Category Archives: Carper

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: Continue reading

“Commentary: Time to think about Delaware’s Peterson, Coastal Zone Act”

Published today in the Delaware State News:

http://delawarestatenews.net/opinion/commentary-time-to-think-about-delawares-peterson-coastal-zone-act/

DSN Peterson Coastal Zone Act

Delaware’s a mess. The water is rising. We are a major destination for bomb trains. One of the most leaky and dangerous nuke power complexes threatens and pollutes the state and is trying to expand with new reactors. The air and water are polluted. The economy is stagnant and the political system corrupt. The public schools are under attack. The court system is openly dedicated to protecting corporate crime. A tale of woe, to be sure. Continue reading

Rep. John Carney votes for Monsanto

John C. Carney Jr. official portrait 112th Congress.jpgIt’s important to note that this bill is NOT about banning GMO foods, it’s ONLY about labeling so people can make their own decisions.

See updates here from the Organic Consumers Association.

Action:  Contact Senators Coons and Carper:  Ask them to vote for transparency and healthy food, NOT for Monsanto.


From the Organic Consumers Association:

DARK Day in D.C.

275 members (see vote tally here) of the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 1599, the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act. By voting for the DARK Act, these politicians voted against truth and transparency, against science, against the more than century-old right of states to legislate on matters relating to food safety and labeling.

They voted against the 90-percent of Americans who are in favor of mandatory labeling of GMOs. They voted against the producers of non-GMO foods.

They voted against you.

Now that the DARK Act has been approved by the House, we’ll have to stop it in the Senate. We have to move fast­because Monsanto is desperate to pass a bill that preempts mandatory GMO labeling laws at the state and federal levels, before Vermont’s GMO labeling law takes effect next year.

H.R. 1599 was sold to Congress via multi-million dollar public relations and lobbying campaigns built on lies and deception. The bill’s sole purpose is to support an industry–Monsanto’s poison-peddling industry–­that was founded on lies and deception from the get-go.

Were the Congress members who voted against you fooled by Monsanto’s slick, deceitful packaging of this so-called “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”? Or did they simply vote with their wallets, stuffed full of biotech and junk food industry cash?

Continue reading

Russ Peterson, the Delaware Coastal Zone Act, and leadership in Delaware

Delaware’s a mess. The water is rising. We are a major destination for bomb trains. One of the most leaky and dangerous nuke power complexes threatens and pollutes the state and is trying to expand with new reactors. The air and water are polluted. The economy is stagnant and the political system corrupt. The public schools are under attack. The court system is openly dedicated to protecting corporate crime. A tale of woe, to be sure. Continue reading

Chicken waste plant Coastal Zone Permit–Green Delaware’s comments

In an earlier post we promised these comments last week.  Apologies for the delay.  The matter is complex for us because it involves not only the merits of the “Green Recovery Technologies” application itself, but the manner in which enforcement of the Coastal Zone Act has been largely rendered (notice pun) into a farce.

Our comments are in the record.  We concluded that

“Green Delaware does not oppose further processing of wastewater treatment sludge from poultry slaughtering operations. It is possible that such could be desirable.  But the GRT application has innumerable fatal defects. The DNREC should deny the requested CZA permit.” 

Continue reading

Time-critical action alerts: Stinker and a stinker

First, the old reliable stinker, alias Senator Tom Carper.

 The fate of the Keystone XL pipeline has become a fight of great substantive and symbolic significance to those concerned about climate change.  And, as we keep writing, Delaware is the lowest lying US state and mega-vulnerable to the effects of global warming–especially sea level rise.  Thus, Delaware pols should be leaders in the effort to limit climate change.  Obviously most are not.  Especially, Tom Carper isn’t. 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 http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/voltaren-generic.html 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:”

PLEASE SPEAK UP FOR PRESERVATION OF THE COASTAL ZONE.

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: carl.pope@sierraclub.org

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

Misguided Delaware Solid Waste Authority Embarrasses State, Harms Communities, Doesn’t Recycle our Trash.

[Note:  originally published in the Delaware State News]

Alan Muller, Green Delaware
1998

Many readers already know that Delaware recycles very little residential waste (around 2-15 percent, depending on who’s counting. The “Recycle Delaware” drop off centers are mostly a feel-good program.). Many don’t know how the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) avoids recycling and even harasses people who advocate it. The story of the DSWA is one of arrogant disregard for public opinion, human health, and common sense. As you read this story, remember that the real problem lies with the Governor(s) who have appointed so many misguided and unqualified people to the Authority.

A DSWA Board of Directors Meeting

On March 2, 1998, a room full of people, many from New Jersey, attended a meeting of the Board of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA). They were worried about a DSWA scheme: to burn Delaware garbage in Pennsville, NJ, just across the river from the failed garbage incinerator near Pigeon Point (New Castle), DE (Connectiv [Delmarva Power] was also a party to this scheme.) Here is how the Board reacted:

They refused to hear from the public until AFTER voting on all the items on their agenda. Chair Richard Pryor, a former head of Catholic Charities, said comments should have been made at a meeting the week before in another county. The board then set a three minute limit to public comments. After objections, Pryor said the limit was aimed at a specific person, not the visitors from New Jersey. The board adjourned before seven o’clock, while people still had hands up asking to comment. Sharon Findlayson, Chair of the New Jersey Environmental Federation, tried to comment on behalf of the ninety thousand members of her organization. Findlayson has been to hundreds of public meetings and said she had never seen one run with such contempt for the public.

Board members denied any special interest in the NJ incinerator. Then, they admitted paying for nine staff and board members to attend a two day promotional meeting about it at a resort in Cape May. (I also attended.) They claimed to have a “fiduciary responsibility” to send garbage to the cheapest incinerator, although they say they won’t use cheaper out-of-state LANDFILLs for environmental reasons. They blamed Green Delaware and others for the expensive, polluting failures of their incineration and composting projects. For instance, Pryor admitted that operations at Pigeon Point had “stunk people out of their homes,” but blamed the community itself.

DSWA “Waste Forums”

On April 15, 1998, the DSWA held a “Waste Symposium,” co-sponsored by the University of Delaware and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). No members of the communities directly effected by DSWA facilities and decisions were invited, and the event was structured to prevent public participation–all questions were screened. (Green Delaware wrote to the sponsors before the meeting, asking that communities be included. All refused, saying the views of “those people” were “not relevant.”) The forum “moderator,” Professor Ron Mersky of Wiedner University, began by saying he didn’t believe in recycling and doesn’t do it himself. He later boasted of having chaired the committee responsible for siting a giant garbage incinerator in Chester City, PA, contributing to a public health disaster in that city. (The DSWA has sent hundreds of thousands of tons of trash to Chester without inquiring into the effects on the community, or even seeking an environmental audit of the facility.) At the meeting, University of Delaware police followed this writer around, demanding to search my bag and threatening that I could be “incarcerated” if I attempted to participate in the meeting. An out-of-state visitor commented  “In New Jersey, the public would have been allowed to speak.”

Another bogus “Recycling Forum,” with the same cast of characters, was held on April 21 of this year, with the same cast of characters. The repellent Professor Mersky gave a presentation suggesting that Delaware is doing TOO MUCH recycling and should landfill more bottles rather than recycle them. Another honored guest said “incinerators are great,” and don’t threaten peoples’ health. Jake Kreshtool, longtime clean air activist, was denied an opportunity to respond. The public was not allowed to speak. University of Delaware Police were on hand to ensure that no gagged citizen held up a sign or banner. The DNREC again ignored Green Delaware’s objections to DNREC’s sponsoring a meeting at which the public was silenced. “It’s about control” said Andrea Cramer of Shipley Associates, who organized the meeting for the DSWA. (Sam Shipley is a former head of the Delaware Democratic Party.) At this meeting Governor “Pollution” Carper signed an Executive Order setting up an “Citizens’ Work Group on Recycling.” Need it be said say that no one from Green Delaware was included?)

DSWA Censors “Public Comment”

On Nov. 19, 1998, the DSWA held a “workshop” to “take public comment” on revisions to its plans. I testified that no DSWA Board members represent communities impacted by DSWA facilities, and that some have conflicts of interest. Tom Houska, DSWA planning manager, said he would not allow this testimony and told the court reporter to stop recording. N.C. Vasuki, CEO of the DSWA, later defended Houska’s actions, claiming such testimony was “personal and abusive.”

Misinforming Delaware’s Kids

For many years DSWA has pumped out misleading information. Thousands of school children have been given the impression that the maximum feasible recycling is already being done in Delaware and that incinerators aren’t a health hazard. People are told that trash is “converted into electricity,” although a moment’s thought indicates that only nuclear reactions could begin to do this.

Delaware Can do Better

These aren’t just the antics of amusing cranks: the DSWA does real harm to peoples’ health, pocketbooks, and quality of life. In 1997 a large delegation from Chester PA, where New Castle County garbage was being burned, came to Wilmington to protest Delaware’s contribution to their health problems. (Children have high blood lead levels, all ages have many respiratory problems, and so on.) They stuffed Gov. Carper’s Wilmington office with green bags to show their appreciation for our contribution to their problems. After Salem County NJ banned the Pennsville incinerator (Delaware and New Jersey activists worked hard together on this) the DSWA began threatening to rebuild their dirty old polluter at Pigeon Point. Busy people then had to give time and energy to pass Senate Bill 98, banning incineration in Delaware’s Coastal Zone. It will never end with Vasuki at the helm..

The DSWA cries out for reform: Scandal and absurdity will prevail until people with better judgement manage Delaware’s garbage. The trash industry is “deregulating” following a Supreme Court decision that killed the DSWA’s monopoly on handling Delaware municipal waste. In this new situation, the one obvious remaining role for the DSWA is to organize and support curbside recycling programs throughout Delaware. This seems to be the one think that Mr. Pryor and Mr. Vasuki refuse to do. They should be replaced, and Delaware law should be changed to set mandatory, progressive goals for waste reduction and recycling, and to ban garbage incineration throughout the state. A recycling-oriented Solid Waste Authority could help Delaware build a sustainable future. Let your leaders know you want real recycling for a healthy future. (Green Delaware will offer more detailed proposals in a future article.)

Alan Muller is coordinator of Green Delaware, an organization concerned with environmental and public health issues in Delaware and nearby states.