Proposed soybean plant draws controversy

By: Christoper Nallan

CONOY TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A Lancaster County community revisits the subject of becoming the host of the first soybean extracting plant in Pennsylvania.

Purdue and the Department of Environmental Protection were in Conoy Township to hear the thoughts and concerns of the community relating to the air quality application.

31 people testified at the meeting, of them, 10 were opposed to the plant. But it all comes down to the wealth and health of the people.

One resident opposed saying those in the community don’t want to have to deal with the influx of traffic another plant will bring.

Some say it would greatly benefit the local farming community and Pennsylvania.

Others say it could be dangerous to their health.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, hexane is used to extract edible oils from seeds and vegetables as a special-use solvent and as a cleaning agent. Long term exposure to hexane emissions could result in central nervous system damage. According to a statement by Perdue, they have worked with D.E.P. to ensure this permit complies with strict state and federal regulatory requirements to ensure public health, safety, and environmental sustainability.

“The D.E.P. would not issue the permit if we were not meeting those benchmarks today,” said Gregory Rowe with Grains Operations and Environmental Health.

Emergency management doesn’t see any serious threats with the proposed plant.

The community has until April 10th to submit their public comments before a decision is made whether or not there will be a soybean plant.

If the plant is built it will add 35 new permanent jobs.

Post time: Feb-14-2017