Posted September 25, 2012 | comments 2 Comments

Letter to the Editor: Can George's handle additional waste?


On Sept. 6, Friends of the North Fork submitted comments to the Shenandoah County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors regarding a request from Mountain View Rendering Co., Edinburg, to amend its special use permit to receive additional materials for rendering. Ultimately, the wastewater from their rendering plant is sent to the nearby George's Chicken plant for treatment and discharge into Stoney Creek.

Our concern is whether George's Chicken, which has a pollution discharge permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, can handle the additional waste from Mt. View properly and without damage to Stoney Creek.

There was a serious event at the George's plant a few weeks ago:

Key wastewater discharge limits were violated for about a week, with excess pollution levels found in Stoney Creek. Although measures were taken to correct the problem, the plant continued to operate and discharge inadequately treated waste. As a result, the violations continued. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) conducted an inspection and made recommendations on better monitoring and maintenance practices. The DEQ is now considering issuing a notice of violation and imposing a fine.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of Mt. View's request for several reasons. George's Chicken has the design capacity to receive additional materials. Mt. View is a separate legal entity (although 25 percent of the company is owned by George's Chicken) and as such Mt. View is not responsible for the wastewater treatment violations committed by George's Chicken. We understand the Commission's recommendation, but remain concerned whether George's can handle the additional waste they will receive from Mt. View.

We have sent the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors the file from DEQ on George's history of violations. We will continue to monitor whether George's is correcting the problems, which according to DEQ are primarily related to proper operation of its wastewater treatment plant. Until George's has corrected its operational problems, we urge the commission and the board to consider the consequences of approving actions that add to the amount of wastes treated at the George's plant.

Ron Falyar, President,
Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River

2 Comments | Leave a comment

    Similar flagrant violation of common sense rules happened in Page County with the "blind eye" help of officials at the highest levels in Richmond. The costly fallout continued at least until an article I have referenced was written. The author is no dummy. In fact, she holds a PhD and was a high ranking military officer until she resigned in disgust. But, that is another story. She teaches at a university in Harrisonburg.

    The complete article is linked under "Mockery of Water Protection in Virginia" in the last section of my web page under the label "Other News From the Trenches". Here is the URL link on the Net:


    "Everyone lives downstream". This is true in virtually every respect of our lives. Responsible stewardship of land and water is up to the individual. Respect for all life is necessary for the ecosystem of the planet to continue. The loss of honey bees should have been a huge wake-up call: without them, life would grind to a halt. But little focus was given to this little critter that is essential to the whole food chain. Football and politics were more important.

    Constant consumption without regard to the consequences of manufacturing is the symptom of a blind society headed for extinction. People and planets are not disposable: garbage does not just "go away". A 200-mile-long island of floating trash in the Pacific ocean reminds us of this. The trash from the Japan tsunami is now washing upon the shores of the world.

    How many older people remember this public message from so long ago, and how relevent is it today?

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