Thursday, November 12, 2015

Perdue’s soybean plant proposal could progress

It may be up to state regulators to decide the fate of Perdue AgriBusiness’ proposed soybean plant in Hellam Township, Pennsylvania.
The new township board that will take office in January 2016 said it will stop spending money fighting Perdue, and also said it wants to be more friendly to agriculture than the current board.
Perdue proposed building a $60 million soybean processor a few years ago, but some residents have expressed fears that hexane, a solvent used to extract soybean oil, will be emitted from the plant and cause adverse health effects. Many farmers in the area support the plant because it will fill the need for soybean processing in Pennsylvania and potentially increase the local soybean basis.

Another fight

The Pennsylvania Office of Open Records has begun a review of the 2012 agreement between Hellam Township and two opponents of the proposed plant because the confidential agreement may be against the state’s Right-To-Know Law.
Hellam Township has cited the agreement in refusing to turn over documents and correspondence sought by Perdue AgriBusiness.
According to a report, Perdue is asking the Office of Open Records to compel Hellam to release more records. Perdue has said it is seeking documents from Hellam to prepare its case if the state approves an air-quality permit needed to build the plant and Hellam appeals the decision. Perdue recently said such an appeal was “likely.”

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