Date set for Frankford well permit appeal to be heard

Date Published: 
Jan. 20, 2017

In August 2016, the Town of Frankford filed a statement of appeal with the State’s Environmental Appeals Board, following the decision of Delaware Department of Natural Resources Secretary David Small to approve well permits issued to Mountaire Farms.

The letter, dated Aug. 16, said the Town challenges DNREC’s finding that the industrial non-potable well is not in violation of Delaware Code for being “interconnected with any portion of the building’s plumbing and/or any water utility’s service connection,” as well as the failure of DNREC to revoke the permit, as “Mountaire has failed to abide by Permit #252076’s conditions, which is to ‘follow all current regulations governing well construction.’”

The appeal states that the interests of the Town have been substantially affected, as the Town provides water to its approximately 888 citizens, and that they were never informed of the permits being requested or issued.

It goes on to state that there are “severe issues and concerns with the non-potable well drilled by Mountaire … causing health concerns and quality of water concerns with backflow and cross-contamination problems — a severe health hazard for potable water usage.”

At its July 2016 meeting, the council said the decrease in usage has also caused the Town to face a $71,000 deficit, causing the Town to consider raising water rates. That increase would raise the water rate from $8.75 per 1,000 gallons to $12.68 per 1,000 gallons. There is also a monthly service rate of $3.

The hearing for the Town of Frankford’s appeal is set for Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 9 a.m. in the auditorium of the Richardson & Robbins Building in Dover. While the meeting is open to the public, public comment will not be permitted, as the board is a semi-judicial body and the format of the hearing is as a court proceeding.

The board may verbally announce their decision at the conclusion of the hearing.

According to Delaware Code Title 7 § 6007, the Environmental Appeals Board consists of seven Delaware residents appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The Richardson and Robbins building is located at 89 Kings Highway in Dover.