William Douglass is staying on top of developing issues that will affect our community. One concern is a property off US 41 (east of 951) at East and Riggs Road. It is and should be of concern to us all, as it impacts environmentally sensitive lands, Rookery Bay headwaters and our precious natural resources.
The project plan has requested a conditional use to allow the 16.46 acre property be permitted for a facility for the collection, transfer, processing, and reduction of horticultural, solid waste (including clean concrete) and an accessory use of incidental retail sale of processed horticultural material (topsoil and mulch) within a Rural Agricultural Zoning District.
The project application includes a Concrete Crushing and Air Curtain Incinerator right in the midst of our environmentally sensitive lands and near residential neighborhoods.
As a commissioner I would not support the project to include Concrete Crushing or Incineration, as such could have a significant impact on our health, quality of life, home values, and our environment.
Environmental and Quality of Life Impacts.
It has been found that any discharge (intentional or accidental) of crushed concrete dust (or slurry) into drains, sewers, ponds may increase particulate levels that can be harmful to aquatic organisms and water supplies. And in residential areas close to Concrete Crushing activities, neighbors are being affected by complain of noise and dust potential health effects of exposure. View report on potential hazards of concrete crushing – click here
Air Curtain Incineration
Air Curtain Incineration (ACI) is regarded as a controlled form of open burning. Such ACI have, for example, a 15-18 ton per hour capacity, burning wood debris. This will no doubt result in emission of smoke and particulates (PM10, CO, NOx, SOx and VOC) into the air and are comparable to the emissions of biomass power plants. ACI’s are known to have visible emissions during the approximately 10-30 minute start-up period before the air curtain is engaged. Also, when new material is added to the firebox, the flow of the air curtain is broken, and the ACI emits smoke. View Report on potential hazards for air quality with incineration – click here.
This property is located in an area zoned Rural Agricultural District. The purpose and intent of the rural agricultural district is to provide lands for agricultural and rural land uses by accommodating traditional agricultural, agricultural related activities and facilities, support facilities related to agricultural needs, and conservation uses, says the county code. The use is generally considered compatible to agricultural uses that would not endanger or damage the agricultural, environmental, potable water, or wildlife resources of the County, are permissible as conditional uses in the district.
The application requests approval for a collection and transfer site for resource recovery, further says that the present use of the property is a private horticultural waste resource recovery. The conditional uses for Rural Agricultural Lands includes:
Collection and transfer sites for resource recovery
Asphalt and concrete batch facility as approved uses. However, what is described in this application is more like a Construction and Demolition Debris Disposal and Recycling center, not what they are attempting to get an approval to obtain.
The Request for Collection and Transfer Site
Florida Administrative Codes say that a transfer station means a facility the primary purpose of which is to store or hold solid waste for transport to a processing or disposal facility. Doesn’t say anything about concrete crushing or air incineration, both appear to be a form of disposal rather than collection.
The Reality – And County Response
The current application appears to be more than a collection and transfer site. It appears to be more for construction debris, demolition and recycling operation. In February Collier County rejected and asked for the applicant to resubmit the application. “Based on public concern recorded on 2-10-20 and subsequent staff discussion, staff has determined that the concrete crusher is not a compatible use for the site and the surrounding neighborhoods. As such, omit all references of the concrete crusher from all submitted documents and site plans and resubmit.”
The Future Efforts
The applicant has spent nearly $10,000 to permit this site as a construction, demolition debris disposal and recycling facility. They are not going to stop nor can we. There are other industrial areas that are better to place this type of business. It is not just this step, once this is approved we can be assured a new area for industrial activity will unfold.
Help STOP it now! Our quality of life and our environment depend on it. Sign Up below to keep on top of this issue and we’ll keep you informed of what actions we’ll need to take moving forward and how you can help.