Allen Harim Found Violating Water Pollution Regulations - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Allen Harim Found Violating Water Pollution Regulations

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Allen Harim poultry processing facility in Harbeson (Source; WBOC) Allen Harim poultry processing facility in Harbeson (Source; WBOC)

HARBESON, Del. - A wastewater treatment plant at Allen Harim's Harbeson location has been cited by DNREC for a number of violations, including one instance of discharging twice the permit limit of monthly average ammonia concentration into Beaverdam Creek. 

According to the Notice of Violation,  the wastewater plant's violations appeared "to be a direct result of treatment equipment inadequacies, process overloads and specific circumstances." The notice cites multiple instances of higher than allowed concentrations of ammonia, total phosphorous. total suspended solids, enterococcus and total nitrogen. Allen Harim has permission to discharge into Beaverdam Creek through an outfall and are required to monitor the discharge regularly.

In a statement to WBOC, a spokesperson for Allen Harim said "The Company has been made aware of intermittent spikes in the levels of ammonia. We continue to work closely with DNREC and respond to any concerns as we transition into the second phase of our wastewater treatment plant upgrade," referring to the $11 million dollar upgrade to the plant. The statement adds more details about the upgrade, saying "Phase II involves the installation of state-of-the-art nutrient removal technology to significantly reduce nutrient loadings into Beaverdam Creek. It also includes a water reclamation system that will result in the recycling of up to one million gallons of water per day."

Sheri Gebbia owns the Lullaby Learning Center located near the Harbeson plant. She says when she heard about the violations, she was concerned. 

"We want to go and show the kids the nature aspect of the property, but we can't go near the creek because we just don't know what's in there or if it's safe for them," she says. "So we just stay away from it."

Bob Lawson is the president of the Harbeson Improvement Association and lives directly across from the plant. He says despite the Notice of Violation, he's not convinced anything will change.

"They don't care about what their guidelines are or what DNREC is saying or what anybody else is saying," he says. "As long as that production's there they're happy."

The Notice of Violation says that within 30 days of receipt of the NOV, Allen Harim must address specific reasons for the violations, actions to fix the violation and measures taken to prevent future violations. The notice says failure to comply will result in a penalty.

Click here to read the full Notice of Violation. 

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