The DNREC Groundwater Discharges Section conducted a virtual public hearing on the application and draft construction permit and associated modification and renewal draft permit for Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc.’s On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal System. This page contains the applications, draft permits, and associated materials for public review.
On Jan. 11, 2021, the DNREC Secretary issued Secretary’s Order No. 2021-W-0003 approving a construction permit, and a modified and renewed operating permit for the Mountaire Farms poultry processing complex in Millsboro.
The virtual hearing (Docket #2020-P-W-0014) was held on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. The public comment period was open through June 22, 2020.
Construction Permit (4/29/20)
Mountaire Farms of Delaware Inc. has applied for a State of Delaware Construction Permit for significant upgrades of the existing wastewater treatment facility at the Millsboro, Delaware poultry processing complex in order to provide enhanced wastewater effluent treatment capabilities. The proposed upgrades will allow the wastewater treatment system to treat wastewater to a total nitrogen concentration of 10 mg/L or less.
The proposed wastewater treatment system upgrade project includes the installation of improvements to the activated sludge biological nitrogen removal (BNR) treatment system components. The project also includes the installation of a new tertiary sand filtration system for final effluent polishing and a new stormwater first flush/off-spec lagoon. A new screw press sludge dewatering system will be installed to increase waste activated sludge handling capacity. The existing spray storage lagoon will continue to be used for final effluent storage prior to disposal in the existing spray irrigation fields. A new spray storage lagoon will be installed to expand the final effluent storage volume.
In 2019, Mountaire performed preliminary soils work in support of the design and application.
On February 10, 2020, Mountaire submitted an application for the proposed upgrades of the existing Mountaire Farms Wastewater Treatment System at the Millsboro facility. The application consisted of the following documents.
Drawings – Mountaire Farms WWTP Upgrade 02.05.2020.pdf
On April 24, 2020, in an attempt to address odor and groundwater quality concerns raised by members of the public in connection with anaerobic lagoons, Mountaire submitted a request for revision of the wastewater treatment system plan upgrade proposal. Under the requested revision, the anaerobic lagoons would be replaced with equalization tanks. The submittal consisted of the following documents.
On April 27, 2020, Mountaire provided a list of pertinent upgrades necessary to meet a Total Nitrogen effluent concentration of 10 mg/L. This list was utilized in developing a Schedule of Compliance in the Construction Permit establishing priority on the completion of components that would reduce the effluent Total Nitrogen concentration. The email may be found at the following link.
The proposed upgrades are also in accordance with the following enforcement documents.
Mountaire Farms of Delaware Inc. has applied to modify and renew their State of Delaware Spray Irrigation Operations Permit for Mountaire’s wastewater treatment facility to receive and treat poultry processing wastewater, stormwater, and sanitary waste. After the completion of construction upgrades, the wastewater treatment facility will discharge treated wastewater effluent with a total nitrogen concentration of 10 mg/L or less.
The effluent will be spray irrigated onto approximately 893.63 acres. Seven center pivot spray irrigation systems are located north of State Route #24 and are designated as WHBJ Systems Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. In addition, six center pivot spray irrigation systems are located south of Route #24 and are designated as Center Block Systems Nos. 3, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3DE, and 3DW.
On February 7, 2020, Mountaire submitted a request for the modification of the existing Spray Irrigation Operation Permit, DEN Number 359191-04, to incorporate the proposed facility upgrades in the construction permit application submission.
Until the construction of the upgrades have been completed, the continuation of operation will be in accordance with the previously permitted design documents and Operation and Maintenance Manual.
2012 Operation and Maintenance Manual.pdf