WOC Brewery EDU Request OK’d

SNOW HILL – County officials approved sewer capacity for a farm brewery on Route 611 but only after imposing a variety of conditions on the project.

The Worcester County Commissioners this week voted unanimously to approve a request for six EDUs (equivalent dwelling units) for Assateague Island Farm LLC. Property owner Paul Carlotta plans to add a 6,450-square-foot brewery and restaurant to his existing Route 611 roadside stand.

Though commissioners expressed some concern about the various conditions staff recommended go along with the approval, in the end they approved the request with the added requirements. Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kelly Shannahan said the conditions would ensure the Mystic Harbour Sanitary Service Area wasn’t negatively impacted by the project.

“We want to be sure that brewery waste is never introduced into our system,” he said.

According to Shannahan, the county’s sewer committee reviewed Carlotta’s request for six EDUs and had a variety of concerns. According to the committee, brewery waste has been reported to be 30 to 50 times the strength of domestic waste and could jeopardize operations at the wastewater treatment plant. Because of that, Carlotta plans to use wastewater from the brewery for agricultural irrigation. Public water supply would go to the roadside stand and restaurant.

To ensure the county’s treatment plant wasn’t impacted by the brewery, the sewer committee recommended Carlotta comply with 11 conditions if he were to receive EDU approval. Among the conditions are the requirement that Carlotta have a subdivision plat to separate the proposed brewery from the roadside stand as well as the requirement that a wastewater holding tank be installed for times when wastewater can’t be used for irrigation. He’ll also have to get approval from the Maryland Department of the Environment for the land application of food processing wastewater, among other things.

Commissioners Jim Bunting and Bud Church questioned the need for the array of conditions. Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said he recalled that a brewery in Ocean City had faced similar requirements.

The commissioners voted to approve the request with the accompanying conditions though they extended the associated deadline to Dec. 31, 2020, rather than Dec. 31, 2019.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.