CONTACT: James Brunswick, DNREC Community Ombudsman, 302-739-9040
DNREC’S Community Involvement Advisory Council to hold public
workshop Monday, April 25 in Milton on concerns over Allen Harim
Foods LLC’s Harbeson plant improvements and operational issues
DOVER (April 22, 2015) – DNREC’s Community Involvement Advisory Council (CIAC) will hold an informational public workshop Monday, April 25 to address the ongoing concerns of Harbeson area residents related to improvements to the Allen Harim Foods LLC poultry processing facility’s wastewater treatment plant and other operational issues. The workshop will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Milton Fire Hall, 116 Front Street, Milton, DE 19968.
The workshop was scheduled in response to residents’ concerns that a previous DNREC public hearing about the Allen Harim plant should have been held in Milton, which is closer in proximity to the Harbeson facility, than in Millsboro, where the hearing was held last November. The concerns surfaced in two separate community meetings and caught the attention of local elected officials and Joseph G. Farrell, a Sussex County representative who serves on the CIAC.
According to comments from Mr. Farrell in the CIAC’s December 2015 and February 2016 bi-monthly meetings, questions about the hearing location, along with lingering concerns about environmental issues, might lead the public to question the integrity of the Department and the state’s public hearing process. The CIAC approved a motion from Mr. Farrell to convene a CIAC-sponsored public workshop at the council’s February meeting.
In response to his motion, Mr. Farrell and DNREC staff met directly with leaders of the Harbeson Community Improvement Association to receive their input in planning the April 25 public workshop. That meeting revealed the residents’ concern over operational issues such as odors, plant traffic and debris which could only be experienced by people living near the facility.
James Brunswick, DNREC community ombudsman, said the CIAC is fulfilling its mission by hosting the informational public workshop. He also noted that the workshop is for informational purposes only and the proceedings will not be included in any record associated with DNREC permitting decisions.
DNREC’s Community Involvement Advisory Council is established under 29 Delaware Code 8016A. Among the duties of the Council are to increase the flow of information between communities and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and to facilitate a dialogue among all stakeholders in the decision making process.
Vol. 46, No. 138