Tag Archives: Markell

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

“U.S. taxpayers help fund oil-train boom amid safety concerns”


As a follow up to the bridge story, see this piece from Reuters.  For the most part, of course, the oil train traffic in Delaware results from the reopening of the Delaware City Refinery.  (There might be some through traffic regardless.)  Norfolk Southern, major rail presence in Delaware, sued the State of Maryland to prevent release of oil train information.  Delaware, in any case, is one of a few states refusing to provide information to the public.

Can anyone think that, when the refinery-reopening scam went down with zero public participation, the full range of harmful effects were considered?  Obviously not….

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

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

Transcript of hearing on the Markell administration’s proposed (non) cleanup of the former Vlasic/Pinnacle pickle packing plant in Millsboro, DE

On December 17, 2013, a public hearing was held in Millsboro.

Here’s the official transcript of the hearing.

Delaware was once known for the high quality of its environmental public hearings.   It’s really sad to see what a joke they have become. Continue reading

If you live in Newark, DE, go and vote for Amy Roe on Nov. 26th

The City of Newark, DE (not to be confused with Newark, NJ), is in the midst of an ethical and political crisis.

The essence of it is that city officials have connived with the University of Delaware, the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO), Gov. Jack Markell, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Control (DNREC), and others to bring a large (279 megawatt) power plant into Newark under false pretenses.  The same officials apparently concealed this from city residents as long as they could.  The most visible perp is Newark City Manager Carol S. Houck.

This scheme upset lots of people, especially those living near the proposed power plant.   The controversy seems to be getting more intense, with various unions whipped up with the notion that thousands of jobs will be available if “The Data Center” power plant scheme goes ahead.  Many capable people looking into the scheme are finding much misrepresentation and little substance.

At the same time, Newark is having a special election for mayor on November 26th, to replace resigned Mayor Vance Funk.  Seven people are running, or at least have filed.

Newark has a city-manager form of government and the Mayor is supposed to be many a titular position.  However, the Mayor, if inclined and capable, can exercise a lot of moral authority.

The most interesting candidate is Amy Roe, Conservation Chair of the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club.  I have a personal interest in this because back in the 1990s I held the same position before being kicked out for opposing Delmarva Power and committing other offences.  Since then the Delaware Chapter has mostly been a public nuisance–the very model of an industrial-stooge “environmental org.  Roe is different–someone who actually seems to want to fight for the environment.  She’s been a leader in investigating the “Data Center” power plant.  It’s nice to see, for once, a leader of the Delaware Chapter actually doing the job.  Roe appears to be a person of considerable ability and substance.

On the other hand, ever-disgraceful Jim Black, former Delaware Sierra, and “Clean Air Council” leader, is flacking for the power plant.  He’s previously promoted a garbage incineration in the City of Wilmington and a “biomass” incinerator in the Town of Newport, DE.  A guy who epitomizes all the worst of the US “environmental movement.”  A statement from Delaware Sierra is here.

It is not entirely clear where all seven candidates stand on the power plant and other issues.  The Delaware Chapter of Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) sent a questionnaire to the candidates and the responses are here.  The ADA also has links to other candidate stories and profiles.

Stories about candidate Polly Sierer illustrate how sick the US political system has become.

She may be the chosen candidate of the Corporate/Union establishment–especially those promoting the “Data Center” power plant.  I say that because:

o       Her campaign materials look like professionally produced political drivel;

o       A PAC supporting her called I Like Polly’s Plan is raking in money although she has offered no plan.

o       Sierer seems to be denouncing the same PAC that is the essence of her campaign.

The Newark Post has an interesting story on this:

Polly’s Plan’ PAC funded by group supporting data center, documents show

OK, enough.  Again:  If you live in Newark, DE, go and vote for Amy Roe on Tuesday.  Get your friends to do the same.  This is an election that matters.

Alan Muller

Alert 678: Thoughts on environmental work and politics in Delaware….

Markell emulates Reagan?
Changes coming to Green Delaware
Environmental victories as tough as ever, if not more so.
Coons ramps up harassment of Green Delaware


I’ve always thought it was part of Green Delaware’s task to hold up a mirror to Delaware from time to time, in a way that goes beyond the scope of particular environmental controversies.

Continue reading

Muller’s list of problematic Delaware sites from Governor Markell’s “transition” process

I had a small involvement in the DNREC “subcommittee” of Markell’s transition team.  For the most part, this was controlled by Guy Marcozzi, President of Duffield Associates, one of Delaware’s most aggressive developers’ consulting firms.  The nominal head of the subcommittee was Debbie Heaton of the Sierra Club and The Nature Conservancy.  Heaton openly connived with Marcozzi to diss environmental concerns.

The transition reports rightfully should have been public documents and I pushed a bit for them to be posted.  As far as I know they never have been; not surprising considering the secretive tendencies Markell’s administration has shown since the election.

In any case, the document  below was contributed by me.  I don’t know if it was included in the final report.

(email to DNREC transition team subcommittee) Continue reading