On or about May 15, 2019 neighbors on Porter Mill Road became aware of plans to construct a chicken and other waste storage tank on the property at the corner of Porter Mill and Riggin roads. At this point other people were contacted and the group decided to meet to find out more about the construction and how it would impact the community.
At the first meeting it was decided that a petition would be circulated to engage the community beyond the initial members. There was an urgency due to the fact that the person responsible for the tank had applied for a building permit and that the permit was near approval. On May 19 the petition was circulated to residents on Porter Mill Road, Riggin Road, Deerfield Road, Jarret Drive, Braggs Lane, Bevin Lane, Barbara Ann Lane and Main Street. The petition's text follows.
The construction of a 3-million-gallon open storage tank for the use of poultry and Valley Protein, Inc by-products will greatly impact the quality of life in our neighborhood. The proposed storage tank will be constructed on property at the corner of Riggin Rd. and Porter Mill Rd. We are very concerned about the following: traffic and safety, health and environmental, property values.
We, the undersigned, petition the Wicomico County Council to reviews the situation prior to approving the permit to build the tank. We ask that you consider the issues which have already been communicated to you be email as well as determining whether this is strictly an agricultural venture or is actually industrial operating as a storage and distribution hub.
Eighty-one residents signed the petition. As the petition was circulated, the responsible group found that residents had similar concerns about the slurry/sludge already being applied to the fields near their homes and had notified the council, and the Maryland Department of Agriculture.