Crisfield, Westover to Get Biogas Plants - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Crisfield, Westover to Get Biogas Plants

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CRISFIELD, Md.- Crisfield locals say for a true depiction of the economy, all you have to do is look down the street.

"There's no jobs here," said Diane Hill of Crisfield. "No business here much. We got churches and restaurants and that's about it."

Sidewalks are empty, store fronts are vacant, and like Hill said there are no jobs. But that will change. A company has received approval to build biogas plants in Crisfield, and at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover.

The facilities will take manure and mix it with other waste products, sent through a digester, where liquid is added, this process produces methane gas that is trapped and put through large generators to produce electric, and the solids are used for fertilizers for local farmers.

With the new businesses, may come jobs, about 200 of them.

"We need a plant here," Hill said. "No matter if it stinks or not. We need a plant to bring business back into this town."

Bart Crockett, of Crisfield, worries that a chicken plant will bring more than jobs.

"It's just another factor for the bay to get dirtier," Crockett said.

But the company behind the project, EcoCorp, said that is not the case.

"I know they have to put it somewhere, but they can put it somewhere other than the Lower Shore," Crockett said.

When it comes to safety, James Allen from Maryland Environmental Service said there will not be large volumes of gas available for explosion.

Allen also said neighbors will not have to put up with the odor that many fear will be unbearable.

"We have special filtering systems; you will be left with virtually an exhaust of no odor," he said.

Some locals said any effort to boost the Crisfield economy is welcome.

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