Residents upset about a judge’s approval to allow an ethanol facility in their neighborhood

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Macon-Bibb Ccounty Planning and Zoning Commission is standing with residents from South Bibb County, who don’t want an ethanol facility in their neighborhood.

The commission plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that cleared the way for a company to come in and build the facility on Barnes Ferry Road.

According to residents and the Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning Commission, Epic Midstream wants to build an ethanol facility to transfer ethanol to Epic Midstream with the help of a train that already passes through the community.

The company tried to build the facility in 2015, but was denied the chance by the commission, but last week a Bibb County judge overruled the denial.

One resident, Sadie Grayer, said the facility would be built across the street from her house. She said Epic Midstream needs to leave her community alone.

“We live here. This is home for us. We couldn’t go some place else and purchase another home and when we got there it’ll probably be just as bad here as it is there in so many ways,” Grayer said.

The judge did not agree with the community’s reasons of why the facility should not be built. According to court documents, the judge said there was not enough evidence proving ethanol would be a danger to the community.

But residents disagree. Pastor Arthur Hubbard said if the ethanol spills, it could destroy the entire neighborhood.

“Ethanol, as I said earlier is just as flammable as gasoline. It’s in the same class as gasoline,” Hubbard said. “And because it’s in the same class, that means if you can imagine just a little bit of gas somebody pour in some place, it’s gonna really blaze for a while.”

Grayer said she wants the judge to reconsider his decision.

“I don’t go along with it. And I hate it so bad I don’t know what to do, but I’m not gonna go crazy about it. Imma leave these things in the hands of the Lord. He’ll handle it,” she said.

Pastor Hubbard said the community will do whatever it takes to fight the facility coming to their community.

41NBC reached out to the Executive Director of the Macon-Bibb county Planning and Zoning Commission to ask why they are filing the appeal, but the director said he couldn’t say why.