Poultry house permit effective Dec. 15

DHEC today (Nov. 30) issues an agricultural permit
The poultry house industry is not the first agricultural monoculture to bring woe to our county. King cotton once monopolized our farming community. Certainly a few grew wealthy but our county was left a legacy of slavery, depleted soil, eroded landscapes and silted waterways. Close on the coattails of cotton production came the expansion of the textile mill monoculture in Laurens County in the 1920s. Again a few prospered but the majority was left a legacy of paternalism and a lack of diversity in job skills that plague our local economy to this day." - Charles Blackmon

The first of 5 new poultry operations set for the Mountville/Lisbon Road area of Laurens County today (Nov. 30) received the issuance of an agricultural permit by SC DHEC.

Effective date for the permit is Dec. 15, according to a DHEC (Department of Health & Environmental Control) legal notice. The permittee is Heath Coggins Broilers, Lisbon Road, Mountville. The notice says, "The proposed farm will have a normal production live weight at any one time of 1,081,080 pounds. Waste from the farm will be handled by contract disposal with a permitted manure broker."

Mountville/Lisbon Road residents have expressed concerns about the number of proposed poultry operations in the community east of Clinton (Hwy 72 E, route to Greenwood over the Lake Greenwood bridge) since September. Chicken house proponents say state regulations are tight enough to prevent environmental problems, and the farms are a form of economic development. Opponents say no one is going to want to move to Laurens County if they are going to have to live beside a chicken farm, or farm land being spread with chicken manure.

"More than 50 active poultry houses currently exist within 5 1/2 miles of Mountville. DHEC is poised to permit 30 new poultry houses within 1 mile of each other just NE of Mountville," opponent Charles Blackmon told the Laurens County Council, asking for a county-issued moratorium on new chicken houses. "DHEC tells us that manure brokers will be responsible for the transport and distribution of this waste and in my opinion the regulation of the manure brokers seem less than needed currently."

If opponents want to, they can file a protest of the Heath Coggins Broilers permit and pay a $100 "filing fee" to DHEC. 

"Parties filing a request for final review are asked to include a statement of the grounds on which they challenge the Department's decision and the specific changes they are seeking in the decision," the DHEC legal ad says. If a review is requested, the DHEC board has 60 days in which to conduct the review. If the review is not conducted within 60 days, the person(s) seeking the review may ask for a contested case before the Administrative Law Court. That request has to be made within 30 days.


Heath Coggins Broilers public notice No. 16-208-A; permit number 19876-AG

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