Millsboro is already a toxic city

October 31, 2013

If you don't live in Millsboro, you are the lucky ones. We are surrounded by contamination.

Let's see, we have two Superfund sites. The first is NCR (National Cash Register), now M&T Bank on Mitchell Street. NCR conducted an on site investigations and found high levels of VO's and chromium. The second site was a chicken poultry vaccine manufacturing operation, which produced vaccines, and was located at Wharton Street and S. DuPont Highway in Millsboro. TCE was used in the manufacturing process; sludge samples from the plant contained elevated levels of TCE.

We have a brownfield site, thanks to the old Vlasic/Pinnacle Plant on Iron Branch Road. This statement is from a report by BP Environmental Inc., dated April 1, 2013, to Allen Harim Foods LLC. In the conclusion, page 6 of the report, “Given the potential exposure pathways posed by the PCE contamination (dermal and inhalation to site workers, ingestion to site workers and off-site potable well users), and the limited information on the nature, magnitude and extent of the PCE contamination, the range of potential environmental liabilities associated with the documented PCE is large.

In addition to PCE, other VOCs, PAHs, and nitrate were detected in groundwater at the site at concentrations that exceed their respective SIRS screening levels. The potential environmental liabilities associated with these exceedances are unknown at this time. The elevated chloride and TDS concentrations in the vicinity of the abandoned-in-place brine UST could represent an environmental liability given their proximity to Wharton's Branch, a tributary of the Indian River. The ecological sensitivity of Wharton's Branch is unknown at this time.”

Among this mess, we have Thorogoods Concrete, a sewer/wastewater treatment Ppant, the power plant, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Mountaire Chicken Rendering Plant (across the bay), and possibly another chicken processing plant.

Now, the proposed plans for this South Korean poultry processing plant “Allen Harim,” is to process two million birds a week right on the Indian River, and to supply this facility with birds, plans for 100 factory farms within a 50-mile radius (which was originally for 360,000 birds, so it could be more). Within this two-mile radius, we have an elementary school, middle school and all the residents and vacationers.

Why would we want to add more to this contaminated community! The Indian River now is under stress with the poultry waste. Are we willing to trust them to clean up the mess left behind, and them to clean up the new mess's they make? A lot is at risk: our health and environment! Once it's gone, you can't get it back!

Get involved - the impact on tourism and property values needs to be considered, as well. For more information or to volunteer time, talents or donations, please go to

Cindy Wilton

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