Allen Harim Seeking Approvals for Deboning Facility - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Allen Harim Seeking Approvals for Deboning Facility

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 11:32 PM Updated:
Allen Harim poultry processing facility in Harbeson (Source; WBOC) Allen Harim poultry processing facility in Harbeson (Source; WBOC)

MILLSBORO, Del. - Allen Harim announced in December its plans to move its corporate headquarters from Seaford to the old Vlasic Pickle Plant in Millsboro.  The company also changed its 2013 proposal for the facility from a processing plant to a deboning operation.  

Allen Harim is now looking for the proper approvals in order to proceed with the deboning plans.  Director of Public Relations Cathy Bassett says the smaller operation would only use about 50,000-square-feet of the 460,000 the facility has available.  The company purchased the property in 2014 with a lot of opposition from neighbors.  Bassett says the company has done their best to address the public's concerns with this new proposal.  

"We have the land. We're going through the permitting process now, so we feel like it's a great proposal. We're reusing a manufacturing facility, we're creating jobs here in Delaware. And we're going to do the right thing environmentally so we think it's a great project," Bassett said. 

Neighbors are still concerned for what the plant could bring to the area.  A peaceful protest outside Monday night's Board of Adjustment meeting brought a number of issues to the forefront.  Keith Steck says he's worried for the possibility of groundwater contamination from the spray field irrigation proposed. 

"There's plenty of pollution to go around, they don't need the potential for more problems," Steck said. 

For Maria Payan she's especially concerned about the health effects that could affect neighbors. 

"Look at the contamination we already have in the spray fields within two miles and we're back here again?" Payan said. 

Allen Harim said the 40,000 gallons of treated wastewater used each day will have no stream discharge.  DNREC issued in 2014 that the company received a Certification of Completion of Remedy.  Bassett says despite the land being a brownfield, DNREC did not find contamination violations.  The agency simply asked Allen Harim to monitor wells, according to Bassett.

"We have extensive monitoring wells on site and we have been monitoring continuously since we purchased it in 2013 so I'm happy to report that that's, we probably have more monitoring wells than any other spray irrigation site," Bassett said. 

Bassett explains the operation would create 165 jobs in Sussex County.  The company is also looking to offer the unused space at the plant to non-profits or municipal organizations to fill.  

The Board of Adjustment decided to hold off on voting for Allen Harim's necessary permit approvals until April 16. 

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