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Sussex County residents push back against Allen Harim's request to truck wastewater

Keith Steck, Keep Our Wells Clean

Sussex County residents are still protesting as Allen Harim tries to get its Millsboro deboning facility up and running.

The Sussex County Board of Adjustment approved the deboning facility in March, with the condition that the poultry producer have a spray irrigation system in place before beginning operations.

Allen Harim applied for an amendment to that rule and for a permit with DNREC to truck wastewater from Millsboro to its processing facility in Harbeson.

But Andrea Green, an attorney representing the grassroots group Keep Our Wells Clean, argues an amendment is not the appropriate next step.

She says Allen Harim is claiming the board imposed that rule in error, and if that’s true, a rehearing would come next.

“If it was Allen Harim’s position or belief that the condition was imposed in error, or by mistake, by the board then the appropriate means for addressing that is requesting a rehearing under the board of adjustment’s own rules,” Green said.

Green says the board made explicit objections to the trucking of wastewater when it added the rule requiring spray irrigation.

She also says the first time Allen Harim mentioned installing a water reuse system in Millsboro was at last week’s Board of Adjustment Meeting to justify trucking the wastewater.

But Green adds she is skeptical they will follow through, as they did not install one at their Harbeson plant after receiving a state loan to do so.

“The local community groups believe Allen Harim was essentially using false and misleading information to get the board to approve this,” said Green.

The board tabled Allen Harim’s request for amendment last week and will take up the matter again September 10th.

Allen Harim did not respond to a request for interview, but told Delaware Public Media previously the company intends to truck wastewater in the meantime as it looks into installing a spray irrigation system.

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