DNREC Presents Remediation Plan For Poultry Plant; Residents Won't Stand Down
MILLSBORO, Del. - Millsboro
residents got their last opportunity to comment on plans to convert the old
Vlasic Pickle Plant into a poultry processing site at a public hearing Tuesday
In order to purchase the
site, Allen Harim Foods had to enter an agreement with DNREC to clean up the
area, which is contaminated with groundwater pollutants. At the public hearing,
officials presented their proposed plan to remediate the facility, which
includes long-term monitoring of the groundwater.
"We just want to add an
additional safeguard to ensure that the contamination doesn't increase. This
site overall is not a large source of any type of contamination in the
vicinity," DNREC's Environmental Program Administrator Timothy Ratsep said.
"Don't dump in our river," Millsboro resident
Jay Meyer said.
"We can look across the river to the north
and see Mountaire, and we can look to the south and see where Vlasic was. Well,
why would we want to continue to pollute an area that is already contaminated?"
Millsboro resident Dottie Lecates said.
There's no question the
site is contaminated, but DNREC says the damage is minimal and contained.
"The soil actually on the
facility meets residential use. The groundwater does not pose a risk currently
to human health or the environment," Ratsep said.
But many residents and
even ecologists disagree.
"I'm not convinced from
the monitoring well data that I've seen," ecosystems ecologist Todd Hurd said.
If Allen Harim goes on to
acquire the necessary permits and purchase the facility, long-term resident
Dottie Lecates says the battle will not end there.
"Stand hard and fast on
the monitoring every step of the way. We're not gonna stop," she said.
There are community groups
endorsing this project. The President of
The Sussex County Association of Realtors Bob McVey says the county is in
desperate need of a facility like this to stimulate the economy. The plant is
expected to bring 700 jobs to the area.
DNREC will now issue their
final plan for remediation to the state for approval. From there, Allen Harim
would have to acquire permits and purchase the site.
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