The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued its final plan approval for Perdue AgriBusiness’ proposed grain elevator and soybean crushing facility in Conoy Township, Lancaster County, enabling the company to begin full construction on the plant in June.
Before construction can begin, Perdue must complete its acquisition of the property from the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA). The agreement between Perdue and LCSWMA was subject to the DEP permit approval.
“This plant builds on Perdue’s investment in Pennsylvania and its farming communities,” said Gregory Rowe, vice president of grain operations, environment, health & safety (EH&S) for Perdue AgriBusiness. “We worked with DEP for more than five years to ensure this permit met strict regulatory requirements and met the community’s high expectations. We appreciate the time and effort DEP’s professionals put into their review, and for the support of the entire Wolf administration on this project. We’re also grateful for all of the support we’ve received, and we’re incredibly thankful to local leaders and the agricultural community for working with us during this process. We’re eager to get started and enhance our services to farmers.”
Work is expected to begin in June with completion by September 2017, meaning farmers will be able to take advantage of the processing plant with their 2017 harvest. Perdue already has begun approved but limited land grading to prepare the site in the hope that construction could begin quickly upon DEP approval.
Perdue’s facility will be one of the nation’s most advanced soybean processing plants. Because it is being built on land adjacent to LCSWMA’s facility, it will have a smaller environmental footprint than the typical soybean processing plant, because processing water and steam will be provided by the authority.
The facility will be located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s largest soybean growing region, which includes seven of the state’s top 10 soybean-producing counties. Despite this robust market, most local soybeans today leave Pennsylvania for processing and then come back as livestock feed, and extra costs are incurred on both ends of the transportation cycle. This plant could expand market opportunities for farmers across the commonwealth.
The facility represents an investment of more than $60 million in Pennsylvania agriculture and the region. That investment could generate more than 150 construction jobs, 35 long-term jobs upon completion and an anticipated 500 additional jobs in crop production and transportation.