Community upset at proposed jellyball processing plant - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Community upset at proposed jellyball processing plant

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BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) -

In the Lowcountry, it was a packed house at the James Davis Elementary School Thursday night and the majority of people didn't shy away from voicing their opposition to a jellyball company coming to their neighborhood.

There was plenty of opposition against Carolina Jellyballs at Thursday night's community meeting. The company is looking to establish a processing plant at the site of the old Lobeco Chemical Company.

"We've always worried about the plant that was here before, but I was just as worried about the drinking water whether they wash and clean all these jellyfish," said Lobeco resident Brenda Spitzer.

People stood against the wall waiting to get answers on what could be arriving in their community later this month.

After a brief overview by CEO Steven Giese and an environmental consultant, both came under fire about environmental concerns and practices.

Beaufort County Councilman Gerald Dawson, who organized the meeting, intervened more than once to keep order.

"We realize that this is very emotional, allow for Neil to ask the question, allow the gentlemen to answer the question," said Dawson.  

Many questions centered on the impact of the jellyball discharge on the estuaries and wildlife in Campbell Creek.

Giese said the discharge is almost like saltwater but the group admitted they couldn't test its impact beforehand.  

"This [was a] dog and pony show that they had tonight," said Seabrook resident Joe Berger, who is part of a grassroots movement aimed at blocking Carolina Jellyballs.  

"To stop this steamroller which Carolina Jellyballs has set in motion," he added.  

Sea Eagle Market owner Craig Reaves said, "there is legitimate concern. Obviously there was a chemical plant there for generations. I'm not an expert, maybe they should look for a different location, maybe this former chemical plant isn't the place to do it."  

It's clear that tonight's meeting didn't change the minds of many people.

Carolina Jellyballs permits are still under review by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

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