Seaford, Del.-based Allen Harim Foods, LLC plans to operate a poultry processing facility that was once a Vlasic Pickle factory owned by Parippany, NJ-based Pinnacle Foods, Inc. The plant could mean the addition of 700 new jobs to the community. But some Millsboro residents, already fatigued by past incidents of pollution from hazardous chemicals and poultry operations, have expressed concerns about the potential environmental impact of the proposed facility.
For its part, Allen Harim said the company plans to reduce the environmental impact of the facility through various upgrades, including a new wastewater system. The company plans to draw water from the deepest aquifer on the property instead of the top aquifer, which provides well water to nearby residences, according to a statement on the company's website.
Still, some residents remain wary: The vacant pickle plant left behind high levels of chromium, chloride, nitrates and carcinogens; and the state water authority found high concentrations of trichlorethylene (an industrial solvent) in groundwater as a result of a chicken vaccine manufacturing business operating in the town.
Allen Harim is an integrated poultry processor with operations in Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina. The company owns 25 farms and employs 1,400 workers.