Pilgrim’s Pride Resubmits Conditional Use and Rezoning Requests for Rendering Plant in Carnesville

Pilgrim’s Pride has resubmitted its application for a conditional use permit along with two rezoning requests to build a $70-million rendering plant on acreage on Highway 320 and I-85 in Carnesville.

The move was made Tuesday afternoon just prior to a called Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday evening in which commissioners voted unanimously to enact a moratorium on any new industrial development in the county until the end of June.

County Commisison Chair Jason Macomson made the announcement about Pilgrim’s after the vote Tuesday evening. Macomson said the moratorium does not affect Pilgrim’s application.

“We need to make one more announcement. We learned that late this afternoon, Pilgrim’s re-submitted their application for rezoning. So, that would not be affected by anything we did tonight because it happened before our meeting. This whole process that we’ve just gone through now has to be repeated. We don’t have any dates yet but as soon as we have a date for a Planning and Zoning hearing, that would be the first step, we will announce them and make them publicly available so everyone is aware of that,” Macomson announced.

Macomson said Pilgrim’s resubmitted their application at 3:05p Tuesday afternoon.

After hearing the announcement Tuesday evening, County Tax Commissioner Bobby Martin, who started the group, Stop The Rendering, said he expected Pilgrim’s to come back.

“We will indeed be ready. We will hit the ground running. This was kind of expected. I thought it might happen. We still have our signs. We still have our group and we will hit the ground running,” he said after the meeting Tuesday evening.

Martin also put up a website called, ‘renderitworthless.com‘ where he has listed multiple environmental violations leveled against Pilgrim’s and the multi-million dollar fines they’ve been forced to pay in other states where their plants are located.

Pilgrim’s had initially withdrawn its application last week when the County Commission refused to back down on a demand they sign a multi-million dollar bond should the plant operation be responsible for any kind of environmental pollution.

At the Planning And Zoning hearing last month, Pilgrim officials promised to be “good neighbors” by building a new state-of-the-art rendering plant that would include its own wastewater treatment plant.

But at that same meeting company officials admitted Pilgrim’s had never built nor run that kind of plant before and could not guarantee it would not cause any environmental issues.

WLHR News has learned that those types of plants that were visited by the Franklin County Industrial Building Authority and members of the Board of Commissioners in Iowa and South Carolina are not owned nor operated by Pilgrim’s Pride.

The concern by the Planning And Zoning Board and the Board of Commissioners is that, based on Pilgrim’s environmental track record, the company would not run the proposed plant in Franklin County responsibly and would subject the county, its citizens, its land, waterways, and air to uncontrolled pollution.

Hence the demand for the multi-million dollar bond.

So far, no date has been set for the board to reconsider Pilgrim’s re-application and the public hearing that would be held with it.

WLHR News will continue to follow this story and bring you more information as it becomes available.