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Report: Produce facility proposed for Lompoc could have environmental impacts

Posted at 4:24 PM, Dec 02, 2018

A produce facility proposed for Lompoc could have potentially significant environmental impacts, according to an environmental impact study recently shared by the City of Lompoc.

Sure Fresh Produce, which would employ around 100 workers, would consist of production and support facilities for the receiving, processing, freezing, storage and shipping of local, fresh produce.

According to its website, Sure Fresh Produce was founded in 1986 by a small group of farmers in Southern California that “believed in their high-quality vegetables.”

The proposed facility, which would be built over five phases on an area of land south of the Lompoc Airport, has generated several environmental concerns regarding the potential impact on air and water.

The conclusion of the 81-page report states that the issues found within the current proposal have been adequately analyzed and will be addressed with mitigation measures. The report also notes that a supplemental environmental impact report is required to address the impacts that have not yet been addressed.

Areas of concern within water quality are whether the project violates any water quality standards or waste discharge requirements if the project substantially depletes groundwater supplies or interferes with groundwater recharge and otherwise substantial degradation of water quality.

The study found that further analysis is needed on the level of water-quality impacts.

Air quality concerns arise in the areas of potential for violations to any air quality standard, the potential for increased pollution, exposing sensitive and foul odors that affect a substantial number of people.

The study found that further analysis is needed on the level of air-quality impacts.

Hazardous materials could create a significant impact, according to the study, due to Sure Fresh’s plans to use ammonia for refrigeration that would be stored in high-pressure ammonia vessels in the support yard of the facility. Furthermore, liquefied petroleum gas used as fuel for the forklifts would be stored and dispensed in the receiving yard, according to the report.

Further analysis of the potential impacts of hazardous materials is recommended in the report.

The public has until Dec. 3 to comment on the project by visiting the Lompoc City website.