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Correspondence and documents related to the “Green Recovery Technologies” facility proposed for the City of Newcastle, DE

Updated Thursday, November 13, 2014.

Some documents in this matter are posted by the DNREC at this location.

Other documents obtained by Green Delaware are linked here (work in progress).

This is the most recent DNREC reply to our Freedom of Information Act requests:

http://www.greendel.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/FOIA-Request.pdf

And here are some valuable comments provided by the Delaware Audubon Society:

http://www.greendel.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014-Nov-DAS-Martell-comments-on-GRT-Coastal-Zone-Act-Permit.pdf

Below is some email correspondence between Green Delaware and the Delaware DNREC:  We will add to it as it develops.

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Can we stop another big stink? Can we get the Coastal Zone Act enforced?

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Is there any end to it …?

(Note:  We get that this might seem trivial compared to the giant oil and gas facilities being shoved into Delaware.  More upcoming on those.  But if we can’t enforce our environmental laws on smaller projects, how can we expect to enforce them on big ones?)

No permit (yet) but the poultry waste plant already built.  Who are they kidding?  (US)

Skids greased for polluters but public participation curtailed

Readers will know that Peninsula Composting has been ordered to shut down.  The facility is supposed to be clearing out its existing materials.  Neither Peninsula nor DNREC have been returning phone calls, so we can’t tell you a lot more.

We’ve worked up a description of how the situation developed and what went wrong.  There’s is plenty of blame to spread around.  This grew to three thousand words, so we decided not to email it.  Read it here:

Update on the Big Stink from Peninsula Compost (“Wilmington Organics Recycling Center”)

Treating people worse than garbage in Delaware?

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Too many things happening on Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014 (In addition to the elections!)

Amy Roe, Conservation Chair of the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club, posted this on Facebook:

“Why does everything happen on the same night? The evening of November 5th is the UD strategic plan community meeting (Newark), DNREC’s listening session on greenhouse gas rules (Dover), Protecting Our Indian River’s environmental justice forum (Millsboro), and the listening session for the Draft Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Planning (Lewes). And why does DNREC hold listening sessions on two important issues on the very same night (and in 2 different counties)?”

DNREC “listening session” on the EPA “Clean Power Plan”–Nov 5, 2014, in Dover, DE

The official notice is below.

Green Delaware Comments:

The “Clean Power Plan,” formally two proposals released in June by the EPA for public comment, is extremely complicated and hard to fully understand.  So much so that regulatory agencies, advocacy orgs, and others who have studied it at great length are not entirely sure what it all means. States have a great deal of flexibility in complying with the proposed requirements, whatever they turn out to be. Continue reading

Update on the Big Stink from Peninsula Compost (“Wilmington Organics Recycing Center”)

Treating the people like garbage in Delaware?

Our previous comments on this matter may have had some effect, but we don’t know what the Markell administration intends to do, and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) secretary David Small did not return a call (We didn’t really expect him to, because we know him, but we tried.).

We’ve had some long conversations with people in the industry, and studied the transcript of the public hearing, and talked with people in various parts of Delaware’s environmental regulatory agency (DNREC).  We draw on our 20 years experience with environmental controversy in Delaware. Continue reading

Help stop the big stink….

2-stinky1448 Many know that a public hearing was held on August 28, about the continued operation of the Peninsula Composting facility in South Wilmington.  This facility has been causing major odor problems and many elected officials, including the Mayor of Wilmington, the New Castle County Executive, and members of the Delaware General Assembly, called for Peninsula Composting to be shut down.  Surrounding communities apparently regret the “Community Benefits Agreement” they signed and want the facility closed.

Green Delaware has some history with composting in general and Peninsula Composting in particular.  Composting–unlike, say, incineration–is in general a desirable way to manage some wastes.  But, the devil is in the details and every proposal needs to be considered on it’s own merits.  It was easy to predict problems with Peninsula Composting and we did.

In the past few days we have studied the track record of Peninsula Composting–to the extent the State has been willing and able to provide it–and have talked with various players.  We’ve been trying to determine whether the facility could be operated without causing a nuisance.  We have concluded that the chance of this happening is low; if Peninsula Composting stays in operation people will continue to be stunk out of their homes.  Therefore, the facility needs to be shut down.

Your voice is needed.  September 10th is the last official day for public comments–but send them late if necessary.  (We’ve been waiting for more info but time is running out.) Please send comments to:
Bob Haynes, Hearing Officer <Robert.Haynes@state.de.us>, Dave Small, DNREC Secretary <David.Small@state.de.us>, Governor Jack Markell <jack.markell@state.de.us>, the EPA <garvin.shawn@epa.gov>, your state Senator and Representative, and please copy Green Delaware <alan@greendel.org>.

Here are the comments Green Delaware submitted.  We want the public comment period extended and the facility shut down.  Feel free to use them as a resource, or, you can just say you agree with the Green Delaware’s comments.  A blog post–in progress–with more information is here.

Green Delaware’s comments on Peninsula Composting

Green Delaware
Alan Muller, Executive Director
Box 69. One Stewart Street
Port Penn, DE 19731 USA
cell 302.299.6783
greendel@dca.net
www.greendel.org

September 10, 2014

Mr, Robert Haynes, Hearing Officer
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
via email

Regarding:  Peninsula Composting–Renewal, or not, of “Beneficial Use Determination”

Dear Mr. Haynes:

Green Delaware recommends, reluctantly, that the Beneficial Use Determination and other approvals for Peninsula Composting (sometimes known as the Wilmington Organics Recycling Center, WORC) not be renewed, and that the facility be required to close. Continue reading