Pahokee plant that burned last fall surrenders permit

Courtesy PBC FIre-Rescue

The yard trash collection plant that caught fire last year and smoldered for weeks has surrendered its Solid Waste Authority permit to operate.

Palm Beach County Commissioners, sitting Wednesday as the Authority board, were notified as they prepared to vote to pull the permit of the Sunshine State Biomass Cooperative.

At the board’s Feb. 10 meeting, it voted to suspend the permit and start the process of revoking  it.

Had the board done so, the firm would have been declared an “irresponsible applicant,” which would effectively have barred it from ever obtaining a permit again, Authority Chief Administrative Officer Marc Bruner said after the meeting.

County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose district includes the Glades, told representatives of the firm at Wednesday’s meeting that she hopes they can “straighten things out” and return, bringing jobs and revenue back.

Sunshine State had started operations in March 2015 on 25 acres near a now-closed farmer’s market. A fire — operators blamed spontaneous combustion — started Nov. 14; its owners later conceded it burned for three days and smoldered for several weeks.

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