DNREC Public Hearing Oct. 26 on Proposed Biogas Facility Expansion in Seaford


DNREC will hold a virtual public hearing on Wednesday on the proposed expansion by Bioenergy Devco, of its existing composting facility in the Seaford area to transform organic waste into renewable energy. The public hearing will begin at 6pm. The proposed expansion will require multiple permits from several divisions of DNREC. To comment at the public hearing you must be pre-registered, however comments made in writing to DNREC will carry the same weight. Registration and connection information for the hearing can be found on DNREC’s Bioenergy Devco public hearing webpage

Information from DNREC:
The public hearing will allow attendees who have pre-registered with DNREC to offer comments on Bioenergy Devco’s permit applications to be entered into the public record. All public comments made directly to DNREC – whether received verbally at the public hearing or in writing before or after the hearing – have the same weight and will be considered equally by the DNREC Secretary in making a decision on whether to grant the permits that BDC would require for proceeding with its expansion plans. It is not necessary to submit comments elsewhere – and only comments made to DNREC and entered into the public record will be considered by the Department as part of the permit decision process. Closed captioning, in languages including English and Spanish, is available as an option for comments from the community.

BDC’s facility is currently permitted by DNREC to accept organic waste from approved poultry industry sources for composting. The proposed facility expansion would give BDC the capacity for receiving and processing up to 250,000 tons per year of permitted organic waste. In addition to the proposed anaerobic digestion system, the expansion plans also include construction of a wastewater pre-treatment system and a biogas upgrading plant. There is also a proposed emergency generator in the expansion plans.

Byproducts from the process would include pipeline-grade renewable natural gas (RNG) and digestate, which would be dewatered and is proposed for use in the adjacent compost facility – or to be marketed in the future as a soil amendment that can be turned into compost (and which would require a distribution and marketing permit that is not part of the current proposed project and permit applications).

Specifically, the DNREC permits BDC has applied for include:

  • A resource recovery facility permit from the DNREC Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances to construct an anaerobic digestion system, biogas upgrading plant, and compost facility, designed to process poultry industry wastes into digestate, pipeline-grade renewable natural gas (RNG), and compost. Wastes the facility will accept include poultry litter, hatchery waste, dissolved air flotation (DAF) solid cake and liquid sludge, offal, waste activated sludge, and fats, oils, and greases.
  • Two 1102 Natural Minor air pollution permits from the DNREC Division of Air Quality to construct a natural gas-fired emergency generator with a standby power rating of 1,082 kilowatts (kW) (1,451 horsepower) and four anaerobic digesters with associated biogas upgrade and air pollution control equipment. The engine used in the proposed generator set is certified to comply with, and will be required to adhere to, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
  • Two wastewater facility construction permits from the DNREC Division of Water to construct an anaerobic digestion system and a wastewater pre-treatment system as part of the proposed resource recovery facility that processes poultry industry wastes into digestate, pipeline-grade renewable natural gas and compost. The anaerobic digestion system and wastewater pretreatment system will include three 0.208-million-gallon (MG) pretreatment tanks, and four 1.95 MG fermentation tanks, a Membrane Bioreactor System (MBR), a 0.198 MG anoxic tank, a 0.412 MG aerobic reactor, a 0.198 MG ultrafiltration feeding tank and ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis treatment systems. The treated wastewater will be pumped and hauled to the Seaford wastewater treatment and disposal facility. BDC plans for a future construction phase will eliminate the need to transport the wastewater via truck by constructing a sanitary sewer pump station and force main that will connect to a future city of Seaford force main located in front of the BDC biogas site on Seaford Road.

BDC’s permit applications and supporting materials can be found in detail on the DNREC website, de.gov/biodevco.