Code Orange bad air expected Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

July 23, 2010

"The large scale weather pattern is conducive to high ozone with high temperatures and westerly transport.  However, there is a chance of convection each day so that local ozone concentrations, as has been the case all this week, can vary widely.  Overall, highest ozone is expected in the Friday-Sunday period with a change in air mass to cleaner conditions by Monday."

As usual, we point out that the combination of heat, humidity, ozone, and particles creates true CODE RED conditions in Delaware.

From the DNREC:

"This alert represents the 18th Air Quality Action Day issued for Delaware this summer, although only two have been Code Red. On nine of these days ozone levels in Delaware exceeded the current air quality standard, and some of the remaining days saw high levels of ozone just beyond our borders in the Philadelphia region. While weather plays a large part in determining ozone levels, the Division of Air Quality within DNREC continues to work aggressively to reduce air pollution and clean Delaware�s air."

This sounds good, and we respect the DNREC air quality people, but this week Governor Markell vetoed SB 311 and indicated, in effect, his intention to bring biomass incinerator pollution to Delaware. 

A key aspect of this is the deafening silence of Delaware’s environmental community," which does what Markell wants.  We don’t doubt that the so-called "Clean Air Council" actively supported the veto–Executive Director Joe Minott did return a call on this point.  At this point, possibly the most valuable thing concerned Delaware residents can do is to stop supporting the Delaware Sierra Club, Delaware "Nature" Society, Delaware Audubon, Clean Air Council, etc, and ask for their contributions back.  These orgs will not clean up their acts without a higher level of scrutiny.  Green Delaware can’t prevail in these controversies without a higher level of support.

Here’s Governor Markell’s veto message.

And here’s something on the reality of wood burner pollution.

Here is the only somewhat balanced report we have seen on the announced shutdown of Unit 3 at the Indian River Polluting Plant.  Kudos to Coastal Point for trying to do real reporting rather than just regurgitating press releases.

Markell’s veto was discussed yesterday on the Al Mascitti show on WDEL.  Mascitti has often given opportunity for environmental concerns to be discussed and we thank him for that.

Air, obviously, isn’t the only thing polluted in Delaware.

Here’s a "Recreational Water Advisory" from the DNREC.  These are pretty much kept under wraps because beach businesses don’t want to lose business.  Should Green Delaware be reporting these also.  Let us know…..

Type: Recreational Water Advisory

Reason: Bacteria
Location: Tower Road-Bay Beach
Start Date: 07/20/2010
End Date: 07/27/2010
Description: Tower Road-Bay Side is located on the Rehoboth Bay
Comments: "A swimming advisory was issued for Tower Road Bay Side due to marginally high bacterial results from Monday, July 20th, 2010  As always, the risk of illness increases greatly when the head is submerged while swimming.  It is anticipated that the advisory will be lifted on July 27th.   For more information go to

Have a good weekend.  Avoid breathing? Avoid swimming?

Alan Muller

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