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Greed prevailed.

According to an article published today by LancasterOnline, the state approved an air pollution plan for Perdue’s hexane soybean processing plant in Lancaster County.

Apparently in Pennsylvania, pollution isn’t an issue. Representatives had a problem with pulling out of the Climate Agreement, yet don’t flinch when approving Perdue’s soybean-processing, air-pollutant-spilling plant in Conoy Township. A plant for which they had to BUY pollution credits from four other locations in Pennsylvania and New York to meet environmental standards and offset the pollution that this plant will generate.

Buy credits to offset pollution? Unbelievable. We’re talking about 174 tons of ANNUAL air pollution coming out of this one plant.

What exactly will this plant do? It will use hexane to process soybean meal. This toxic chemical causes pollution in the chicken’s feed, in the water we drink and in the air we breathe. Why? Because hexane is a chemical by-product of the oil industry that is explosive, smells like model airplane glue and is very dangerous. In fact, it is considered a hazardous air pollutant by the EPA. I guess they aren’t concerned with the employees and local residents who are in direct contact with this polluted air.

There is already a proven alternative to this polluting process. We have a fast-growing “clean” soybean meal processing industry in PA where soybeans are extruded and expeller-pressed without chemicals. This industry produces great quality consumer and animal-grade products. Why can’t they use it? Greed. It’s more expensive to process that way. At Bell & Evans, we have only used extruded and expeller-pressed soybean meal for 25 years. It’s better for our environment, our chickens and our families. In our minds, it’s worth the extra cost.

The other side will argue that there is only a “small amount” of hexane released in the air, feed and water, so it shouldn’t hurt anyone. If that’s the case, why did they have to buy pollution credits in order to meet the standards? Hexane is bad…we all know it’s bad. So why are we still allowing it to be used? I look forward to hearing the public’s views on all of this.