Delaware Media Statement: Vlasic Plant Plan Flawed and Unfit


For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Media Contacts: Cindy Wilton, Protecting Our Indian River  302-934-8050

Steve Masar, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project 415-420-7527

Delaware Environmental Appeals Board Decision Greenlights a Flawed and Unfit Remediation Plan for the Former Vlasic Plant Brownfield Site

MILLSBORO, DE May 20, 2014 Last week, the Appeals Board of Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) approved a reckless and ill-conceived Brownfield remediation plan engineered to permit the unsafe and inappropriate siting of a large-scale poultry processing plant owned by South Korean corporation Allen Harim Foods, LLC in Sussex County.

The Board’s approval was designed to greenlight a Markell Administration pet project — the controversial conversion of the former seasonal Vlasic pickle plant into an intensive, year-round poultry processing plant that will process 2 million birds per week discharging unprecedented amounts of animal and pharmaceutical waste into the historic Indian River.

Protecting Our Indian River (POIR) and Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP), along with many local residents and business owners are extremely disappointed with the Appeals Board’s short-sighted and irresponsible decision. Despite a mountain of evidence presented by attorney Ken Kristl and the Widener Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic that contamination from the plant has been traveling into the local environment for over a decade and requires heightened action by DNREC, the Markell-appointed Appeals Board instead returned with a faulty remediation plan approval in less than ten minutes.

POIR and SRAP are committed to continuing our public advocacy and legal efforts to protect local communities, the environment and the public health from the public policy disaster that this DNREC-orchestrated decision represents.

By ignoring the science and settling the issue with virtually no deliberation at all, the DNREC confirmed the hearing was nothing more than a dog-and-pony show that had nothing to do with serious consideration of the hazardous situation our community is facing.  – Cindy Wilton, founding member, Protecting Our Indian River.

How could an 8 hour hearing that included complex and detailed scientific and engineering testimony on the issues of environmental health safely end with a closed-door decision made in less than 10 minutes? The answer can be found in the office of Governor Markell.  – Maria Payan, field coordinator, Socially Responsible Agricultural Project.