Environmental groups are continuing their fight against poultry producer Allen Harim Foods, which wants to convert a former Vlasic pickle plant in Millsboro, Delaware, into a poultry processing complex. Protecting Our Indian River and the Inland Bays Foundations have asked Delaware Superior Court to overturn the Delaware Environmental Appeals Board’s (DEAB) May ruling that favored Allen Harim Foods.

Groups find fault in Delaware Environmental Appeals Board decision

On May 13, DEAB unanimously denied a challenge to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s approval of the poultry processor’s plans. Environmental and local neighborhood groups -- including Protecting Our Indian River and the Inland Bays Foundations -- had challenged the plans, citing worries that a chicken processing plant would cause further pollution to area land and water. In a written opinion released on June 24, the DEAB stated that some of the pollution cited by opponents of Allen Harim’s plans likely came from their own neighborhoods.

According to Delaware Online, the environmental groups called the earlier decision "arbitrary" and "an abuse of discretion." The groups argued that the poultry processor’s plans fail to comply with state pollution control regulations.

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Allen Harim plans to process small birds for ginseng stew

Allen Harim Foods hopes to employ as many as 700 people at the complex, where it plans to process a smaller breed of chickens used in a ginseng stew popular in Asia, the company has stated.

Another legal challenge pending

The latest challenge to Allen Harim is not the only related suit to be considered by Delaware Superior Court. The court is also looking at a case that challenges the Sussex County Board of Adjustment’s approval for the potential Allen Harim complex.