poultry

Mountaire logo

MILLSBORO, Del. (AP) - A Delaware poultry farm facing a potential lawsuit over contaminated water says it's not to blame.

Mountaire Farms in Millsboro issued a statement Wednesday that groundwater problems around its plant in Millsboro are not the fault of its processing plant. In the statement, they say 20 percent of drinking-water wells in Sussex County suffer from increased nitrate levels and that the problem predates the plant's existence.

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HARBESON, Del. (AP) - Delaware has slapped a poultry producer with nearly $250,000 in penalties and other costs for years of wastewater violations at a chicken processing plant.

The News Journal reports the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control released a secretary's order Wednesday assessing Allen Harim Foods a $241,000 fine for more than 90 violations at its Harbeson plant. The company must also pay the department nearly $8,000 to cover its investigations.

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Mountaire Farms and elected officials told a gathering last night that they do not believe the poultry company is responsible for high levels of nitrates in wells near Millsboro.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Mountaire Executive Vice President Michael Tirrell told the audience that he believe science will back up that claim.

He added that the company is willing to pay for drilling deep wells for property owners affected by groundwater contamination.

Meanwhile, Mountaire is designing a new wastewater facility with additional tanks to handle the flow.

Nat-Phen International website

BALTIMORE (AP) - A manufacturer of natural food additives for livestock feed is opening a facility in Salisbury.

Canadian-based Nat-Phen International expects to invest $10 million in the new facility over the next five years and create up to 25 new jobs. More jobs could be added once the site is fully operational.

Gov. Larry Hogan met with the company on Thursday in Montreal as part of a regional economic development mission to Canada.

The company produces plant-based additives to enhance the feed given to swine, poultry, cattle and livestock.

Don Rush

Commercial poultry operations will no longer be allowed in residential or general business zoning districts in Accomack County.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to bar the practice.

Such operations had been allow in those areas after getting a special use permit.

The planning department asked the board to act after an application to build four poultry houses on over 200-acres in Horntown located near a residential area.

Concern over the rise in the number of chicken houses has grown over the years.

Perdue Logo

Two worker advocacy groups held a rally in front of the Perdue Processing Plant in downtown Salisbury to deliver a petition to representatives of the company.

The rally was held by Oxfam and CATA a worker’s rights group.

They called on the poultry company to be more transparent about listening to their employees about working conditions.

Jessica Culley, a supporter, told WBOC that there were problems getting time off for medical appointments or taking vacation time.

Don Rush

The building permit for 10 large chicken houses in Wicomico County is being challenged by two local residents.

Monica Brooks and Gabby Cammarata live near the proposed operation just outside of Salisbury.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that they charge the regulatory framework for the project does not do enough to protect the environment and the health of neighbors.

Meanwhile, Jack Lennox, head of planning for the county told the paper, that the project was approved because it met all the requirements of the county code.

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The public weighed in on a proposal for a separate zoning category in Worcester County that would include a limit of 8 chicken houses on a parcel and a 200 foot setback from surrounding property.

In addition the plan would require a vegetative buffer zone.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the meeting was hosted by the Assateague Coastal Trust which has been critical of the development of large chicken operations.

Marc Steiner Annapolis Summit website

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) and top Democratic Legislative Leaders spar at Marc Steiner's Annapolis Summit as the General Assembly's 90 day session got underway this week. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush has this report.

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The poultry industry on Delmarva is watching cautiously with reports of the avian flu in more than a dozen countries.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the last major outbreak in this country occurred in 2015 when some 50 million birds were slaughtered primarily in the Midwest.

There was an outbreak on the peninsula at two Delaware farms and one near Pocomoke City in 2004.

That resulted in the slaughter of just over 200-thousand birds.

The Daily Times reports that outbreak was less contagious than the one in 2015 and the current outbreaks.

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