State environmental officials are handing down a roughly $240,000 fine and additional fees to a Sussex poultry producer for multiple wastewater violations since 2012.
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin’s order says Allen Harim discharged treated wastewater with high levels of ammonia, nitrogen and phosphorus for four years from its Harbeson processing plant into Beaverdam creek.
The creek flows into Broadkill River.
Besides the $240,000 penalty for four years of more than 90 wastewater violations, Allen Harim has to pay DNREC about $8,000 to cover investigation fees.
In a statement, Allen Harim President and CEO Joe Moran said the company invested over $8 million to upgrade its Harbeson wastewater treatment plant in late 2016, and has since met all the parameters in its discharge permit.
It also has plans to stop discharging into the creek and pipe its treated wastewater to an incoming wastewater storage facility north of Milton owned by water company Artesian Resources. Moran called getting out of the creek "the best environmental solution for [Allen Harim's] treated wastewater."
"Our partnership with Artesian Water Resources reflects our commitment to doing the right thing when it comes to the environment..." Moran said.
Moran said Allen Harim is appealing the penalty assessment, "because it is considered to be unfair under the cirumstances."
Even before it received the notice of violation in 2016, Allen Harim had been talking with Artesian about the partnership, the poultry producer told Delaware Public Media in December.
That facility is still being built, but a group of Milton-area residents have filed an appeal against it, worried the new operation could contaminate their drinking water.
This story has been updated.