Concerns raised over proposed gas facility in Seaford
SEAFORD, Del. – Some environmental organizations are sounding the alarm over a proposed gas facility in Seaford. “We see significant threats to water quality, soil health, air quality. Really the whole suite of environmental values,” said Tyler Lobdell with Food and Water Watch.
The concern is over a proposed anaerobic digester. An anaerobic digester breaks down waste from agriculture like poultry and converts it into gas. Lobdell says Sussex County officials are not allowing for enough public input on the project. “An industrial gas production facility being sited in agricultural and residential area should be going through a process of public hearings,” said Lobdell.
The site has been used for composting for years. But Lobdell says officials are mischaracterizing the new anaerobic digester as a continuation of that project, and not a new one all together.
Sussex County officials told 47ABC in a statement that these allegations are wrong, writing in part “The amended site plan was reviewed publicly in an open forum and in accordance with County code, just as every other amended site plan is reviewed and approved.”
Gina Burton with Sussex Health and Environmental Network says regardless of the status of the project, the public needs to be able to give input on how it could affect them. “What’s at stake is our health and ensuring that our kids will be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water,” said Burton.
Lobdell says he agrees. He tells 47ABC that he feels not only is the public’s health at risk, but the environment they live in as well. “We have an area that’s already overburdened by pollution from factory farms and this proposal would bring in exponentially more pollution from factory farms,” said Lobdell.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control tells 47ABC that the company that wants to do the project hasn’t yet applied for a number of permits required for the proposal. DNREC adds that their permit process includes providing public information and offers opportunities for the public to comment.