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April 28, 2017     Cape Gazette
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April 28, 2017

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SUNDAY IS INDUSTRY NIGHT! with $10 Famous Espresso Martinis 2000 Coastal Hwy • Dewey Beach,DE • 302-227-4600 $8 Oysters (1/2 doz.) $8 Shrimp (1/2 lb.) $8 Mussels (1lb.) $8 Steamed Clams (1 doz.) $5Wines $5 Rails $3 Select Craft Cans $2.50 16oz.Natty BOHS! Open 7 Days a Week HAPPY HOUR Mon.-Fri. 3-6 PM Starboard VIP Ales Free Steamed Shrimp DJ Woody 7 PM Come join Greg Plummer behind the bar! Monday, May 1, 2017 • 7pm 1 Year Anniversary Party! The UPS Store 18766 John J. Williams Hwy • Rehoboth Beach, DE 302-360-0264 • Fax: 302-360-0267 Hours: M-F 7:30-6 • Sat 8-2 Shredding Solutions Provided Here What to Shred: • Office paper (Any color or size) • File folders (Any color or size) • No need to remove: - Staples - Paper clips - Rubber bands - Small binder clips Mobile Notary Services 20% OFF SHREDDING Must Present Coupon 16 FRIDAY, APRIL 28 - MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017 NEWS Cape Gazette By Melissa Steele Odors, not nitrate runoff, are Sussex County Council's main concern as it considers a conditional-use application for a compost business south of Milford, a state environmental scientist said during a hearing on the project. In 2005, owner Bruce Blessing began his compost operation on about 30 acres a few miles from Fowler Beach. His busi- ness has been the source of odor complaints and Department of Natural Resources and Environ- mental Control violations since 2012. Brian Churchill, an envi- ronmental scientist with the Department of Natural Resourc- es and Environmental Control, spoke during a public hearing April 25 on Blessing Greenhous- es and Compost's application to allow the business to continue operating its Draper Road facil- ity. “Are there things we should be looking at that you could make suggestions?” asked Councilman George Cole. “You're the experts on the environment, I'm not.” Churchill said testing of groundwater wells on Blessing's site has revealed little impact on area groundwater and surface water “My opinion, at this point, is the facility has minimal impact on groundwater, minimal impact on surface water and Slaughter Creek,” he said. Churchill said based on water tests, most of the nitrate and other water contamination like- ly comes from nearby chicken houses and other agricultural activities. “The nitrate found in testing unlikely comes from Blessing's,” he said. “My opinion is the main concern should be the odors.” Churchill added that previous meetings have recommended re- ducing odors by 90 percent. But other than a sniff test that can clearly detect foul smells emit- ting from the property, he had no other recommendation on how the county should address odor complaints. Stinky business About a dozen neighbors at- tended the hearing to let council know about the smells. “Over the years, it's gotten really bad. It's putrid,” said Geral- dine Maher, a neighbor who lives Residents: Compost operation stinks Blessing seeks conditional use to expand FILE PHOTO BRUCE BLESSING is seeking a conditional use from Sussex County Council to operate his compost business south of Milford. on Draper Road. “This mess stinks,” said neigh- bor Alan Bennett. “Do you want this in your backyard? I don't think any of you do.” Sharon Stevens lives about a quarter mile away and said she has no problem with Blessing's business proposal. The odors are a different matter. “So far what he has done with the facility has been complete negligence,” she said. “I have not seen anything different with Mr. Blessing that would prove he's going to run his business any different.” DNREC's Churchill also said the facility has produced foul odors. “I've been there when it's pretty bad, but it's not as bad as it once was,” he said. Carol Tani said she likes her home, but foul odors and bugs make it unbearable at times. “Don't let him get bigger until he fixes what's wrong. If you let him get five times bigger, you'll have five times the problems.” William Stephens, of Stephens Environmental Consulting Inc., said Blessing plans to build seven new 11,000-square-foot covered buildings with 12-inch concrete floors capable of processing 4,000 cubic yards of compost at a time. County violation Blessing began his compost Continued on page 20