Panel OKs wastewater recycling plant permit |

Panel OKs wastewater recycling plant permit

Doug Crowl

— A waste-water recycling operation that was shut down three years ago because of environmental concerns got the go-ahead to reopen from the Routt County Planning Commission Thursday.

Planning Commission recommended for approval Lou Wyman’s special use permit for Pagoda Pure Water Recycling after officials declared that the site met county and state environment standards.

The recycling operation is in the southwest corner of the county and primarily deals with water contaminated by oil.

Wyman’s business was shut down because the oil slicks in the holding ponds “were getting dangerously close to the edge of the pond,” Assistant Planning Director Caryn Fox said.

Monitoring wells surrounding the ponds showed that none of the oil contaminated the ground water, she said.

Wyman’s operation was declared environmentally OK by county officials in February but Darrell Dearborn, with the state’s Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division, said the facility was not in compliance with the minimal standards of the Solid Waste Disposal Sites and Facilities Act.

“On Friday, we got letters (from the state) that said everything was OK,” Fox said.

Routt County Director of Environmental Services Mike Zopf confirmed that the site was ready for operation.

“It’s been a long time coming and I certainly support Lou’s efforts,” he said. “The plant can now service under the law of Colorado and Routt County.”

Commissioner Doug Baker brought up a concern about seeding some of the hills surrounding the pounds.

Wyman said that all the hills are seeded and any of the ones that may have been left out will be done.

His recycling business separates oil from water by evaporating the water in the holding ponds. Wyman then resells the oil. The operation is the only one of its kind in the Routt County.

In other business Thursday night, the Routt County Planning Commission:

  • Tabled a request to build a maintenance building at the Milner landfill. Doug Bell, the manger of the landfill, told commissioners that the building would be used to store equipment and as a place to clean and repair machinery. Commissioners told Bell that they needed more detailed information about building materials, exterior lighting and water drainage from cleaning the equipment. Also, commissioners wanted to know what was going to be done about keeping low visibility of the building from adjoining properties and surrounding roads.
  • Discussed a section of the county master plan, which is being updated. Commissioners decided that public input for a plan of growth would be needed in Phippsburg and Milner. Commissioners also determined that planning for commercial recreational properties in rural areas, like guest ranches, would be determined on the size of the property. The more intensity of the use, the more land it has to have.

— To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail

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