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Poultry operation eyes Aiken County

Posted: August 19, 2014 - 1:35pm

A new poultry farm could be coming to Aiken County.

Buffie’s Poultry Farm will be coming to Salley, 35 miles east of Aiken, provided
it receives a state agricultural permit.

There are already 224 poultry farms in Aiken County, according to the 2012 agriculture census. That is a 57 percent jump since 2007.

Aiken is among the top five counties producing broilers, young chickens raised for meat, according to the South Carolina Poultry Federation. The state is 17th in the nation in egg production.

Despite such growth, poultry farms also raise local objections.

In March 2013, a businessman proposing an eight-barn poultry farm 60 miles north of downtown Aiken prevailed against a community challenge.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control board sided with P&W Poultry in New­berry County and upheld its permit after listening to residents express fears of dust, pollution,
clouds of dander, manure odors, truck traffic and water contamination.

Aiken County is not alone in its plans to add more chickens to its landscape.

New poultry farms are also proposed for Oconee and Newberry counties, while the owners of the existing Chicken Shak LLC are asking state regulators for permission to expand its operation in Clarendon County.

The public can comment on the Aiken County proposal, which also includes plans for managing manure, for the next 25 days.

If DHEC receives at least 20 written comments, state regulators will hold a public hearing on the proposed farm.

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