Mountaire Touts Improvements to Wastewater Treatment Plant - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Mountaire Touts Improvements to Wastewater Treatment Plant

Posted: Apr 04, 2018 6:45 PM Updated:

MILLSBORO, Del.- Mountaire Farms says they're making progress on planned improvements to their wastewater treatment plant after being cited for nitrates violations last year.

In a statement, the company said they have received a permit to transfer solids quickly and store them in a temporary lagoon on site

"Expediting the removal of these solids is just one of many key initiatives included in Mountaire’s interim corrective action plan, which is now well underway at a cost of over $300,000 per week," the statement reads.

The company says they also are currently developing a state-of-the-art $35 million wastewater treatment facility. They aim to design the project by May and begin cosntruction in October.

In the same statement, Mountaire notes that their total nitrogen levels have "largely returned to the limits included in our original DNREC permit."

But Maria Payan with the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project says that's impossible to prove as the state hasn't done additional testing of nearby wells.

"Twenty-one were contaminated out of the 30 above the 10 milligram per liter nitrates,"  she says. "They did not do additional testing--DNREC--and I'm still wondering who is the sheriff in town and why they are not sampling more homes and businesses and daycares and things over there."

Thomas Crumper, one of the lawyers part of last week's intent to sue the company, says his clients don't trust Mountaire's new promises.

"They [Mountaire] know what the federal law is. They can start complying with it. But they haven't for years," he says. "My clients just view this as [a way to] get more PR."

As they've stated in the past, Mountaire says they beleive they are not responsible for elevated nitrates found in nearby drinking water,  saying 20 percent of Sussex County drinking water wells have tested above the drinking water standard for years, and the Mountaire plant is too far for their groundwater to have reached surrounding properties. 

Mountaire says their new wastewater treatment plant will be operational by 2020.

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