Upcoming bad air times….upcoming bad DNREC public hearings


Kid in gas mask

Kid in gas mask

Delaware air, by the official categories, mostly varies between Code Green and Code Yellow, with occasional excursions into worse conditions.  Now is one of those times.

Some states issue notices of Code Yellow conditions, but Delaware is not one of those states.  We (Green Delaware) often but not always do emails for Code Yellow days.  Feedback would be welcome on whether readers would like this always.  Several significant DNREC public hearings are coming up in June.

So the forecast:

Ozone and Particle pollution

Wed., June 10, 2015:  CODE YELLOW for both ozone and particle pollution.  So we make this CODE ORANGE.

Thursday, June 11, 2015:  CODE YELLOW for both and adding up, in our opinion, to CODE ORANGE.

Friday, June 12, 2015: CODE ORANGE for ozone and CODE YELLOW for particles, adding up, in our view, to CODE RED.

Allergens (mold, pollens, etc)

In addition, the allergen forecast is ORANGE, “medium high” for Wednesday through Sunday.   See:  http://www.pollen.com/allergy-forecast.asp?zip=19731

Temperature and Dew Point

In addition, afternoon temperatures Wed. and Thursday are forecast to reach 90 deg. F. and dewpoints (a better measure of comfort, see this explanation) to reach 70 or above.

All these factors–pollution, allergens, and head/humidity–combine to create uncomfortable and unhealthy conditions.  Please take care, and support clean air.

Upcoming hearings:

Wed., June 17th.

Coastal Zone Act permit hearing on “Green Recovery Technologies” application for a permit for a chicken waste processing plant in the City of New Castle.

Air Quality Permit hearing on the same scheme, immediately following the Coastal Zone Act hearing.

6:00, DNREC offices, 391 Lukens Drive, New Castle.  Note:  The entrance for hearings is usually in the rear of the building and signs may not be posted for people coming to the front.

This proposal has been around for a while and keeps coming back.  Green Delaware, Delaware Audubon, and the Sierra Club have filed comments opposing this project.  An update is in the works.  The New Castle Weekly ran a puff piece promoting the project, and Green Delaware sent in a response that may or may not be printed by the Weekly.

Thursday, June 25th.

Hearing on “vapor recovery” rule for gas stations.

DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Richardson and Robbins Building, Dover, DE, 19901

This is a somewhat complicated business and one in which the DNREC has actually been trying to do the right thing, after the US EPA rolled over.  It is about allowing gas stations to remove their “vapor recovery” equipment because, supposedly, most cars now have the ability to catch the vapors.  but many cars do not, and, of course, boats, mower gas cans, etc, don’t either.  So the gas station equipment should stay.  But gas station owners, notably WAWA from what we have heard, don’t want to spend the money.  At a previous hearing two of the most anti-environmental Delaware legislators, Gerald Hocker (operator of gas stations) and Robert Venables (no longer in the Senate) showed up and threatened legislative action if the DNREC didn’t cave.  More information in Green Delaware’s comments here.

We will have an update on this also.

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