DNREC hosts its first virtual public hearing

DOVER, Del. – To keep operating amid ongoing concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control yesterday held its first virtual public hearing. The topic of the hearing, which was held by DNREC’s Division of Air Quality as scheduled, was proposed revisions to Delaware’s federally required State Implementation Plan regarding air emissions.

“In order to keep our employees and community safe, we must minimize group gatherings and maintain a distance of at least six feet,” said Secretary Shawn Garvin. “This could create a challenge to schedule a hearing, especially those required to be public by law. Our team acted quickly to coordinate with the Department of Technology and Information and with counsel from the Department of Justice to set up this virtual option to keep getting business done during the coronavirus period.”

Facilitated by videoconferencing provider WebEx, virtual attendees were able to see and hear the proceedings and view PowerPoint slides in real time. They were able to review the hearing notice and all exhibits online, and can offer written comments for inclusion into the hearing record through April 9, 2020.

The hearing addressed revisions to the State Implementation Plan in three areas: certification of Delaware’s Emission Statement program, Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) program, and state requirements for Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT). The objectives of the proposed revisions are to certify that Delaware’s programs for emissions statements, NNSR, and RACT, as defined in air quality regulations under the Delaware Code, meet all the requirements of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ground-level ozone.

The proposed revisions may be inspected online with written comments being accepted now through April 9 via the online comment form or via email to DNRECHearingComments@delaware.gov or via email to Lisa Vest, DNREC Office of the Secretary, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. For more information on the proposed revisions, email mark.prettyman@delaware.gov.

Wednesday’s hearing provided a template that DNREC will use for future public hearings and meetings during the period under the Governor’s order. For notices of DNREC’s upcoming public meetings and hearings, and information on how to join them virtually, visit dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/public-hearings.


The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


Air Permitting Basics training workshops scheduled March 18 and 26

Generator and boiler permits will be covered in New Castle and Dover

DOVER, Del.– DNREC’s Division of Air Quality and industry partners will host Air Permitting Basics training workshops at 8 a.m., Wednesday, March 18, at DNREC’s Lukens Drive office, 391 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE 19720, and again at 8 a.m., Thursday, March 26, in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

Topics to be covered include an overview of DNREC’s Division of Air Quality and air permitting basics – with examples presented at the workshops for generators and boilers. Certificates for professional development hours will be available for those attending. Seating is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, and for more information, please visit https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/air/permitting-basics/.

For more information, please contact Michelle Jacobs, DNREC business ombudsman, at 302-739-9069 or email Michelle.Jacobs@delaware.gov.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson joanna.wilson@delaware.gov


DNREC, Delaware City Refining Company, LLC agree to penalty settlements on refinery’s outstanding air violations

– Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today that DNREC has signed a settlement agreement with the Delaware City Refining Company, LLC (DCRC) over air quality permit violations concerning the company’s Delaware City refinery.

On Nov. 4, 2019, DNREC issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty Assessment and Secretary’s Order (2019-A-0043) for violations at the Delaware City refinery that occurred between Nov. 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. These violations include the fire that occurred on Feb. 3, 2019, which released over 6,000 pounds of various pollutants. Additionally, this penalty takes into account a DCRC pollution control device outage, and flaring events at the refinery.

Terms of the settlement agreement call for DCRC to pay an administrative penalty of $67,968.29 and $2,031.71 in cost recovery for the Department for a total of $70,000. The settlement agreement can be found on the DNREC website at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/secretarys-orders/enforcement/.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC announces that Croda, Inc. can resume ethylene oxide production at company’s Atlas Point facility

Approval granted for operation of Croda’s EO plant after company fulfills Delaware accidental release prevention requirements

DOVER – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today that the Department has granted approval to Croda, Inc. to resume ethylene oxide (EO) production at the company’s Atlas Point facility. Croda received DNREC approval by fulfilling its obligations to improve safety at the facility through actions required by DNREC’s accidental release program. DNREC issued its requirements after investigating the Nov. 25, 2018 accidental release of EO, the volatile chemical substance used in the manufacturing of Croda’s products.

DNREC Secretary Garvin ordered Croda to complete seven accidental release prevention action requirements before the Department would approve the resumption of EO production at Croda’s new ethylene oxide plant. At DNREC’s direction, Croda completed an internal incident investigation report; a focused process hazard analysis of all EO release points; a fire water system hazard analysis; fire water system procedures training; fire department manifold connection to Croda’s fire water system supply tank; employee training for EO plant operation and emergency procedures; and a safety validation process – also known internally by Croda as the pre-startup safety review.

In addition to DNREC’s requirements, Croda installed automated purge and isolation valves, 26 additional fixed ethylene oxide gas detectors and eight additional closed circuit TV cameras, as well as upgraded its vapor suppression capabilities.

After coordination with DNREC and the New Castle County Office of Emergency Management, Croda also decided to install an emergency siren system to be used in conjunction with several other notification systems for alerting the public in the event of an accidental release by the facility. The system will be installed on or about Jan. 31, 2020.

Within a month of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident, DNREC, along with numerous state and local government agencies and Croda officials, held a public information meeting to review the incident and governmental agencies’ response. Other agencies included Delaware’s Department of Homeland Security, Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), Division of Public Health, State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), and the New Castle County Department of Public Safety and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). DNREC also held a second public meeting in August with Croda to update the surrounding community on the required accidental release prevention actions and obtain additional community input.

After Croda established that it had met all of DNREC’s requirements, including resulting upgrades and safety improvements for both Croda employees and the community, Secretary Garvin announced today that the company could begin operating the ethylene oxide plant again at the Atlas Point facility.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC to hold public information sessions Sept. 9 in Dover and New Castle on state’s new refrigerant incentive program

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will hold two public information sessions Monday, Sept. 9 detailing a new program that will provide incentives to Delaware businesses to install refrigeration systems less harmful to the environment than systems currently used by many businesses and organizations in the state. The first information session will take place at 11 a.m. at DNREC offices at 391 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE 19720, while the second session is scheduled for 6 p.m. at DNREC’s State Street Commons offices, 100 W. Water St., Dover, DE 19904.

DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy plans to launch the new “Cool Switch – Low Impact Refrigerant Program” later this month. Some refrigerants, like hydrofluorocarbons, are a potent greenhouse gas that have significant impact on global warming. The public information sessions will discuss how the new DNREC program will offer incentives for new systems or upgrades of existing systems to participating municipalities, businesses, non-profits and industries.

For more information please contact Robert Underwood, DNREC Energy Administrator, Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy, at 302-735-3489 or email robert.underwood@delaware.gov. Additional information, including an agenda for the meetings, can be found on the state Public Meeting Calendar.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902