Sierra Club suggests Harim proposal conditions

September 20, 2013

The following letter was sent to DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara with a copy to the Cape Gazette.

Concerning the Harim Millsboro Proposed Chicken Processing Plant, the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club requests that the Department of Natural Resource Environmental Control (DNREC) publically communicate a complete timeline and full schedule of all required permits and public hearings. The application for each permit, as well as full disclosure of all additional appropriate relevant materials, be made publically available with sufficient time to allow for full review by the public before the hearing. We also request:

• Require the brownfield cleanup of this site be completed before any permits are considered. The prior food production company that occupied this site left us with a brownfield.

• A calculation be provided to the public by DNREC of the Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) that result from this facility based on load limits not concentration. The standard being no net increase in nutrient loads. As you are aware there are currently loads of nutrients that exceed their TMDLs.

• Harim be held accountable to provide for the disposal of the additional 130,000 tons of manure the facility would generate (U.D. estimates 1.25 tons per 1000 birds). The facility currently projects processing 104,000,000 birds annually on 100 farms. This would be a 52% increase in total poultry processing in Sussex County. Sussex County currently is generating 250,000 tons of poultry manure, of which 40% is excess. Most of the excess is stored in sheds built with taxpayer funds. Perdue is working on several innovative approaches for using manure for commercial products.

The two public presentations - 6/17/2013 Millsboro Fire House Town Hall and the 9/6/2013 Center for the Inland Bays Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee events - produced no significant information concerning the details of handling storm water or wastewater treatment.

The water quality of the inland bays appears to be at a tipping point. The Inland Bays watershed can’t sustain this level of increase in poultry concentration and its consequences.

The long term negative impact on the Inland Bays must be addressed.

Chuck Schonder
Sierra Club Member
Ocean View

  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number for verification. Please keep letters to 650 words or fewer.  We reserve the right to edit for content and length.

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