Comment by 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2023.
Metro will accept comments regarding this application by phone at 503-505-5587 and through the public comment form linked below.
Name and location:
Grimm’s Fuel Company, Inc.
18850 SW Cipole Road, Tualatin, Ore.
Description of facility and application:
Grimm’s Fuel Company, Inc. (Grimm’s) submitted an application to Metro to renew its solid waste facility license to operate a compost facility that receives and processes source-separated yard debris, land clearing debris, horse manure and stable bedding. The facility does not accept food waste.
Grimm’s was established in 1929 and moved to its current location in the early 1970s. The composting operation began in 1975, and Grimm’s has been licensed by Metro since 1997. Metro has worked closely with Grimm's and the local community to mitigate impacts to people living near the facility. In response to past community feedback, Metro required Grimm’s to install an aerated static pile (ASP) compost system to minimize odors. The system installation took place during 2019 and 2020 and has resulted in a 98% reduction in complaints received by Metro between 2018 and 2022. The system uses pressure blowers and pipes to push or pull air through compost piles to maintain the ideal oxygen rates and temperatures for composting, which minimizes nuisances. Metro supported the system installation with a $750,000 Investment and Innovation grant.
Grimm’s has proposed two changes to the facility’s current operation in its license renewal application. Grimm’s submitted a letter explaining the request as well as a letter of support from Green Mountain Technologies (GMT), the company that designed and installed the ASP system. Metro finds the requests to be reasonable and consistent with industry standards. Metro will consider public comments before making a final determination.
- Decrease the frequency of oxygen readings from daily to weekly. Section 6.6 of Grimm’s current Metro license requires that the ASP system provide a minimum aeration of 10% oxygen content to all active compost piles and that the facility monitor and record oxygen levels daily, per the approved operating plan. Grimm’s reported to Metro that it has conducted thousands of oxygen readings since installing the system and that the data shows an average reading of 18.2%.
- Reduce the bio-cover requirement from 12 inches to as needed. Section 6.3 of Grimm’s current Metro license requires Grimm’s to apply and maintain cover material on all compost piles to control and minimize odors. Grimm’s uses a bio-cover that is comprised of finished compost or porous overs (larger pieces of debris screened from finished compost). Section 7.8 of the license requires a minimum depth of 12 inches of bio-cover covering all sides of the piles. In its letter, GMT cited other yard debris compost facilities with ASP systems that manage odors effectively without the use of a bio-cover, including another Metro-licensed facility in the region. GMT recommends the removal of the 12-inch bio-cover requirement and suggests that Grimm’s maintain bio-cover materials on site so that they are readily available to apply should a persistent offsite odor event occur. GMT recommends a 4- to 6-inch bio-cover in those instances.
The Grimm’s property is zoned General Manufacturing (MG) by the City of Tualatin and the facility’s proposed use is conditionally allowed in this zone by the city. The facility holds two permits issued by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ): a Solid Waste Disposal Permit for a Composting Facility and a 1200-Z Industrial Stormwater Discharge Permit. Grimm’s has submitted a complete renewal application to DEQ with the same proposed operational changes as described above. The DEQ Solid Waste Disposal Permit for a Composting Facility expired on Nov. 1, 2023, but will remain in effect until DEQ makes a decision on the renewal application.
A copy of the Metro license renewal application, change request and other related documents are available for viewing below. The public is invited to submit comments by 5 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2023. Metro will consider comments received when determining whether to approve the application and proposed changes to the operation. If approved, the renewed solid waste facility license would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, and remain in effect for five years. Metro will respond to comments received during the public notice period in a staff report, which will be posted to this webpage when available.
Public information session: