A set of rules aimed at controlling odors that residents of West Columbia, South Carolina, said were coming from a House of Raeford Farms poultry plant, have been tabled by the West Columbia City Council.
The city in October had given preliminary approval to a set of rules that would authorize fines of up to $500 for a violation and up to 30 days in jail if an odor “annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others.” Under the proposed rules, complaints from at least six residents or any city public safety official would prompt a check into odors.
The council was planning a November vote concerning the implementation of the rules, but West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton told The State that it was putting the rules on hold for weveral months, stating that the city is “pushing it off for a while to see if they can come up with a solution for the problem.”
House of Raeford spokesman Dave Witter, also communicating with The State, said that the company is working with consultants “to achieve the best possible solutions.”
The poultry plant has been a part of House of Raeford Farms’ operations since 1998, but the plant itself is about 60 years old.
Earlier in 2017, the city had denied a variance submitted by the company, which hoped to add a room to the plant because it needed more electricity.
House of Raeford Farms, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, is the eighth largest broiler company in the United States, having produced 27.35 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2017. However, the company’s production capacity has been diminished in 2017 after a fire occurred on February 25 at its plant in Teachey, North Carolina. House of Raeford Farms is rebuilding the facility.