1. Claim: This facility will threaten water quality and contribute to climate change.
By diverting poultry waste from landfills and direct land application, Bioenergy Devco is reducing threats to water quality. When poultry waste is applied directly to the land, the micronutrients contained in that waste are not easily available for plants to absorb. The result is that when it rains, those nutrients can either run off directly to waterways or percolate down into the water table below. When the waste goes through an anaerobic digester and is further composted, the end product soil supplement provides those micronutrients in a form that permits more effective plant uptake of the nutrients, thus decreasing the runoff of those nutrients.
Fact: Climate Change
By diverting poultry waste from landfills and direct land application, Bioenergy Devco is reducing the impacts to climate change. As organic waste breaks down in landfills or on open fields, methane gas can be released directly into the environment. Our process does not release methane directly into the air. Rather, we capture that methane as renewable natural gas in an enclosed system. Then the renewable natural gas is utilized in homes and factories as a substitute for fossil fuel-based natural gas.
Each year the Bioenergy Innovation Center will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking nearly 19,000 gasoline-powered cars off the road. The reduction of greenhouse gas equals the equivalent of the absorption created by a forest 84 times that of Central Park.
Fact: Environmental Justice
Bioenergy Devo is committed to working with community members to ensure we continue to be a good neighbor. We are locating the new anaerobic digester at a composting facility that has been at this location for over 20years. By moving from strictly composting to include an anaerobic digester, we are improving our processes, reducing impacts to the environment, and creating jobs.
Bioenergy Devco has opened our doors to the community, and we have welcomed comments from all of our neighbors. Though there are a vocal few who object to our planned expansion, overall we have received support from members of the community.
2. Claim: The company has not reached out to residents in the Latino and Haitian communities.
We invited local community members to our open houses and family-focused activities multiple times, sending individually addressed postcards through the mail in English and Spanish. In recent weeks, we have spoken about the project on Spanish-language radio and translated content into Spanish and Haitian Creole. As we learn more about the local community, we have strengthened our commitment to engaging in community conversations and better communicating with our neighbors in multiple languages. We encourage residents to attend one of our upcoming open house events to learn more.
3. Claim: The facility will accept 250,000 tons of waste a day.
This is the volume of waste the facility anticipates receiving each year.
4. Claim: 200 trucks a day will bring waste to the facility, increasing traffic and creating safety risk.
The road in front of the facility already sees about 4,000 vehicles daily. Our operation has 25 vehicles in and out each day or 50 trips. At capacity, we anticipate no more than 83 vehicles to travel in and out of the facility each day, a total of 166 daily trips, for a relevant increase in traffic of less than 1.5 %. DelDOT (Delaware Department of Transport) has granted this facility a commercial entrance permit for the anticipated average daily traffic of 166 vehicles.
While we are still finalizing our distribution plans, if trucks are used, they would meet or exceed all U.S. DOT safety standards. They’re the same type of trucks that transport propane and natural gas in our community every day.
5. Claim: Hazardous wastewater will be “dumped” into the Nanticoke River.
Much of the wastewater created by our technology is recycled and reused in the anaerobic digestion process. But any excess wastewater produced will be filtered and fully treated. It will be sent to the city of Seaford’s wastewater plant, mixed with Seaford’s wastewater from local homes and businesses, treated again, then discharged according to rigorous state permits that protect our local waterways. Not only do the Friends of the Nanticoke support the expansion of the BIC, but the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also endorses anaerobic digestion as the best way to recycle organic waste.
6. Claim: The plant will release air pollution.
Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment Controls (DNREC) reviews our permit applications to ensure air emissions are appropriately managed. As a condition of permitting, we will install control equipment to manage emissions in a way that meets all environmental standards. The alternatives are to apply untreated chicken processing waste on the land (land application) or send these waste products to landfills or incinerators. This can lead to nutrient runoff and harmful, uncontrolled, and unmonitored emissions of greenhouse gases.
7. Claim: The plant will generate noxious, foul-smelling odors that will hurt our neighbors.
We are a part of this community, and our employees live here with their families. Our anaerobic digestion process is fully enclosed and includes systems that reduce and eliminate odors.
8. Claim: There is no market for the compost.
Part of the composting process involves allowing compost to sit for 90 days. Compost made from the anaerobic digestion process takes only half that time. Once ready for distribution, the compost sells quickly, and has, in fact, been sold out multiple times per year. Our organic compost is an excellent soil addition designed for use in farms, landscaping, and edible gardens. We adhere to the U.S. Composting Council requirements in its Seal of Testing Assurance (STA) Certified Compost program.