The Morning Star Packing Company – Williams, CA (Morning Star) is a tomato processing facility that produces bulk tomato paste. The facility operates seasonally, from June through November. The facility is regulated by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB) under Waste Discharge Requirements Order No. R5-2019-0013 (2019 WDRs). The existing treatment ponds and the land application of process water fall under WDRs. Monitoring at the facility is regulated under the associated Monitoring and Reporting Program No. R5-2019-0013 (2019 MRP). Morning Star intends to operate the proposed composting facility as a Tier 1 operation, as defined by the Composting General Order (CGO). The proposed composting facility will be located on Morning Star’s field MS36, a vacant agricultural field. Field MS36 is located in unincorporated Colusa County. This field is within the boundary of Morning Star’s tomato processing facility, as represented in the 2019 WDRs; however, this field is not designated for wastewater disposal and is not included in the water balance from the 2019 WDRs. As a result, the composting facility was proposed to be regulated under General Waste Discharge Requirements for Composting Operations (Order WQ 2020-0012-DWQ; CGO), but will now be issued a temporary permit to operate in 2021 and have the composting facility incorporated into the existing WDRs referenced above.
The facility produces significant amounts of tomato processing wet waste 20,000 cubic yards. Historically Moring Star has utilized other options to eliminate the plant waste. These options are no longer available or feasible for plant to utilize. As a result, Morning Star has applied for a Use Permit to conduct a composting facility as required by the project sites Exclusive Agricultural (E-A) zoning.
The composting facility will be capable of handling the full extent of the plant’s tomato waste (approximately 20,000 cubic yards per season). In addition to the plant’s tomato wet waste (ratio 5 to 12), the composting facility will utilize mushrooms (ratio 3 to 12), rice hulls (ration 2 to 12), and almond shells (2-12) in the compost mixture. No additives or amendments will be added to the compost mixture. The composting facility will be capable of handling 25,000 cubic yards of compost at any one time. The 25,000 cubic yards will includes, raw feed stocks, active and inactive compost.
The proposed composting facility will consist of the following components:
• An approximately 21.5-ac active and finished compost area
• An approximately 5-ac feedstock storage area
• An equipment cleaning area
• An equipment storage area
• A wastewater collection and discharge system
The proposed composting facility’s wastewater collection system is the only proposed construction at the present time. The wastewater collection system will consist of ditches bordering the active compost area to the north and east and a wastewater collection sump located in the northeast corner of the site, as shown in the site map provided below. The site gradient is to the northeast; therefore, all wastewater from the composting process will drain into these ditches and ultimately to the wastewater collection sump, where it will be pumped out for reuse or disposal (see vicinity map and site plan below).