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Proposed Sure Fresh plant in Lompoc could have environmental hazards

The City of Lompoc is considering a proposed processing facility for Sure Fresh Produce. The expenditure has brought some environmental concerns to both the city and its’ residents.

“The concerns would be air quality, hazardous material, potential land use, and utilities….these are the things we think could be affected but we need to study it further,” said Lompoc Principle Planner Greg Stones.

Super Fresh Produce hopes to build their facility on the corner of V Street and Central Ave. The city is asking for residents input by Monday, December 3rd regarding the issue.

An 81-page document on the City of Lompoc Website, titled the Environmental Initial Study for the Sure Fresh Produce Project, outlines details of the potential environmental risk.

“My main concern is air quality. They are bringing in hazardous materials,” said concerned Lompoc resident Stephanie Bond.

Sure Fresh produce has requested to be able to build a piping system that will give them access to well water that can be used to wash vegetables. They then hope to pump the wastewater, after being screened for solid particles, to agricultural fields in Santa Barbara County.

“Anything that we get into our groundwater is very dangerous for this community,” said Bond.

Bond also worries that the vegetable processed water might have an odor.

“If they filter the water out and it goes into a holding reservoir and then goes out into the fields your going to be able to smell that,” claims Bond.

Lompoc has its own wastewater facility that Sure Fresh has requested not to utilize. Bond voiced concerns as to whether the plant will follow the same stringent guidelines as the Lompoc facility to ensure clean and safe water.

The city says they plan to hire an outside consultant to do an analysis of what these potential environmental hazards could be and want the publics comments. Once the Environmental report comes out residents will have 45 days to voice their opinions on its findings.

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