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Planning Commission Meeting Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 at 7PM

 

 All Centre Township residents, there will be a planning commission meeting tonight, Wednesday, December 16th, at 7PM. The planning commission didn't think there would be a meeting this month unless plans were submitted or other items that needed to be heard would be put on the agenda. I do not know what the meeting agenda will be, if it will have anything to do with Boyd and his plans or not, but I suggest no matter what to be in attendance, because being part of the township should mean being concerned about all things that go on, not just Boyd and his 4 CAFO's. I can say with confidence that there will be other farms in the future seeking approval for chicken and duck operations, so this isn't a one time concern, so please keep that in mind if you decide to skip a meeting.

 

 I also can tell you that nothing has been done to cover the 100 ton piles of Class A Bio Sludge that has and continues to be stored at the former Stein farm, now Boyd farm, even though the moratorium was put into effect last month at the meeting stating that no more bio-solids could be trucked into the township and/or applied to any field. It was also stated that Mr. Boyd would be contacted and made to cover the piles that continue to leach into the ground effecting the ground water table below, as well as leaching into the nearby spring/creek tributary every time it rains.

 

 Those piles remain uncovered. The DEP was out the day after the last meeting I'm sure from a phone call from the township engineer, and once again the same representative of the DEP told George Stein that he sees nothing wrong with the 100 tons of human waste sitting uncovered like it has been since before June of this year. This is complete and utter BS! That is like saying if there was 100 tons of Nitrogen sitting uncovered since June that it would have no ill effect on the water table below, or the creek aside of it. This is exactly why farmers are made to have a nutrient program, to show what fields have used what products, how much application rate, and crop rotation.

 

 This guy is a problem, a nightmare, and is the reason so much heat is being placed on all farming operations in our township. One bad egg spoils the basket, and sorry to say with this guys track record he is nothing but trouble. I don't care what the DEP says about the piles, that guy is wrong, dead wrong, and if it is so healthy I will personally pay to have that 100 tons hauled and put next to his house where he can enjoy the smell, the heavy metals, the bacteria that started re growing months ago, and the pharmaceutical content that remains in it. Matter of fact if anyone on the Planning Commission, or the Board of Supervisors thinks having 100 tons of this crap stockpiled poses no human threat I will make the same offer to have it hauled and put next to their house for their enjoyment. Enough is enough already, time to tell Boyd to take a hike. He clearly doesn't play by the rules, so that is case enough to reject his proposal for putting in any kind of chicken, duck, or turkey operation in the CAFO format on that plot of land.

 

 

 

 

Galen Boyd Proposed 4 Broiler House Operation Information Plus His Use Of Biosolids/Human Waste In Our Township..

  
Galen Boyd, who is a resident of South Lebanon somehow purchased the farm from longtime Centre Township resident George Stein. The farm is located at 581 Pine Road, just off of Pony Road, and Belleman's Church Road, in Mohrsville PA.

 

Mr. Boyd has been conducting questionable practices since purchasing the farm from George Stein. Many residents witnessed the truck loads of biosolids, or human waste, which is supposed to be "Class A" waste being stored near a township phone communications location last year (2014). If you would like to learn about biosolids/human waste please click here or visit the link on our Main Menu. The waste was trucked in from South Lebanon township by Boyd's son, (which we have found no permit to do this within Berks County limits on record) and was stockpiled for months before it was applied to the fields along Pony Road, Belleman's Church Road, and Pine Road. Currently local and state government does not have a problem with spreading biosolids if done correctly. That is a big if since it has been clear that Mr. Boyd doesn't play by the rules, or follow them, which threw up a big red flag.

 

The biosolids/human waste that was stockpiled just feet off of Pony Road was then applied on top of what we call a hard pack, or frozen ground that had ice and snow build up on it. This presents a major problem and is a major no no. When it rains, and it did rain, the biosolids never penetrated the frozen ground, and on the slops that the Boyd, previously Stein farm has we can calculate that 80 to 90% of those biosolids/human waste ran down the fields and into the tributary/small spring fed stream that starts on the farm property. This stream then flows down through other farms on it's way to eventually meeting up with the Schuylkill River about 3 1/2 miles away.

 

Compounding an already contaminated problem, late in May of 2015 once again Galen Boyd had his son truck in yet more biosolids/human waste. This time it was stored in 2 concrete sided bunkers. The bunkers are not covered by a roof, nor is the base, or floor of either bunker made out of concrete, they are simply stone bottoms. The piles equal out to 100 TONS of biosolids/human waste that was to be applied to the farm land just after the crops were taken off this fall.

 

That never happened, and the piles remain in place, which since being rained on countless times and turning into a liquid tar like substance continues to migrate into the same tributary/small spring fed stream on farm property. Having this 100 tons of biosolids/human waste uncovered and exposed is not only poisoning the creek, and river it flows into, more to the point those piles are filtering mass amounts of heavy metals, pharmaceutical waste, and other contaminants directly into the ground which is polluting the aquifers that host our residents well water.  

 

Biosolids/human waste present major health hazard to humans, and this is why a lawsuit is pending judgment in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The case is Synagro vs. Gilbert and has been ongoing for sometime now. Pending the verdict, it could give local townships a right to ban the use of biosolids/human waste from being trucked into, being applied to any land, or stockpiled to be sold from taking place. If the verdict goes in favor of Synagro who is the corporate giant who loves giving biosolids away free, well then local townships basically have no legal right to ban biosolids/human waste from being used within their township.

 

Centre Township has momentarily put a moratorium on hauling any biosolids/human waste into the township for the intent of spreading it onto land or storing it for resale. The moratorium also states that no farmer, or any other township resident shall be permitted to apply any existing biosolids/human waste stockpiles that they may have on their property. The temporary ban also states that any stockpiled biosolids/human waste must be covered by roof or waterproof tarps to help contain possible leaching when it rains, plus also to hamper the smell.

 

This moratorium was put into effect (Monday, November 16th, 2015) by having the members of Berks County Friends of Family Farm press the Board of Supervisors in Centre Township to step up and support our residents and farmers who are opposed to using biosolids/human waste in our township. It wasn't easy, but it was a major step in the right direction, and lets hope that the Supreme Court case rules against Synagro.

 

Galen Boyd has also submitted plans through Red Barn Builders in his quest for getting approved to build 4 Chicken Broiler houses on the property at 581 Pine Road. Each house will measure 63' x 500'. There will also be a proposed 60' x 80' compost building, which in short will be used to put the dead chickens into to, as well as the chicken manure prior to being trucked off of the property.

 

The farmland is in the Berks County land preservation which in our view one would think it is to pressure tillable farm land, or grazing land which it has been used for in the past. This is not the case, as you can tell if he is permitted to build 4 factory buildings on a preserved piece of farm land it will turn a once family farm into nothing more than a factory owned and operated business.

 

Through many hours of research and countless hours of help from SRAP, which stands for Socially Responsible Agricultural Project we have learned of other Poultry operations that are being constructed in the township as this is being written. We have a Duck House which will be built just off of Main Street in Mohrsville, and 2 Chicken Broiler Houses being built just off of Stone, and Pony Road, in Mohrsville.

 

Currently in our township we have 2 existing farms that have poultry/egg laying operations. One operation is for egg laying in which the eggs are used in the pharmaceutical industry. The other operation is a Broiler house for chickens. These have been in our township and yes on certain days, with the way the wind blows we smell the chicken manure, and some neighbors have chicken feathers blowing into their yards.

 

With the addition of the 2 poultry house that are going in now we will have a total of 4 operations located all within 1/2 mile of each other. If you weigh in the proposed 4 Broiler operations that Galen Boyd wants to build we would have a total of 8 factory sized buildings again, all within 1/2 mile of each other. An aerial view using Google Maps will show within that same radius and a little further that there are many residential homes which have been in the township for 25 plus years.

 

This is a quality of life issue which is what our residents are fighting for and will not give up on. Like farmers, residents who are all tax payers and work to make a living also pay bills or will be evicted from their homes. The studies that have been done by professionals tell us that homes located within a close proximity of these factory farms will see their property value degrade at an alarming rate. Who would want to live near 8 factory buildings with the smell, the traffic, the noise, the flies, the rodents, and having our well water being drained by these operations on a daily basis. The answer is nobody with common sense would think about spending a dime to purchase your property, your nest egg, forgive the pun which will now be worth next to nothing.

 

 

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