Code Orange bad air in Delaware happening now.

From the State of Delaware, DNREC:

“Tuesday, December 8th, will be a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Delaware!”

“A Code Orange air quality forecast for particulates is a level of pollution that can be unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as young children, the elderly, and those with heart and/or respiratory conditions. Such persons should limit outdoor activities, especially those that require a high level of exertion.”

More info from the forecasters at Penn State:

” An unprecedented air quality event is unfolding across the state. A very strong area of high pressure has created strong surface inversions over the past few days that have trapped pollutants and quickly caused particle concentrations to rise into the upper Moderate to USG range. Typically these types of strong inversions do not develop until later in the winter, when there is snow on the ground. For Tuesday, another strong morning inversion is expected, and very light winds will become calm in the afternoon, which will continue to limit atmospheric mixing. This stagnation will allow particle concentrations to reach the USG range on Tuesday, mainly in northern Delaware. **Extended Forecast: By Wednesday afternoon, surface winds will pick up, which should return particles to the upper Moderate range. But on Thursday, a warming trend combined with another episode of stagnating winds may push particles back into the USG range.” [Code Orange]

Monday was a Code Yellow day. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are presently forecast to be Code Yellow days.  A solid week of bad air.

Comment:  Overall, air quality in Delaware is often bad.  Code Yellow days are common.  Code Orange days in winter are unusual but they do occur.

Ironically, Governor Jack Markell issued this paen to the worse air polluter in Delaware, the Delaware City Refinery, in his “weekly message” on November 20th, 2015:

“Today, the Delaware City Refinery is up and running more efficiently, cleanly, and safely than ever, and we should pause and take note of what that says about the spirit and fortitude of our people,” said Governor Markell. “Our work is far from done, but six years after the refinery shuttered, it represents the ability of our people to keep Delaware moving forward.”

On November 30th,  this was in the news:

Officials: Worker Burned at Delaware City Refinery
Posted: Nov 30, 2015 9:44 AM CST

DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) – Delaware authorities say a worker was burned at a refinery in Delaware City.

New Castle County Paramedics said in a statement that they were called Sunday evening to the Delaware City Refinery Company for a report of an injured worker. Paramedics say when they arrived they found a 62-year-old man with burns on his face and neck from a flash fire in an industrial area at the refinery.

The paramedics say they treated the man for first and second degree burns and that the man was taken to Christiana Hospital in stable condition and later taken to a Pennsylvania burn center.

Paramedics did not release any additional information. A telephone message seeking comment left for a spokesman for New Jersey-based refinery owner PBF Energy was not immediately returned Monday.

Crude oil exports:

We did an Action Alert on this because it seems so important.  Delaware is likely more vulnerable to the consequences of climate change than any other US state.  To have any chance of limiting these consequences we need a rapid transition to low-carbon electricity.  We need to leave hydrocarbons in the ground.  (Of course, the oil and gas people would like to be able to see their stuff at world market prices….)

And, of course, Delaware suffers from refinery pollution, oil train hazards, and other problems that can be contained by phasing down petroleum use.

So it is ironic that Senators Carper and Coons would be fingered by activists as among the Democrats most likely to vote with the oil and gas interests. But, sadly, they very often act against the interests of Delawareans.

So, if you haven’t, please take a look at the posting on this and give Coons and Carper a shout.  Thanks much to all who have already responded on this.

Alan Muller

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