Green Delaware letter to the Nutrient Management Commission 

Green Delaware
Box 69
Port Penn DE 19731 USA
fax (302)836-3005

Steering committee:
Ross Abson
Frank Akutowicz
Bernard August (Treasurer)
Frieda Berryhill
Mary Cannon (Webmaster)
Thomas Colgan (Secretary)
Ted Keller
Jake Kreshtool
Faith Queman
Anna White
Alan Muller (Chair & Executive Director)

May 9, 2000

Mr. William Vanderwende, Chair
Nutrient Management Commission
R. D. 2 -Box 104
Bridgeville, DE 19933

Dear Mr. Vanderwende and other members of the Commission:

On behalf of the members of Green Delaware I am writing to ask you NOT to pass a resolution supporting incineration of poultry litter. Here are some of our reasons:

  • Many accommodations to the poultry industry were made in SB 280, including exceptions for small incinerators on farms. We also said we would look closely at any poultry waste incinerator operated elsewhere, and claimed to be environmentally beneficial.
  • Many better ways to deal with excess poultry litter are appearing, including different approaches to "relocation" (to where it can appropriately be used as fertilizer) and conversion into soil amendments, etc. There is no need for incineration.
  • People throughout Delaware worked together to pass Senate Bill 280. Some will see the present action as bad faith and opinion will be inflamed against the poultry industry.
  • Incinerators do not "convert" anything into electricity. The total amount of ash, greenhouse gases, and air pollutants is several times more than the waste originally burned.
  • Other chicken litter incinerators emit millions of pounds per year of health-threatening air pollutants. For example, the Fibrowatt poultry litter burner in Thetford England has a permit allowing it to put out about 5195520 pounds/per year of health-threatening air pollutants like particulates and carbon monoxide, plus dioxin, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and so on. Burning chicken poop would trade water pollution for air pollution.
  • Allen's wants to build it's first burner in Hurlock, MD, near the Delaware state line. Apparently this will be very difficult because people in Hurlock think they have enough air pollution already. Do the people of Delaware need more air pollution?
  • CHx Engineering (Presque Isle, MI) is the company wanting to build the Allen's Foods poop burners. Mr. Robert Graham, President of CHx, told Green Delaware his company had never designed nor built a poop burner before. He was unable to provide any figures on emissions. The burner would be an experiment on our lungs.
  • Incinerators have to be fed in order to be paid for. This could divert manure from more appropriate and perhaps profitable uses.
In conclusion, there is no reason for this action at this time, and many reasons against it. We would like to work with the Commission to support environmentally sound approaches to manure management.

We would be happy to discuss this matter further.


Alan J, Muller
Executive Director

Attachment: Permitted air emissions from Fibrowatt Thetford


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Alan J. Muller, Exec. Director
P.O. Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731
302-834-3466 Voice
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This page was last updated on June 18, 2000.