More Issues Emerge From Proposed Allen Harim Poultry Plant

After attending a meeting of the “Protect Our Indian River” group, I’ve got to wonder why Allen Harim would want to purchase this particular site for their next Delaware enterprise. , I have to address the off-site well testing of the residential areas adjacent to the Vlasic Pickle Brownfield site. Cobalt was detected in eight of the thirteen wells tested. Of those wells that tested positive for Cobalt, five were found to exceed the threshold of 4.7 micrograms per liter, which qualifies as a Superfund site. These test findings would lead one to believe that the contamination plume has already moved into the Possum Point residential area. Allen Harim applied to the Sussex County Board of Adjustments for a variance that would exempt them from “hazardous usage” and were granted that exemption. The only legal problem with this ruling by the Board of Adjustments is: Allen Harim did not own the property and has not yet purchased it. Pinnacle Foods, who currently owns the Brownfield site is far from bankrupt with a net worth of $2.3 Billion, according to Maria Payan, who spoke at the meeting. Delawareans should not have to shoulder the responsibility of paying to clean this Brownfield site up, because Vlasic Pickle decided to “cut and run, while the running was good.” Pinnacle Foods took the jobs elsewhere and left Delawareans to pick up the tab for their cleanup. Barry Goldman of Milsboro DE wrote:
Delaware shipped in excess of 40 million pounds of poultry manure out of state in 2013. The additional 104 million chickens (Allen Harim proposed two million chickens per week) will produce at least 215 million more pounds of poultry manure that will have to be shipped out of the state. just to keep the poultry litter level status quo. If any of the additional poultry manure finds its way into groundwater, rivers, streams, ect, leading into the Inland Bays, it will only add to the existing pollution. At least 10% of the Nitrogen and Phosphorus will likely find its way into the groundwater and local surface waters.
The removal of this poultry manure was paid for by the state. My question is; why would we the taxpayers pay the operating expenses of a private business. When I was in business, I certainly wasn’t allowed to send my operating expenses to the state for payment. After speaking to several people living in the Possum Point area, I found that most of the residents have not been using their well water since June of 2013 because of the level of contamination from hexavalent Chromium, cobalt and Nitrogen. Maria Payan, a resident of the contaminated area stated that, processing food on an already contaminated site without remedial action doesn’t make sense. Delaware Secretary of Agriculture, Ed Kee was quoted as saying, “we want to put a hundred factory farms in a 50 mile radius. Are Delawareans going to pay for removing all of that chicken manure also? No wonder Gov. Markell wants to make Delaware the “Tax state.” How will Sussex County attract tourist trade if the Inland Bays are polluted and Delaware has a reputation of not enforcing contamination and pollution standards.

8 thoughts on “More Issues Emerge From Proposed Allen Harim Poultry Plant”

  1. Don Ayotte,
    There are 2 different types of cobalt. Cobalt and cobalt 60, the latter being dangerous. Regular cobalt occurs naturally in the soil and the samples taken at Possum Point range from 3ppm to 12 ppm. Dnrec sampled about 30 other test wells around Sussex County and they ALL ranged from 1ppm to 30ppm, well below the 80ppm that only 2 other states have considered “advisable”. In other words, the samples collected (other than the intentional spiked sample for quality assurance to make sure the independent lab was doing it’s job) are consistent with every other test well in the county.
    Your claim that these samples are dangerous or extremely high are simple false. I met with 3 individuals that have been very active in Protecting Our Indian River along with Deputy Sec. of Dnrec and Sec. of Agriculture Ed Kee in my office last week with this data on a map and all 3 residents felt relieved about the naturally occurring cobalt levels in their water. No, they were not 100% satisfied but stated “they wish they had known about the spiked sample that was done intentionally and felt better once faced with the facts and data”.
    About Nitrogen, since all of Possum Point is still on out dated septics and some cesspools, each system in there is dumping 30 pounds of nitrogen a year in the soil and river, all 70 homes. That’s 2100 pounds a year, every year for the past 50 years. Do you think their own septics might have anything to do with their nitrogen levels in their water? I do.
    On your claim of “factory farms”. We have none in Delaware. Their are over 2500 hard working family farms in Delaware. Yes, most family farms are incorporated for tax structure just like the mom and pop stores we have left. Poultry companies like Mountaire, Perdue, Amick do not own the farms. They are owned by families, many of the 3rd, 4th, 5th or more generations. Who are you to tell them they can’t build another chicken house on the thousands of acres that they own and pay taxes on? Who are you to tell the young farmer that graduated with an agriculture degree from a university that wants to come home, get married and start a family and expand his families farming operation?
    Chicken manure is not waste, it is a valuable resource. Farmers that can’t obtain it pay a lot of money per tom for it’s nutrient value. Our Manure Relocation Program is looked upon as a nationwide model that other states are copying because of it’s success rate. We are doing it right in Delaware. There are other regions in this country that are fertilizer deprived and our chicken manure is a commodity and much needed ingredient and valuable to crops production.
    Oh, and one more thing you stated that is wrong, Maria Payan is NOT a resident of the area as you claim. Everyone that is involved in this matter knows she’s not even from Delaware, she lives in Pennsylvania. If you can’t even get this simple fact correct how are we to even take you seriously on the things that matter?

  2. Please excuse the spelling errors as I typed this at 3 in the morning in the dark. But you get the point, Don is wrong on many of his claims. Proof of that is how all the 200+ comments were deleted from his original post on this subject. We kept hearing about the Brockovich firm and “how they are coming back”.
    They are not coming because Don’s claims are false.

  3. Atkins said:
    “Don is wrong on many of his claims. Proof of that is how all the 200+ comments were deleted from his original post on this subject. We kept hearing about the Brockovich firm and “how they are coming back”.

    Don is correct on his claims and the reason that many comments were deleted John is because of internal mediation problems that have now been solved. I have been assured that I will have full authority to print the truth and address my own comments as I see fit.
    As for the Erin Brockovich Group, they absolutely will be back, but it is nice of you to attempt to fill the public with your usual crap. Try representing your constituency instead of the Allen Harim Corporation and the Markell Administration.
    I will address your first comment in the appropriate manner, in due time. It should be much fun to answer the first comment.

  4. John
    Here is a little teaser that was easy to find that includes the effects on the human body concerning the type of cobalt found in the residential area of possum point. This is just a simple search in wikipedia, but it is accurate. I may write an entire post on your inadequacies.

    Cobalt is an essential element for life in minute amounts. The LD50 value for soluble cobalt salts has been estimated to be between 150 and 500 mg/kg. Thus, for a 100 kg person the LD50 for a single dose would be about 20 grams.[82]
    However, chronic cobalt ingestion has caused serious health problems at doses far less than the lethal dose. In 1966, the addition of cobalt compounds to stabilize beer foam in Canada led to a peculiar form of toxin-induced cardiomyopathy, which came to be known as beer drinker’s cardiomyopathy.

    After nickel and chromium, cobalt is a major cause of contact dermatitis.

  5. John,

    Once again, you are in over your head. Even 30 sec. of reference to Wikipedia ( an elementary starting point) deflates your Cobalt comments. Pay particular attention to “Precautions” [ ].

    Chronic Cobalt ingestion has been linked to cardiomyopathy and contact dermititis. FYI, the beer additive (now banned) was Cobalt Sulfate Co SO4.
    Preliminary analysis of the Vlasic site indicates elevated sulfate levels.

    It is strongly suggested that you upgrade your research staff, as your scientific accuracy is presently at the Duck and Cover drill level.


  6. Has anyone talked to Erin Brockovich’s team? How do you know they are not coming? You should not talk about things you do not know. I have talked to them, numerous times, and just because they are not here yet doesn’t mean they are not coming. The sad truth, this is happening all over the country. When is enough enough, THIS IS IN EVERYONE’S BACK YARD, AND WE SHOULD ALL CARE! Brockovich’s team can’t be in all the places at once, when the time is right they will be here…..

  7. Please stop referring to WIKIPEDIA. Remember that Wikipedia is a BLOG — written by its readers. So it is not an encyclopedia nor an authority. Yes, by sheer accident, much if not most of what readers post there is generally accurate. And you can usually find links to actual sources of real, dependable information. But you cannot put any weight in resolving any dispute by citing to Wikipedia. You might find on Wikipedia links to the information posted somewhere reliable, but Wikipedia itself is not dependable.

    As for the controversy, Don Ayotte and the others complaining may be wrong.

    But it sounds like it is pretty important to have the discussion out in the open. I don’t know who is right or wrong, and it sounds like no one else does — yet — either.

    It may turn out that the Delaware government is doing everything perfectly. But to denigrate the desire to have an open conversation about it doesn’t seem right.

  8. Thank you Jon

    The levels of cobalt are over the limit that would declare it a Superfund site at five of the wells tested for cobalt. I believe that the information is accurate about what we wrote. You don’t know what you’re talking about on this subject. We have attended meetings by experts that are hydrologists and chemists and what has been stated on this particular Wikipedia subject is absolutely correct.
    Instead of making a general “feel good” comments, check the facts for yourself before dismissing others.

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