New Kent farmland might become sludge dumping ground - WNEM TV 5

New Kent farmland might become sludge dumping ground

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Farmland in the northeast portion of New Kent could soon be the place where industrial waste is dumped.

It's a prospect that doesn't sit well with some people. In fact a group called citizens against sludge has created a Facebook page to inform others. They're also calling on leader to take action.

New Kent County Administrator Rodney Hathaway says they're listening.

"Right now our board of supervisors have not taken a position on the application we are in the fact finding and information gathering phase," Hathaway said.

A company called Synagro has applied for a state permit to dump the sludge or industrial waste on farm land in several counties including New Kent, Hanover and Prince George. A spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality said the sludge would be used like a fertilizer. 

According to the DEQ, dozens of people have expressed concern over the permit. That's one reason why no decision has been made.

Synagro wants to use about 800 acres in New Kent to dump the waste, and that's a concern for some because all of the land is so close to the Pamunkey River.

"We want to know how it's going to impact our ground water. We are a rural community served by wells. I mean we want to make sure our residents are going to be safe," Hathaway said.

There is also another worry: the smell of all that waste.

The DEQ says these kinds of permits are not issued without careful consideration.

"The main factor in deciding on the permit will be to make sure we can protect the environment and peoples health," DEQ's spokesperson Bill Hayden said. 'That's the main thing we look at, and that's what we will continue to look at, and our decision will be based on the ability to accomplish that."

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