Mountville residents take poultry house fight to next level

Ask state DHEC Board to review permit approvals

Thirty-one Mountville citizens who live within two miles of 30 new poultry houses currently being permitted by SC DHEC have submitted a Request for Final Review before the SC DHEC Board in regards to the Heath Coggins Broilers permit. The Heath Coggins Broilers is the first six of a total of the 30 new poultry houses being permitted. In the appeal notice, submitted Thursday, Dec. 15, the group believes permitting of the 30 new broiler houses raises serious constitutional and environmental issues that need to be addressed in the SC Administrative Law Court or ultimately civil court if necessary. A spokesman for the group said members of the group opposed to the proliferation of poultry houses in such close proximity to themselves have committed to pooling financial resources for appeals and legal actions. “Although 31 signatures appear on the Request for Final Review, many more citizens expressed a desire to join the action,” said Charles Blackmon “However, at this point it has been decided to proceed as a citizens’ action by the smaller group who reside in close proximity of the new poultry house facilities.” The group is committed to appealing all five new permits for operations that plan to construct six broiler houses each all within 1.25 miles of each other northeast of Mountville. The group plans to ask SC Sen. Danny Verdin, Rep. Mike Pitts, and Laurens County Councilman Stewart Jones for a meeting after Christmas to discuss issues in an effort to find other possible avenues of relief rather than protracted litigation. “The original intent of the Right to Farm movement was to protect an agricultural community from the intrusion of non-farming residents to the point of denying the pre-existing community the right to full use of their property,” Backmon said. “It is the belief of the Mountville group that the Right to Farm concept has been corrupted in the Mountville community. “Reversely the pre-existing, non-poultry community is being denied full use and enjoyment of their property by encroaching new poultry house construction and expansion to the point of over saturation encouraged by overly protective poultry house legislation, conflicting land use legislation, and ineffective SCDHEC regulation.”

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