Some residents in Robeson County, North Carolina, are asking state regulators to reject an environmental permit that would allow a chicken processing plant to be built in the county.
During a September 17 hearing, about 50 people showed up with 12 people speaking out against the proposed poultry plant, citing the impact it might have on the area groundwater.
The proposed Sanderson Farms plant and wastewater treatment facility will be located near the community of St. Pauls, At full capacity, the poultry complex would employ about 1,100 people and have the capacity to process and sell about 500 million pounds of dressed poultry meat annually. The company’s investment in the plant is estimated at $139 million.
Despite its opposition, Sanderson Farms has gained favor of other governmental groups. The St. Pauls City Commission approved an incentive package that includes providing a tax grant for 10 years equivalent to 50 percent, or about $300,000 a year, of what the company will owe in property taxes. Robeson County also approved an incentives package to Sanderson Farms, based on the company’s projections for capital investment and job creation.
Also, North Carolina’s Golden Leaf Foundation awarded $820,000 to the City of St. Pauls, to help cover the water and infrastructure needs to accommodate the Sanderson Farms expansion.