City staff are recommending that council reject forwarding an application to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for an Abbotsford chicken manure facility to continue operating in its current format.
The matter comes before council’s executive committee meeting on Monday (July 25).
The facility at 1582 Bradner Rd., across from King Road Elementary, is owned by 93 Land Company and accepts litter from indoor poultry farms throughout the Fraser Valley and sells the manure as fertilizer.
Before 2017, the site was storing poultry manure only from its on-site poultry barn, which is line with ALC regulations and the zoning bylaw for the area.
But since expanding its operations to accept off-site litter, the facility has been the subject of multiple failed inspections.
The Abbotsford school district has frequently heard concerns from students, staff and parents about the excessive odour emanating from the facility, which they say causes headaches, nausea, breathing issues and other symptoms.
A February 2022 report from the Ministry of Environment found that the company was out of compliance with seven requirements related to a permit approval for the discharge of contaminants into the air.
Council must now determine whether the application should be forwarded to the ALC to allow the property to continue operating as is.
But staff are recommending council not forward the application, citing, in part, its history of environmental infractions.
“Since 2017, there have been a total of six inspections by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and two administrative penalties with regard to compliance with regulatory requirements,” the staff report states.
The report also indicates that, during one week in April 2022, the ministry logged 65 complaints to the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line about emissions from the facility.
If council decides to not forward the ALC application, the company will be permitted to limit its manure storage to what is generated on site from its own poultry barns.
The executive committee meeting starts at 3 p.m. Monday in Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.