Water-Related News

DEP tells BS Ranch to restore wetlands and reduce odors

LAKELAND — An industrial facility that recycles waste must restore five acres of wetlands, enclose areas at the plant likely to generate odors and change the way it processes waste, according to a letter from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The letter from Kirk White, assistant deputy general counsel for the DEP, to Ron Noble, a lawyer for BS Ranch & Farm, details changes the facility must make if its owners want to avoid court.

“The Department views this effort as a final opportunity to avoid a third-party decision-maker,” White wrote Jan. 19. Noble wrote in a response Jan. 26 that the East Lakeland facility owners are pleased the DEP is willing to avoid a courtroom.

“Thank you for the Department’s January 19, 2018 correspondence which sets forth framework and path forward for resolution of the three remaining permitting and compliance matters for the BS Ranch & Farm organic recycling facility located in Polk County, Florida,” Noble wrote.

The DEP and the facility have been at odds for a year. The agency cited the facility in 2017 for violating its permit by creating odors.

BS Ranch & Farm recycles human waste, out-of-date foods and mulch. Complaints about the facility causing an odor began in early 2017.