Tag Archives: Coastal Zone Act

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

Published today in the Delaware State News:


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

Response to the New Castle Weekly “Green Recovery Technologies” puff piece

[To the New Castle Weekly]

Your June 3rd piece “Beware the Chicken Plant…That Wasn’t” might better be entitled “Beware Journalism…that Isn’t.”

It’s wonderful that the reporter is on a first-name basis with the promoter and reports everything he says as fact, but this does not help readers understand the pros and cons of this proposal. 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

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:


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


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

Continue reading

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







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?

Continue reading

Alert 255: “Rally for Rights” event, Friday Aug 1, 2003, in front of the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNREC), 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE

Green Delaware Alert #255
(please post/forward)

Rally for Rights

August 1, 2003, Twelve Noon

In front of the Dept. of Natural Resources (DNREC), 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE

Activist groups reject restrictions on public participation

“Delaware Public Hearing Bill of Rights” to be presented

Groups call for action by General Assembly

Governor Minner, Attorney General Brady, held responsible

All organizations and individuals in Delaware are asked to support public

An organization that practices illegal hazardous waste dumping needs more,
not less, public input…..

We are coming together to let people know how much ground has been lost
since the spring of 2003 when many groups and citizens defended Delaware’s
environment, defeating Shell’s attempt to poison the Delaware River with
scrubber discharges containing mercury. The people came together and beat
Governor Minner, Shell, the US EPA, the Bush administration, and the
Attorney General of Delaware.

Apparently the polluters don’t want to lose any more battles.

Since then we have seen a hard stance taken against public
participation. DNREC decided no questions would be answered at public
hearings, period. Secretary John E. Hughes received much heat for this
extreme position. He backed off a little, held meetings with enviros to
talk about public hearings, and said “limited” questions would be answered
by DNREC staff.. He and his staff claim that hearings have become
“confrontational,” and “inefficient,” and accused advocates of disruptive
behavior, including shouting and cursing. These are lies. While acting
conciliatory in meetings with citizens, Hughes made clear in testimony
before legislative committees that he is determined to curtail public
participation. We think this policy comes from Governor Ruth Ann Minner,
Hughes’ boss.

Public hearings are getting less and less public

The next prominent public hearing was about permits for Sunoco to build a
“sulfur recovery plant” near Claymont. DNREC published restrictive
“ground rules” just before the hearing. These “ground rules” seemed
intended to prevent discussion of the most important issues at that
hearing. For example, “interstate issues” were not allowed to be discussed
although the proposes facility straddles the Pennsylvania/Delaware
line. Citizens were outraged and even Hughes described the hearing as a
“disaster.” “Obviously DNREC has not negotiated with us about public
hearings in good faith,” said Maryanne McGonegal of Common Cause.

Sunoco stonewalled almost all questions but got its Coastal Zone permit anyway.

Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board mocks public

Several groups appealed the grant of the permit to the Coastal Zone
Industrial Control Board, and a hearing was held. The members of the Board
were openly hostile and refused to accept the guidance of their own lawyer,
Deputy Attorney General Phoebe Young. They also seemed confused,
disorganized, and hopelessly ignorant of the Coastal Zone Act.

DNREC lawyers are indistinguishable from polluter’s lawyers

DNREC’s lawyer, Keith Trostle, sat at the same table with lawyers for
Sunoco and worked with them to obstruct the appeal. They claimed the
appellants had no “standing,” they accused us of “the unauthorized practice
of law,” they claimed we were “incompetent” to represent our
organizations. Trostle repeatedly claimed that the public has no rights at
public hearings other than to “observe.”

The Board dismissed the appeals of Common Cause, Green Delaware, and
Delaware Audubon because those organizations were not represented by
lawyers. It then dismissed the remaining (personal) appeal of John Kearney
without considering the arguments made.

An appeal to the Delaware courts is in progress but officials are not

At a July 21st hearing on an air pollution permit, long time DNREC Hearing
Officer Rod Thompson said “the law was reinterpreted” to exclude members of
the public from being considered “parties”at public hearings.

“DNREC public hearings were once known for their openness to public
participation; but all this is being lost,” said Alan Muller, Executive
Director of Green Delaware. “Governor Minner and Attorney General Brady,
who are elected by the people, must be held directly responsible.”

“This is a terrible time for the environment, for justice, and for
democracy. The forces of darkness are on the march. If ever there was a
time for concerned people to speak out, this is it,” said Muller.

“They are trying to rub us out,” said Matt Del Pizzo of Delaware Audubon


The rally will feature banners and graphics, including silhouettes of
Governor Minner being lead around on a chain by lobbyists for Shell
(Motiva) and DuPont.

We expect some folks to show up with shovels and drums to make a statement
about DNREC’s “midnight dumping” scandal.


Participating organizations include Delaware Audubon, Green Delaware,
Common Cause, and Clean Air Council.

Matt Del Pizzo, Delaware Audubon, 302.218.3907

Alan Muller, Green Delaware, 302.834.3466, amuller@…


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:”


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