Protecting our Indian River provides testimony rejecting Remediation Plan

Testing is inadequate to protect public health and water quality


DNREC will hold a public hearing on the remediation of the former Vlasic Pickle site in Millsboro Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Millsboro Town Hall, 322 Wilson Highway, Millsboro, DE 19966.

Protecting Our Indian River Citizens Group has strongly opposed the South Korean Allen Harim Brownfield development agreement (BDA) of the Vlasic/Pinnacle Foods property. Allen Harim wants to convert the now contaminated vacant Vlasic site to a poultry processing plant for 2 million birds per week or 104 million chickens per year. The public hearing will be held on the proposed plan of remedial action by DNREC’s Site Investigation and Restoration Section.

On Tuesday evening, Dec 17, testimony will be submitted from environmental specialists and non-profits with decades of experience. John Austin, 33 yrs EPA experience and now Science Coordinator for the Inland Bays Foundation, will present his extensive research into the remediation plan, which calls only for monitoring. There was no testing offsite to private wells, which has been reiterated by the community and various experts as inadequate to ensure protection of water wells and public health. Dr.Todd Hurd, a Professor at Shippensburg University and expert in Hydrological Investigations will present testimony on hydrology and preferential flow patterns and the inadequacy of site investigation in regard to water wells. Testimony will be submitted by Kathy Martin, a qualified expert for the citizens group about inadequate on-site testing, pollution from the waste water treatment plant, which includes numerous impoundments and sludge disposal. Genell Pridgen, a Consultant for Socially Responsible Agriculture Project with experience in poultry production and molecular-based epidemiological studies, will provide written comment on arsenic and cobalt findings in the site investigation. Stephanie Herron, representing the Delaware Sierra Club will also be submitting testimony on the failure of investigation to do proper analysis of pollution on and off site.

The citizens and surrounding communities do not want public funds invested into a project that will further degrade the Indian River, as well as the health and water of the surrounding residential communities. Surrounding communities are also concerned with the introduction of a 100 new factory farm confinements in a 50 mile radius to supply the slaughterhouse and the effect on the Indian River which leads into the Rehoboth Bay, along the river from Millsboro, Oak Orchard, the Tunnell communities of Pot Nets ,Dewey Beach and Bethany. A daily discharge of millions of gallons of waste water into the Indian River could further degrade Delaware water quality, which is now over 90% unfishable and unswimmable.

Protecting our Indian River reminds community that comments will be accepted at the hearing on the 17th of Dec. or prior to by contacting Morgan Price, , Project Manager at DNREC : 302-395-2600.

Protecting Our Indian River Citizens Group will be doing a Press Release prior to the hearing at 5 pm at the Millsboro Town Hall. John Austin, Dr. Todd Hurd, Stephanie Herron and Maria Payan, from SRAProject will be discussing findings with the media prior to the hearing.