BrightFarms Inc. CEO Paul Lightfoot standing near the banks of the Oxon Run in Washington, DC
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This photo taken Dec. 16, 2014 shows BrightFarms Inc. CEO Paul Lightfoot standing near the banks of the Oxon Run in Washington, on land that his company is leasing from the District of Columbia government to build a greenhouse and urban farm. Lightfoot is considering abandoning the project because of extensive contamination on the city-controlled land, which has been used for years for illegal dumping and an unlicensed landfill. Some of the waste has made it into the waterway, a tributary of the Potomac River. Photo: Ben Nuckols, AP

Okay, this just sucks y’all—in every conceivable way. Forreal.

Remember when I reported about “Our Closest Giant to Soon Provide Year-Round Local Produce“? Well, in that ebullient blog entry, I reported about how the soon-to-be-created 100,000 square foot facility would be the largest urban greenhouse of its kind in the world—and be located right next to Bellevue! Well, alas (and sadly), it may not be meant to be. Turns out that no one actually went and checked out the spot until this past August (Huh? Really? WTF?!?!!!), when it was revealed to be an unlicensed 18-foot-deep landfill, which of course was used for more than 10-feet-high of illegal dumping.

Ugh!

Now, was I surprised that both of those scenarios were at play? Absolutely not. But was I surprised that the District and Brightfarm Inc.—a New York-based produce supplier—made the arrangement(s), made the announcement, distributed press material, shelled out a $700,000 investment, signed much of the preliminary paperwork, but never inspected the site? Abso-friggin-lutely!

Someone’s gotta be kidding . . . ‘cuz this would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. Tragic because it’s now highly likely that the project won’t move forward. Why, you ask? Because it will take upwards of $1,000.000 to remediate the site, the current mayor who helped broker the opportunity is leaving office, and the incoming mayor—who takes the reins January 2nd—”has given no indication that she’ll try to rescue the deal”.

And there you have it, boys and girls. All could change as we move forward, but as of now at least, there doesn’t seem to be a very bright farm in Bellevue’s very bright future.

s|m

[ Associated Press: DC farm site is ecological disaster ]