Water-Related News

Department of Environmental Protection warning letter: BS Ranch may have committed 27 violations

LAKELAND — In a new complaint, Florida Department of Environmental Protection officials say BS Ranch & Farm may have committed 27 violations ranging from failing to provide a human waste storage plan to not processing composting material within 48 hours.

In what is described as a warning letter to the East Lakeland recycling facility, Mary Yeargan, district director of the Florida DEP, wrote earlier this month that violations of state statutes may result in “liability for damages and restoration, and the judicial imposition of civil penalties.”

Earlier this year, neighbors and business owners repeatedly complained about odors coming from the business that recycles human waste, out-of-date food and mulch into soil that is sold to growers.

The facility has been cited five previous times by the DEP for odor issues.

“Please note the Department was careful to verify that the odors were not emanating from other surrounding businesses,” Yeargan wrote earlier this year. “Additionally, the Department has received dozens of odor complaints from surrounding businesses and residents near your facility.”