LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cleaning up air pollution caused by chicken houses

Recently there has been a massive expansion of building chicken houses in Delaware and in Maryland.

Just one of these chicken houses can hold up to 50,000 chickens, and of course 50,000 chickens making waste!

In one small area of Sussex County there were about 15 chicken houses installed and put up without the community even knowing it was happening!

The problem created by these chickens is not only the physical waste by the chickens but it’s also the air pollution created by the chicken houses, if you can imagine living near a million or 2 million chickens is not very pleasant! And given the opportunity no one would want to live near them!

Recently I was over a mile away from the industrial chicken assembly line, and the smell was so toxic it would almost gag you.

These chicken houses devastate property values and not to mention takes away the individual property owners’ ability to live in their homes comfortably and to use every aspect of their home and property due to the air pollution!

Recently I attended a coffee greet and meet with Dave Wilson, a local state representative, and state Sen. Brian Pettijohn from the 19th District was there and this topic was brought up at that meeting, and the topic of this pollution problem was brought up as well.

And it was brought to the attention of our representatives that in other countries, chicken houses are required to have air scrubbers on the air that comes out of the chicken houses through the ventilation process because they found that the air coming out of these chicken houses was highly toxic, so the government required them to put scrubbers in to capture the toxins before the air could be released back into the environment.

A gentleman who was a sitting next to Sen. Pettijohn, replied that it would add 2 to 3 cents cost per chicken to add the air scrubbers, and my reply to him was ‘What is your health worth’?

No citizens or community should have to subsidize any business, or to suffer the consequences or annoyances of a business in any community, especially a new business to a community!

It’s a small price to pay to clean up their pollution that they are spreading throughout the community and does not make for a good neighbor!

If everybody took the catalytic converters, and their mufflers off of their cars and trucks, I’m sure their vehicles would get better gas mileage, but the air and noise pollution would be unacceptable. A single catalytic converter can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. That’s an added expense to a vehicle which a vehicle owner is subject to absorb to operate that vehicle!

Bill Sharpe

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