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Plans for liquid waste storage facility in Churchville pulled

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 5:22 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - After pushback from the community, Houff Corporation has pulled its plans to install a liquid waste storage facility on a farm in Churchville.

The change comes after Churchville residents gathered last Friday to discuss the proposal and how to fight it. At the meeting, many said they were worried about a bad smell from the pit, increased traffic on nearby roads and potential environmental dangers.

However, Houff General Manager Tim Grove said they are confident their plan was safe and in line with regulations.

“The project has fallen short of our desire to work with the community instead of against it,” said Grove.

Grove said Houff works with manufacturers in the area, and they have to continue to respond to need, which is increasing.

“Food and beverage manufacturing industry in the Valley is a great part of our economy, and we see each of our Valley plants going, adding lines, adding shifts, and it’s good for the growth of the Valley,” Grove said.

He said community made it clear they aren’t in favor of the plans.

“What is apparent is that we need to involve the community in an earlier stage of our planning process and importantly we plan to include county-level administrators and economic development people in our decision making,” said Grove.

Now that the proposal was pulled, he said the need for continued service for Valley food processors remains.

“As the production grows, so does the amount of waste water that needs to be treated. Following that, the amount of residuals that need to be recycled,” said Grove.

The process involves recycling solids with wastewater treatment to be used as fertilizer, but all that material has to be stored somewhere. Many people near the proposed location were worried.

“This is a county issue or a Valley issue, not just the aspirations and growth of Houff corporation,” said Grove.

Churchville community members shared the news on Facebook with joy Monday, Jan. 24.

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