Perdue responds to DEP's questions about controversial proposal

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jan 29, 2016 5:08 AM

(Conoy Township, Lancaster County) -- The company behind a controversial soybean plant proposed for Lancaster County recently submitted responses to a long list of questions from the state.

But there's still no sign about whether the Department of Environmental Protection will let the plans go forward.

Perdue Agribusiness has tried for years to build a soybean crushing plant in Conoy Township.

But it still needs DEP's approval.

In a response it filed recently, the company says installing special pollution control devices will pose safety risks and cost a lot of money.

Environmental advocates had called for the equipment, as the plant would release 208 tons of toxic hexane every year.

Patricia Longenecker - who lives nearby - isn't happy.

"The problem with that is it seems like a lone spokesperson, a lone scientific voice has spoken on their behalf in this regard," says Longenecker.

Perdue says it consulted multiple independent experts.

Company spokeswoman Julie DeYoung says they have all reached the same conclusion.

"The crush plant will pose no adverse health risks to residents, either in Lancaster County where it will be located, nor across the river in York County," she says.

She adds: "I'll point out that no other soybean extraction plant in the country uses this technology, and we think there's a reason for that."

DEP says it doesn't have a timeline for a decision on the proposed Lancaster County facility.

"How much of a load is this small area to accept?" asks Longenecker.

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