Epcor's proposed manure processing plant has been met with resistance from many people who are concerned about what this could mean for their community.
The facility could be located 13 km north of Strathmore on about 20 acres of land on the northeast corner of Highway 564 and Range Road 253. The location has been a big point of concern, as some wonder why a factory isn't being built in the designated industrial zones.
"We're the people that live in the community here, and we have to deal with it every day. Increased traffic, increased smells, and all the stuff that it does. The county even has allocations for these things to be built in the industrial areas, why aren't they being put there? Why are they being put out in the country out with the rest of us, where we're going to live for the rest of our lives?" said one anonymous source.
Berle Hebbes is another local who shares this concern, as he questions why it has to be built in the community, especially when there are industrial areas like the Goldfinch program west of Carseland or the Highway 1 area structure plan.
"Both those sites have the infrastructure to handle a plant of this magnitude. So I think to put something that isn't fully engineered in a residential/agricultural area is pushing the boundaries," he said.
"I know it would be much more suited to being in an industrial area, where it belongs."
The location is such a big issue because these community members see this processing plant as something that could greatly disrupt their day-to-day lives.
"And the traffic, there's no way around that. That's a busy road and a very busy intersection where I get my mail. You probably have to move the mailboxes. In an industrial area, you have an industrial corridor, you have less residential traffic, which is desirable," Hebbes said.
"It's not just the manure, it's all the other stuff. What other products are they bringing in, and how are they going to smell? How are they going to store it? The plant itself may not smell, but it's the storage of ingredients they need that seems not looked after," said an anonymous source.
"I don't want this stuff in the community. It jeopardizes our land value, it jeopardizes our country style of living," another source said.
On top of the potential smell and traffic increase, some are worried about the engineering itself. Hebbes said there are some plants across the world that have been successful, but others that have failed miserably. And since this proposed plant isn't being built in an industrial area, Hebbes worries that the infrastructure may not be there to support such a large operation. Others say Epcor isn't sharing enough information to instill confidence in the plant.
"We have a lot of concerns, we did go to Epcor's open house and they only had about 50% of the engineering done, but our overarching concern is with the quality of the work that has been done," said Hebbes.
"I've talked to an engineer that actually regulates these plants, and some of the information from them doesn't really coincide. It's not that they're telling us lies, they're just not telling us information. I just don't believe the technology is there, and I don't want to be the guinea pig," an anonymous source said.
The concerns about the lack of supporting infrastructure doesn't end there. One person said they were told that the water used to power the plant could be from the Western Irrigation District (WID), which he believes means they would be taking water away from farmers. However, it is not confirmed that the plant has any plans to use WID as a source of water.
"It's also a plant that's going to use a lot of water. I've talked to WID on water, WID is set up for farming things, to get irrigation for farmers, and now they're saying that WID could possibly be the ones that are going to supply them with water for this."
"They're taking away from people in the area that can possibly want the water for their crops and different things that it was designed for," they said.
Ultimately, the majority of concerns center around one key issue: the location.
"The idea is ok, but I don't want it in my backyard."