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“I may not be where I want to be, but I'm thankful for not being where I used to be.”
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 11 November 2020  

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  “Compost Business Concerns Neighbors,” October 2020
  All letters are not edited

   This letter is in reference to Pete Gawda’s article “Compost Business Concerns Neighbors” in the Oct. 2020 issue of the NFH. Major concerns expressed by attendees of the Community Meeting held Sept. 16, 2020 are the following: 1) unregulated commercial composting business operating before going through the Special Use Review (SUR) zoning process and 2) unauthorized use of domestic well water.
   
   1. Special Use Review. Greg Laudenslager, Land Use Planner with Elbert County, said it is Community Development and Services’s (CDS) policy to allow an operating business to continue to operate without approval as long as a pre-application has been submitted. Composting is not included in the zoning Land Use Tables, so according to Laudenslager, CDS will be approaching it as “Chemical Storage and Distribution” — which is allowed with a SUR. Elbert County does not have any composting regulations, and the state regulations do not apply. When will Elbert County address composting regulations and environmental safeguards?
   
   2. Water. Colorado Manure Hauling (CMH) is using water from their domestic well,
   supplemented by water from an “anonymous” donor. CMH said water usage is 3,400 gallons per row (3 rows at that time). CMH didn’t know how much water is necessary to maintain the moisture level needed for the composting process. When asked why there are not more horse manure composting facilities, CMH answered the reason is because of the large amount of water usage required. Why didn’t Elbert County question the water usage before accepting the pre-application?
   
   Many of us feel that a composting facility is not compatible with the surrounding area. There is no guarantee this business will be gone in 2 years or remain on a 3 acre site. How much Dawson aquifer water will be used before the Colorado Department of Water Resources has approved their application? Is this a trend to industrialize the area?
   
   - Janice McCall, Peyton
  
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