Crying foul over poultry zoning hearing

July 22, 2013

As a concerned resident of Millsboro, I have to call attention to some questionable procedures for public notice and public hearing in the Special Use Exception for Potentially Hazardous Use by the board.  The issue revolves around Allen Harim Foods taking over the old Pinnacle Plant (Vlasic).

This new use will have a great impact on this environmentally sensitive area, as well as the residents’ assurance of protection of public water, public health and quality of life issues. There are two schools within one mile of this operation.

To rush this through, without an assessment of health and environmental impacts is in itself reckless.  There were no approved plans submitted, just lots of promises of jobs and unrealistic reasoning that this will be essentially the same operation as Vlasic.

The community is very aware the poultry processing plant is not a seasonal operation and has a greater potential of effects on public health, the environment, public water and their property values.  The suggestion of transferring permits is ridiculous.  We are talking about slaughtering 335,000 birds every week.  There is blood, mortality and wastewater, as well as incredible air pollution.  The traffic alone is unreasonable because of all the growth in the past 20 years.

The board has a responsibility of posting a public notice about public comment to agency responses.  Nowhere was a public notice posted that public comment can be given to agency responses on this operation.  Also, is it reasonable to give agencies a 30-day comment period and the community a seven day response period?  An operation of this magnitude deserves a fair hearing.

Bruce Ballantine

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