Hundreds of Advocates Present Unified Front Against Bioenergy Scheme, Sussex County Council to Deliberate

New research highlights health, safety and environmental justice concerns with the factory farm gas proposal, amplifies advocates’ momentum


Food System

Dover, DE — Today, over 230 advocates submitted public comments and many gave powerful testimony at a public hearing in front of the Sussex County Council in unified opposition to Bioenergy DevCo’s proposed factory farm gas scheme. The County Council adjourned the meeting without a vote on the project, signaling a delay and victory for advocates.

Advocates stressed the improper zoning of the project because Bioenergy is proposing to site an industrial gas production and refining facility in an area reserved for residential and agricultural use. Speakers also highlighted the Planning & Zoning Commission’s failure to listen to County constituents, in their near unanimous recommendation last week to approve the scheme.

In breaking new research addressing misinformation shared at the hearing, Food & Water Watch exposed the abhorrent environmental injustices fundamental to this scheme. In Seaford, Delaware, people of color make up about 32 percent of the population within the 3-mile radius of the proposed anaerobic digester — almost double that of Sussex County, which is 17 percent people of color. Likewise, more than a third of the population within the 3-mile radius lives below the poverty line, compared to 12 percent across Sussex County.

In response, Food & Water Watch Delaware Organizer Greg Layton issued the following statement:

“Bioenergy DevCo likes to talk about how organic and clean this process is. But in reality, there is nothing clean about using industrial factory farm waste to create gas that will only further entrench dirty fossil fuel infrastructure in our most vulnerable communities and across the Delmarva region. The Sussex County Council needs to listen to their constituents’ robust opposition and deny Bioenergy DevCo’s conditional use application.”

Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]