On Thursday, Lori Aldrich of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation concluded a two-day trip to Kodiak that included extensive meetings with borough and city officials as well as a tour of the 5-acre parcel in Middle Bay that has been leased for the composting project.
While that tour turned up no red flags, Aldrich said the amount of public comments she has received on the proposal means it cannot be approved by Dec. 15.
That date is a deadline set by the borough. After Dec. 15, sewage sludge from Kodiak’s waste treatment plant can no longer be dumped into the landfill due to an ongoing expansion project.
Composting has been chosen as the alternative disposal method, but the proposed plant has been met by protests from neighbors and Kodiak residents concerned about environmental effects in Middle Bay.
“That’s extending the time it’s going to take to get a permit,” Aldrich said.
The city’s backup plan is to store sludge at a storage basin on Coast Guard Base Kodiak until the composting plant opens. Aldrich toured the proposed storage area during her Kodiak visit and said a permit for the storage site will be available before Dec. 15. “I can write an approval for it tomorrow,” she said.
The deadline for public comment on the composting plant is Dec. 3, and suggestions can be emailed to Aldrich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at email@example.com.