More than 300 people turned out Tuesday night in Chester County for a public hearing on the controversial topic of spreading bio solids in four upstate counties.
Since 2000, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has allowed a Charlotte-based company to spread treated sewage on 99 farms in York, Chester, Lancaster and Fairfield Counties.
Farmers like John Williams told the state agency the bio solids act as a natural fertilizer.:
But the sewage is not as popular among those who live next to those farms and have to deal with the pungent odor that comes courtesy of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department.
CMUD’s permit with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to spread the treated sewage expired in 2010 and Tuesday night, the agency held a public hearing on the permitting process.
Chester County Realtor Liz Odum said the bio solids have a grave effect on much more than quality of life.:
South Carolina transplant Dennis Summers said he is battling cancer, and feels nearby farms that allow the sludge are a detriment to his health.:
While Chester resident Amy Proctor said she once worked in a wastewater plant and says bio solids are no harm to people, animals or the environment.:
DHEC Spokesman Jim Beasley said all his agency did last night was listen to what interested parties had to say.:
Written comments to DHEC are due by March 1.
Beasley said the agency will do its diligence and listen to all sides of the issue before rendering a decision on a new bio solid permit at a later date.