Category Archives: about Green Delaware

Alert 649: In Washington, DC, signs of change. In Delaware….every backbone counts

Green Delaware Alert 649
(please post/forward)
(note:  Some versions of this Alert were incorrectly numbered 648)

Fossil Fools Day
Obama and the auto industry
Opportunity knocks, but can the environmental movement step up to the plate?
In Delaware, “The more things change, the more they stay the same….”
In a small place, every backbone counts ….

Continue reading

Green Delaware Site Outage

Thank you for your patience  during the recent Green Delaware site outage.  In the near future at least, this WordPress blog will be our main online presence.  The “old” website will be available “soon” and will remain online indefinitely as an archive of over 630 Alerts and other items.

Please keep on sharing your suggestions

Alan Muller

The Committee of Chronic Violators ….

Note:  This post dates from 2002.  This update is inserted 12 years later, on Nov. 24, 2014. 

Some of the organizations who behaved so badly in this episode might be represented by better people these days, notably Audubon and Sierra, but the general pattern of servility to industrial interests, and wanting to be accepted insiders at any costs, hasn’t changed much if at all.  The Mid-Atlantic Environmental Law Center is no more, Lyman Welch, an honorable guy, is working in Chicago, and Bob Whetzel is representing the “Peninsula Composting” appeal of the shutdown order.  Dave McBride still chairs the Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Control committee.  John Carney, then representing “Clean Air Council” was fired by them and is long gone from Delaware.  The membership of the committee was engineered by Dave Small.  This is the sort of thing that qualified him, in Governor Markell’s eyes, to head up the DNREC.

Here is a link to the (official) minutes of the June 10, 2002, Committee of Chronic Violators.  For your amusement and enlightenment.  See also this:

 Green Delaware Alert # 142
(please post/forward)

Why Delaware stays polluted:
In “The Chemical Capital of the World,” polluters write the environmental

The committee of chronic violators

Calls, emails needed….

May 21, 2002. Why does Delaware stay so polluted and unhealthy, with
nothing really changing, in spite of one pollution scandal after
another? Continue reading

Alert #32 Delaware Coastal Zone Act faces greatest threat in 26 years

Port Penn, DE. November 17, 1998. One of Delaware’s most important laws is its Coastal Zone Act, passed in 1971. It says: “The coastal areas of Delaware are the most critical areas for the future of the State in terms of the quality of life in the State….it is the policy of the State to control the location, extent, and type of industrial development [to] better protect the natural environment of its bay and coastal areas and safeguard their use primarily for recreation and tourism….This … [law] …seeks to prohibit entirely the construction of new heavy industry in ….coastal areas, which industry is determined to be incompatible with the protection of that natural environment in those areas……”

Working through Del. Gov. Tom Carper, heavy industries operating in the Coastal Zone (including DuPont, Delmarva Power, and Texaco) are poised to gut the Coastal Zone Act. In a key victory, they got the Sierra Club, the Del. Audubon Society, and the Del. “Nature” Society to sign a “Memorandum of Agreement” reinterpreting the Act in favor of industry. No members of the “recreation and tourism ” industries, or fishermen, or watermen, participated in this “Agreement.”

Regulations based on this “Agreement” as expected to be adopted by the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board after a public hearing in Dover on November 23 at one PM.

Lets compare the Act to the “Agreement:” The ACT says “… construction of industrial plants in the coastal zone … is declared to be against public policy.” The AGREEMENT says “the regulatory process should be designed to that each heavy industry facility can obtain permits to add new products, change existing products, increase production capacity, add new processes and modify existing processes…. Such a regulatory process has been developed. Among it’s provisions:

Industry may increase pollution in the Zone in return for “offsetting.” For example, a refinery could put out more air pollution in return for promising to plant trees. This is called “environmental improvement.” We think it’s a scheme to let state agencies “shake down” industries in return for allowing more pollution. “Environmental indicators” chosen and interpreted by the State (read “Industry”) are to be monitored. How this would protect the Coastal Zone from industrial pollution is unclear. A “technical advisory committee” is already at work developing “indicators.” Its 17 members include one identified as an “environmental advocate” and many major polluters.

ACTION: Green Delaware has issued several Alerts about this. Now it’s “LAST CALL:”


Call Christine Waisanen, Chair of the Coastal Zone Board (428-0305), Governor Carper (302.577.3210) and your Senator and Representative. Say (1) you want the proposed regulations discarded, (2) you want the Coastal Zone strengthened, not weakened, and (3) “Offsets” for increased industrial emissions are not acceptable.

Call the Sierra Club (Debbie Heaton, 302.378.8501), the Del. Audubon Society (Grace Pierce-Beck, 302.674.5568) and the Delaware “Nature” Society (Mike Riska, 302.239.2334) Tell them to withdraw their support. Send an email to the Ex. Director of the Sierra Club in San Francisco:

Look for more details in upcoming Green Delaware News. (C) Alan Muller