By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
A Shenandoah County rendering plant's request to process more offal poses little impact, officials say.
Mountain View Rendering Company LLC asked the county to amend its existing special-use permit to allow the facility at 173 Rocco Road, Edinburg, to take materials from a George's Chicken LLC plant in Harrisonburg.
"What we expect as far as impact is about three truck loads per day additional to what goes in there right now," county Zoning Subdivision Administrator Joyce Fadeley said last week.
The Shenandoah County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the request at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Mountain View operates its facility at the intersection of Rocco and Stoneburner roads, east of Columbia Furnace, on 6.6 acres of land owned by George's Chicken, which also runs its own plant at nearby 19992 Senedo Road. The property is zoned for general industrial use.
Fadeley explained the original permit issued in November 1986 forbid an "open-door policy" on the rendering of products from facilities other than those specifically identified without permission from the Board of Supervisors. The permit changes as proposed would limit Mountain View to rendering products from George's Chicken poultry processing facility at Columbia Furnace, a turkey plant in Dayton, Va., and the Harrisonburg facility. Mountain View has advised the planning department that it no longer accepts lamb from a processing facility in Timberville.
Mountain View would operate under capacity even with the addition of the Harrisonburg plant materials, according to Fadeley. Currently, the plant receives 20 loads of offal at the plant daily, according to planning documents. Loads would increase by three with a maximum of five to six per day, planning officials have said. The Virginia Department of Transportation has commented that the additional loads of offal to the plant would not put an extra burden on the facility entrance. But any additional loads could require upgrades to the plant entrance, according to VDOT.
The local health department does not have jurisdiction over this issue, according to planning documents, which note the agency did not comment on the request. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are the regulatory agencies overseeing the Mountain View facility.
Mountain View processed 149,000 tons of product, according to information provided by the planning department. Its state permit allows the facility to accept 214,000 tons of material, according to the information. The addition of the product from the Harrisonburg plant would increase processing by the Mountain View facility to 180,000 tons, or 84 percent of capacity.
Mountain View expects to add two employees to its existing staff to handle the additional loads.