Mountaire Farms Addresses Contaminated Water Concerns in Public - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Mountaire Addresses Contaminated Water Concerns in Public Meeting

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 10:46 PM Updated:

MILLSBORO, Del.- Mountaire Farms held a public meeting Wednesday night in Millsboro to discuss neighbors' concerns about nitrate contamination in private well water.

Mountaire says it does not believe its Millsboro poultry processing plant is responsible for the elevated nitrate levels in the drinking water of homes east of Millsboro.  However, they continued to offer free deep well water drilling to those that request it.  The chicken company explained their future plans to spend $35 million between two phases of projects.  Phase two will completely redesign the company's wastewater system. 

But unfortunately for some, the redesign is coming too late. 

"On March 5, 2014 he died of an asthma attack. How do you die of asthma attack after 24 years? So with all the million dollars you want to spend fixing the problem...will that million dollars bring my son back?" resident Tina Burton said. 

Others spoke directly to the state leaders present at the meeting, telling them about their feelings on officials' support on the issue. 

"Why haven't you been involved in this before now? Why haven't you been for us? We pay you to be in that damn office and you do nothing for us. And yes, we are upset," Barry Rogers said.

Chase Brockstedt is local attorney representing over 100 plaintiffs who've suffered from the nitrate contamination with his law firm.  He says many neighbors questions went unanswered. 

"We're happy to see that Mountaire is speaking with the community. I don't know what to think of what we heard. I think most of the questions that we wanted answers to, we didn't really hear answers to," Brockstedt said. 

But despite emotional testimonies from neighbors, Mountaire officials say they think the meeting went well. 

"Anytime you have people sharing their thoughts and ideas it's a good exchange. So I took it all as positive information," said Mountaire Executive Vice President of Processing Operations for Mountaire Michael Tirrell. 

Tirrell says Mountaire is looking to have another public meeting within the coming weeks to further discuss its future plans regarding the issue. 

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