MEDIA STATEMENT: If it can happen in Millsboro, it can happen anywhere
SALEM, OR NOVEMBER 2, 2015 Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) is pleased and heartened by the news announced via press release late Friday that Allen Harim Foods has terminated its plans for a massive two-million bird per week poultry processing plant which would discharge into the Indian River in Millsboro, Delaware. The decision ends a more than two-year battle between local and national groups, and the South Korea-based poultry producer-exporter over the siting of the industrial facility in a former Vlasic pickle processing plant, currently designated a Brownfield site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Community action, legal challenges and a robust public information campaign were instrumental in challenging the scheme and reversing the controversial plan.
The public effort to confront Allen Harim was championed by the dedicated local community group, Protecting Our Indian River, working in partnership with SRAP — along with invaluable legal, technical and research contributions from the Inland Bays Foundation, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, University of Maryland School of Public Health, the Environmental & Natural Resources Law Clinic, the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, Food & Water Watch and Blue River Law.
SRAP congratulates all those involved for their extraordinary efforts and dedication to the cause of preserving a community and sparing the Indian River from large-scale polluting and catastrophic harm.
Far too many times, this story does not come to this conclusion.
All across this nation, large and moneyed agricultural producers supported by local politicians, state legislators, ineffective regulatory agencies, weak regulations and a disinterested media carry the day. Industrial-scale animal operations endanger American communities with air and water pollution, personal and public health risks, resource contamination and the steady destruction of businesses, property values and community life. People with only one thing on their minds to support their families, their communities and their futures are swept aside in a harsh and unjust rush to meet financial goals that have no interest in the everyday needs, health and happiness of deserving citizens. It’s a daunting challenge faced by so many so often. And yet there is hope, too.
If it can happen in Millsboro, it can happen anywhere.