Two companies that haul nonhazardous liquid waste for Allen Harim Foods are seeking to change their permits as the poultry producer awaits approval to house a deboning operation in Millsboro.
Clark’s Environmental Services and Denali Water Solutions already haul wastewater for Allen Harim's hatchery, but they need permit changes to temporarily haul wastewater and sludge from Allen Harim’s new Millsboro operation to the company's Harbeson plant. According to Allen Harim, the companies would temporarily haul wastewater to Harbeson until the poultry producer gets its spray irrigation system permitted for wastewater disposal.
“Our goal is to not put any treated wastewater into [Beaverdam] creek, and instead, land apply to the ample acreage we own on site,” said Allen Harim spokeswoman Cathy Bassett in an email to Delaware Public Media.
At a Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control public hearing Wednesday night in Milton, many Sussex County residents asked about the contents of the sludge that will be transported and expressed concerns about how it could affect their health or their home values.
“How will the homeowner, Harim, DNREC and the public know what’s in the sludge? What’s the definition of nonhazardous waste? What’s the definition of sludge? What’s in the sludge?” asked Milton resident Keith Steck.
According to Clark’s request for a new permit, the company would haul septage, grease trap and cooking oil waste – all considered nonhazardous waste – from Allen Harim’s Millsboro facility to its Harbeson treatment plant. On Denali's permit application, the company says it would collect 13 million gallons of "other nonhazardous liquid waste" per year, but does not specify what types of liquid waste.
In December 2017, Allen Harim announced the plan to move its corporate headquarters to the former Vlasic Pickle Plant in the Millsboro area. If the deboning facility is approved by Sussex County, the company would debone and repackage chicken in Millsboro after processing it in Harbeson.
The transport permit changes are still pending approval. Meanwhile, Sussex County’s Board of Adjustments will re-consider Allen Harim’s request to house a deboning operation at the old Vlasic Pickle Plant in Millsboro on April 16, after holding off on a vote during a March meeting.