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Local residents voice concerns over sewer sludge treatment facility in Wayne County

Back in November 2019 there was a presentation given to officials in the town of Butler over a proposed Bio Solid Composing facility.

The project was proposed for a piece of property located on Route 89 in the town of Butler, which is currently owned by Sand and Gravel, LLC.

The proposed facility would consist of two buildings, an in-ground 4,000 tank, which would be made of concrete, and a mobile misting system to help address odor concerns.

The point of the facility would be to treat waste brought in from New York City.

After news began to circulate around the region this past weekend that the proposal looked to be moving forward – questions came up.

Last week, Tully Environmental returned and gave another presentation about the facility. A special use permit application has been submitted for review. However, developers submitted the short-form, and officials determined that the long-form would be necessary for this project.

Tully says that will be coming soon.

They told officials that the facility will have to meet strict requirements outlined by the DEC.

According to the Times of Wayne County, Town Councilor Duane VanGelder said that residents should “have a right to do what they want with their own property, within the law.”

VanGelder says that in this case, everything the owners has done so far, is what they are required to do. “As for the complaint of smells…even I am surrounded by farms and swails. We are in an open rural area, and we expect these things,” he added.

Supervisor David Spickerman added, “We are following the law and making the owner file all necessary permits. Other than that, we are not judging.”

Tom Mettler, Superintendent for Waste Water in Village of Wolcott took to Facebook to let his thoughts be known about the proposal. “Doing some research, I have learned about biosolid and sewage sludge,” Mettler said. “The sludge is human and animal feces, industrial chemicals, medical wastes, oil products, pesticides etc. Curing sewage does not remove toxins. Pathogens, chemicals, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, poisons, and toxins settle into the sludge. The product of all this is sold as fertilizer to farmers and gardeners and can be labelled as organic. It ruins farmland, people’s health etc. The odor from this composting is carried possibly miles from 89.”

They will answer questions again next month when Tully returns to the next Butler Town Board meeting.

Eventually, a vote will take place, but that’s still likely multiple decision cycles away.