Kent Levy Court hears concerns of sludge field’s neighbor

DOVER— Levy Court commissioners on Tuesday discussed the future of Kent County’s purchase of a Frederica-area field to use for spreading waste.

The county purchased the old Vineyard Farm off Carpenters Bridge Road in 2013, paying $1.3 million from its Sewer Fund for the 148-acre property.

The county and state officials said the property will be used infrequently to spread biosolids, which are nutrient-rich organic materials that result from the treatment of domestic sewage.

William Moffett, whose land is next to the field, believes it’s a mistake to spread the land with biosolids.

“I don’t think this is the right place to put it,” Mr. Moffett said. “There are a lot of different issues with this.

“It’s bad for the environment and I can name many different instances that show that this is a mistake to put this there.”

There are two types of biosolids, Class A and Class B. Both have been treated, but those in the Class B category contain “detectible” levels of pathogens, while Class A do not, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Class B biosolids have limits on use, such as buffer zones and crop restrictions, and anyone spreading them in Delaware must have a permit from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

The commissioners said the field rarely would be used for biosolid disposal.

“The likelihood of using this isn’t very good and the likelihood of using this for an extended period of time is even less than that,” Commissioner Eric Buckson said.“I just want to make sure that your data isn’t for a one-time emergency use every 10 years versus us using it daily.”

The commissioners suggested that Mr. Moffett sit and talk with Public Works committee to get more insight as to how the county will use the biosolids.

The field, located near two tributaries to the Murderkill River, sits across the street from a 55-plus community and adjacent to other farms. Browns Branch and Ash Gut run past Frederica and terminate a few miles south of the town.

Prior to the county’s purchase of the land, it was farmed by Robert and Alan Garey.

Robert Garey requested to continue farming the land during the meeting as well.

“We’ve been doing this for a long time,” Mr. Garey said. “We hope to enhance the farming practices in a environmentally conscious way.”

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