottled water. To hell with the environment - that's the path we are on.

    Diana, by the time they make it to the rendering plant, they are already dead. What they are processing is the remnants. I agree that will have an environmental impact, but hopefully the continued proliferation of organics will put a dent in this industry.

    on the front side of this article I'm typing over my fried pastomi/ swiss'/sausage sandwich.but on recent typings/opinions from diana, I reckonize the vegetarian side of things. I definately think her way of eating is more healthy. I can do it up to a point especially the beans. I guess I love my pork, beef, etc.

      There are so many health related issues with this meat eating habit. My grandmother made all of those southern dishes and she was a great cook, but most of her generation died of heart disease or cancer.

      Many people say, well we die anyway, might as well eat what you want: health should be something that one strives for instead of facing high blood pressure, clogged arteries, open heart surgery or cancer - that's not living.

      Just changing to a vegetarian diet one day a week would help. Americans eat too much protein and not enough vegetables, fruits and grain. Start slowly switching over, you might be surprised how much better you feel. I have no health issues, take no medications, and rarely ever get sick. So far - so good, but I do have a sweet tooth I must watch. : \

    Rusty, I side more with Diana on this one, just because the processing is so close to the rendering plant, like most are. They cut the necks at the plant while they are alive, and blood goes gravity. I'm sure the rendering plant has some assocation with Georges. and then it drifts to georges WWTP.....and then to the pipe somewhere below the trout and sucker swimming around Larkins grocery.

    ....it does stink around George's off of 42. I'm sort of used to this type of smell. But the avearage person probably is not used to the smell. If you live withing a few miles of the plant, I'm sure you are immune to the smell.,

    ...I guess they still slit the chickens throat while they are still alive. Thats usually the process of things. I toured the chicken plant when it was Rocco. Them workers work very hard, very fast paced operation. I saw them making hotdogs in the back part of the plant. I think I stayed away from eating hotdogs for a while after seeing the hotdog process.

    Hey Diane, are you a vegan? I think I have the spelling right! I used to work with some vegans....and ate some relatively good spinach,basil/ soy sort of cheese pizza's, but that was a long time ago.

    If you eat eggs, I have the greatest eggs. My hens rome about 7 or so acres, during the summer I definately buy not as much feed. There eggs are great. When we go out to breakfast my daughter alway says, what is wrong with these eggs, they do not taste good.
    I do eat a few, usually roosters. Seems like mor rooster are born then, hens, but you know how that goes.

    Got to love my spelling especially on the weekends!!!!

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