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Churchville group gathers to learn more about proposed waste pit

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 11:17 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - A large group gathered in Churchville Friday, Jan. 21 to talk about a proposed liquid waste storage facility.

Houff Corporation is looking to put the pit on Hankey Mountain Highway in Churchville. The pit would hold about 3 million gallons of material, including waste from creameries, breweries, and meat plants.

The group cited many concerns, including increased traffic in Churchville, health and environmental concerns, a bad smell, and loss of property value.

“We come together tonight as a community of concerned citizens to learn about the infringement on our rights of clean air, clean water, peace, and quiet and safe roads,” said event organizer Darrell Campbell.

The sheer size of the pit is a concern for many. Event speaker Herold Munson presented information about the planned pit, saying it would be 200 feet in diameter and 16 feet deep, which means about 100 large pools would fit in it.

Many comparisons liken it to the size of a football field.

Augusta County Supervisor Pam Carter said the Board of Supervisors isn’t involved in the decision-making process for the pit, but she’s been involved and asking her own questions.

“There’s nothing in Virginia the compare it to. I said, ‘the size of this pit, this 3 million gallons, is it considered large, or intermediate?’ That’s how I found out, there isn’t really anything to compare it to,” Carter said.

Aside from the size, many residents feel Churchville just isn’t the right place for it.

“I’m a property owner... I think I should be able to do whatever I want to with it until it infringes on your rights,” said speaker Steve East, who had his own experiences living near a similar storage facility.

Friday’s group said the pit does infringe on their rights.

The next step for the group is to attend the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Feb. 3 at 1:30 p.m. There won’t be a public comment period at that meeting.

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