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A moral and ethical call to oppose Biogas Project in Sussex Bioenergy Devco’s proposal for Seaford is a false solution for managing poultry waste in Delaware. On the contrary, factory farm biogas will do nothing to aid our poultry waste overload and everything to further entrench both factory farms and fossil fuel infrastructure in our communities. It will pollute and degrade air, water, and soil, perpetuate environmental injustice, and further entrench damaging forms of industrial agriculture.
Delaware Interfaith Power & Light (DeIPL), a faith-based environmental nonprofit is part of the coalition opposing this proposal along with many other environmental and social justice organizations like Food & Water Watch, Delaware Chapter Sierra Club, Delaware Working Families Party, etc.

We believe it is a textbook case of environmental racism to propose this industrial the refinery in a marginalized, migrant residential community in Seaford, and it’s our moral responsibility to stand with our neighbors in opposing it.
On October 6th, Delaware IPL held an info session on biogas that several faith leaders, elected officials, and concerned citizens attended. The Rev. Canon Martha Kirkpatrick, an Episcopal Priest, summed it up well: “Faith leaders and Delaware citizens have a right to expect that every public policy decision moves us in a positive direction around our major goals, specifically: the continued improvement and health of our air and water; continued progress in the reduction of greenhouse gasses, and addressing climate change; and continued progress in ensuring a just and fair society for all of our residents. Bioenergy DevCo’s the proposal currently before DNREC moves us in the wrong direction in all three of these major public policy areas. It creates a significantly greater risk to Delaware waters by increased poultry waste spreading, a known and significant contributor to nitrate pollution. It increases the production of methane gas, a known and serious greenhouse gas. And finally, it puts the health of the neighboring low- income Haitian and Latinx communities at risk, communities facing language and economic barriers that severely restrict their ability to advocate on their own Behalf.”

Rev. Joseph W.A. Archie, III, Delaware District Supriendentant, United Methodist Church said, “People of color and persons of low socioeconomic status are still disproportionately impacted and are particularly concentrated in neighborhoods and communities with the greatest number of toxic and hazardous facilities.” It is clear that the biogas plant will pose a threat to the surrounding families in the Laurel/Seaford area who are disproportionately people of color and/or immigrant communities. The United Methodist Book of Resolutions encourages all United Methodists to advocate for comprehensive legislation that remedies these injustices and adequately protects all citizens and the environment and stand in solidarity with environmental justice movements led by people of color and native peoples who have been adversely impacted by environmental toxins in their neighborhoods.”

As the 4th most polluted state in the nation, do we need a project that will bring 200,000 tons of poultry waste from tri-state areas every year? This waste would be trucked into heavy-duty trucks, polluting our air to produce more fossil natural gas for Chesapeake Utilities, which hopes to expand its Eastern Shore Natural Gas facility in Bridgeville to receive this gas. That site is also in a residential area predominantly occupied by low-income families and people of color who are less represented by people in power. How is that a solution?
We invite Faith communities, Environmental and Social justice organizations to stand in solidarity with the vulnerable migrant community in Sussex, so it doesn’t become a ‘sacrifice zone’ for another Industrial facility in the name of profit, and say NO to more fossil fuel production as for a net-zero emission future for Delaware. Please join us, Oct 26th at 6PM at the DNREC hearing in testifying against Bioenergy Devco here: