Millsboro Community Weighs in on Del. Environmental Appeals Boar - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Millsboro Community Weighs in on Del. Environmental Appeals Board Ruling

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MILLSBORO, Del.- According to the marketing company Asapr Inc., the Delaware Environmental Appeals Board released its opinion on an appeal by local residents of the prior approval by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control of a "Brownfield" remediation plan for the former Vlasic property, which poultry manufacturer Allen Harim seeks to acquire from current owner, Pinnacle Foods Group LLC.

On Tuesday, the board unanimously denied the appeal, confirming DNREC's approval of the Brownfield remediation plan. The 26-page opinion references the nearly 5,000 page report developed by an outside consultant, covering virtually every aspect of the remediation process, supported by extensive testing processes and results, and including additional monitoring.

In response to the ruling, Allen Harim CEO Steven A. Evans, said, "Allen Harim is pleased with the reaffirmation by the board that our proposed operations, following the DNREC-approved plan and related regulations, will not pose an environmental risk to the surrounding community. The board's unanimous vote further validates what we have maintained all along."

Evans went on to say, "This is a very positive step, but it is just one of many necessary to complete the purchase of the property. We appreciate the support of legislators in Sussex County and in state government, as well as the commitment of the more than 200 growers across Delmarva who produce the highest quality traditional, antibiotic-free and Halal-blessed chicken. We are squarely focused on continuing to grow our business across the county, the state and the region."

On Wednesday, Jay Meyer who is with the Millsboro based group, Protecting Our Indian River said that he's worried the river water could become polluted if millions of gallons of wastewater from cleaning chickens are dumped into it. 

"DNREC says, 'Well. if there's a spill or something we will fine them.' What good is it going to do fining them? They will pay the fine and just move right on and accidents do happen," Meyer said.

Meyer said he is concerned that if the proposed chicken plant becomes a reality he and his neighbors who live on the river will see the effects of the dumping in their backyard.

"Find another facility, find another place, I mean, that's going to increase the traffic in this area but our big concern is that it's 2014 you don't dump in the rivers anymore," Meyer said.

Cindy Wilton, who lives across from Meyer, is also part of the advocate group. Wilton said DNREC is aware that grounds near the pickle plant are already contaminated and that's why she said she doesn't understand why the board of adjustments approved a potentially hazardous permit for Allen Harim when the company doesn't even own the property.

I think it's wrong," Wilton said, "DNREC knows about it, they have proof that Vlasic Pinnacle let them know and if DNREC knows there's contamination over there then they have the money they can test the grounds over here, prove us wrong if you're not concerned about no contamination."

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