Category Archives: health

Sign on to anti-lead-poisoning petition/letter

This Wed. morning begins on a high note with the victory in Alabama of Doug Jones over the bigot and molester Roy Moore.

But two truly horrible things are playing out in Washington DC this week:  The repeal of net neutrality and the passage of a disgusting “tax reform” bill loaded with unjust and destructive provisions.  This is truly a time to speak out as loudly as possible. (See this Delaware State News article about net neutrality.  We put contact info in the comments.)

Back to lead poisoning.  There is no safe level of lead exposure.  It dumbs us down.

I would be willing to bet that Trump supporters have, on average, higher blood lead levels than the rest of us.  (Note:  A critical reader points out that support for “conservative” politics is most demonstrably correlated with authoritarian personality, not intelligence.   In general white people supported Trump–males and uneducated whites the most.). Continue reading

Where the Rehoboth sewage should go is the wrong question

[This was originally published in the Cape Gazette on Sept 3, 2015]

Elisabeth Stoner’s wonderful poem Aug 31, 2015) has motivated me to write (again) about the Rehoboth ocean outfall debate.  In my opinion the discussion has missed the key point, which is simple enough: Continue reading

A CODE ORANGE bad air week in Delaware

airnow
Delaware only does notifications for CODE ORANGE days.   Minnesota does notifications at the lower CODE YELLOW level.

Maybe this is because the air in Delaware is CODE Yellow very often, especially in the summer, and state officials don’t want to remind Delawareans of this reality. 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

“Sunday, July 19th, will be a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Delaware!”

breathers

Kid in gas mask

Kid in gas mask

Sunday and Monday are forecast to be CODE ORANGE bad air days for OZONE.

In addition, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are forecast to be CODE YELLOW bad air days for fine particles (PM 2.5).

In addition, an excessive heat warning is in effect with forecast heat index values over one hundred for both Sunday and Monday afternoons.

As we have noted many times these “stressors” add up and we would consider the combination of multiple air pollutants, heat, and humidity to add up to CODE RED.  Please take care. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

The bad state of Delaware’s air

This information comes mainly from the EPA Airnow website:

December 2014 16 days Code Yellow, 1 day Code Orange

January 2015 16 days Code Yellow, 1 day Code Orange

February 2015 19 days Code Yellow

March 2015 12 days Code Yellow, 1 day Code Orange (up to March15th)

The forecast for March 17, 2015, is Code Yellow.  As of now, the forecast for the 18th and 19th are Code Green. Continue reading

“What are we doing to our children’s brains?”

“Environmental chemicals are wreaking havoc to last a lifetime”

In November, election results put many anti-health, anti-environmental activists into public office.  Did this happen because millions of people said to themselves “I have too much money … we need more pollution and disease … corporations and banks are being oppressed by the people …?”  I doubt it, but the effect is the same. Continue reading

Comments IN RE Draft Amendments to Regulation 1124 Section 36.0 “Stage II Vapor Recovery”

Mr. Robert Haynes, Hearing Officer
Delaware DNREC
Green Delaware’s Comments IN RE Draft Amendments to Regulation 1124 Section 36.0 “Stage II Vapor Recovery”

Dear Mr. Haynes:

Green Delaware recently began a review of the record in this matter. (We had not been invited to participate in the “review committee” and were not contacted by other “environmental” participants.) We appreciate the extension of the public comment period as we requested and hope you find our comments useful.

A considerable amount of technical documentation has been generated by the Department and in general we feel the work is competently done and does not need repetition here. This is in addition to an extensive existing literature of EPA reports, industry publications, etc.

Handling gasoline exposes people to various toxins such as benzene–a known cause of cancer in humans. Therefore, minimizing these exposures, and resulting health impacts, should be considered a priority in addition to the concern of VOC contributions to ozone formation. The gas station people, at least in their public hearing testimony, did not address health impacts to their employees and customers.

The Division of Air Quality is proposing to do more to control gasoline vapor emissions than the minimum federal (USEPA) requirement, but less than the State of California, the leader in this area, is doing. Green Delaware feels that the DNREC proposal is sound and well-justified as far as it goes. But it does no go far enough.

The DNREC is proposing to allow the shutdown of Stage II vapor control at Delaware’s approximately 330 gas stations. This means that Delaware would rely on the On-board Refueling Vapor Recovery (ORVR) systems that most–but by no means all–cars and light trucks are now equipped with. This also means that off road equipment, motorcycles, boats, “gas cans” for lawn care equipment, generators, etc, would lose the vapor control now provided by gas station nozzles.

There exists an “incompatibility” between some forms of “Stage II” gas station vapor recovery equipment and the “on board” (ORVR) systems that can potentially cause increased emissions from the gas station systems. This incompatibility can be cured by modifications to the Stage II systems.

California long ago decided to keep Stage II systems in service and cure the “incompatibilities.” This approach provides the best control of gasoline vapors, and thus the maximum protection of air quality and public health. The equipment to do this is commercially available and demonstrated.

DNREC has shown that the present Stage II systems need more frequent inspection and maintenance. (“… a survey conducted during the development of the proposed regulatory revision indicated a majority of gas stations needed maintenance in order to pass the annual tank tightness test.”) Apparently, 70 percent of gas station systems initially fail to pass their annual leak tests. These leaking systems likely cause some occupational exposures, and customer exposures, as well as increased gasoline vapor emissions. So, the DNREC proposal for a continuous pressure monitor (CPM) requirement makes sense whether Stage II is retained or only a pressure monitoring system is required.

The comments and testimony of the gas station interests provided no real response to these concerns. Their objections seem to have little if any factual basis.

The EPA and other sources claim a very high degree of reliability and effectiveness for the on-board (ORVR) systems. Based on personal observation, we have some doubts as to the effectiveness of the nozzle/filler neck seal on many ORVR systems. (Without positive pressure in the tank, from an effective seal, the displaced vapor will not enter the on-board canister.) In our experience, visible vapor and gasoline odors are common at stations without Stage II controls. Further, it seems surprising that on board systems would have a very high degree of reliability when gas station systems have a 70 percent annual (de facto) failure rate. This causes us to suspect that the “break even point,” the point at which vacuum-assist Stage II systems are argued to increase, not decrease overall emissions, is probably farther in the future than the 2018-2019 time frame identified by the Division of Air Quality, if it exists at all. This further suggests that shutdown of Stage II systems in Delaware would be premature. Certainly shutdown of existing systems should not occur before the break even point.

The gas station people argue that the pressure in their tanks is likely to remain negative due to the dispensing of liquid from the pumps and the non-return of vapor. This may be, or might be if liquid withdrawal was constant, but if the systems are not vapor tight one may expect ingress of air and resulting vapor expansion. And their systems apparently do not reliably remain vapor tight. So, again, the continuous pressure monitoring is needed.

Therefore, sound public policy is to retain and modify Stage II vapor recovery, as necessary, to make it compatible with ORVR. An inferior alternative, the one now proposed by the Department, would allow the shutdown of Stage II vapor recovery but enact a continuous pressure monitoring requirement. The least desirable alternative would be the one apparently desired by the industry: Simple shutdown of State II.

Delaware usually tries to do a little better in air quality management than the minimum of federal requirements and the desirability of doing so in this case seems well-established. We urge the DNREC to “do the right thing.”

Respectfully submitted,

Alan Muller
Alan Muller, Executive Director
Green Delaware
Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731 USA
302.834.3466
cell 302.299.6783
greendel@dca.net
www.greendel.org