LETTER: A better way for Perdue

Letter to the Editor

It is a strange world indeed where, in the name of the worthy cause of helping farmers to sell soybeans, Perdue, a multibillion dollar corporation, plans to dump hundreds of tons of toxic hexane wastes from their proposed soybean processing plant into the air we all must breathe. Doesn’t the equally worthy cause of helping the thousands of persons in our region who, according to the American Lung Association, are already suffering and dying from debilitating lung diseases such as asthma and COPD also deserve attention?

There's a better way to run this air-polluting soybean processing business. We can have both clean air and a place for farmers to sell more of their soybeans. What is needed is for the owners of Perdue to show as much compassion for the people in our area who suffer from lung diseases as they do for the health of the chickens they describe in their expensive newspaper and TV advertising.

According to the Federal Clean Air Act, in a high air pollution area such as this Lancaster/York area, Perdue is required by the EPA and PA-DEP to put an emission control device on their plant's meal dryer and cooler exhaust system. Without such a device, illegal total levels of hexane would be released into the air from their proposed plant. A direct thermal oxidizer uses technology that has been shown to have an excellent safety record and is capable of removing up to 95 percent of the hexane emissions from the exhaust system of the plant.

Installing this device would be a major step in solving Perdue's air pollution problem. It would benefit soybean farmers in the Lancaster-York area as well as helping those who have serious lung diseases in this region. Wouldn't the PR benefits that Perdue could gain by controlling the toxic hexane emissions from their proposed plant far outweigh the benefits they hope to gain from using ads to entice a skeptical public to buy more chicken products? Acts of compassion speak louder than slick advertising slogans and TV cartoons.

Dr. Warren H. Evans, Ph.D.

Retired cancer research biochemist

Hellam Township