FY2021 Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds Soliciting Projects for Improving Water Quality

Virtual Public Workshop Set Jan. 13 by DNREC

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, in conjunction with Delaware Division of Public Health, will begin soliciting for new projects Jan. 13 as DNREC and DPH work to develop 2021 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) project priority lists (PPLs). Projects must be listed on the CWSRF and DWSRF PPLs to be considered for funding.

A State Revolving Loan Fund virtual public workshop will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13 via Webex and offer a detailed overview of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. Attendees will get guidance on requesting financial assistance for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project needs. Pre-registration is required at https://stateofdelaware.webex.com/stateofdelaware/onstage/g.php?MTID=eff1367fd68a463c992ff312622eb27d4.

Workshop attendees also will learn how State Revolving Fund programs administered by DNREC Environmental Finance can provide a wide range of financial assistance, including:
• A one-stop loan application process for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project assistance
• Land conservation and water quality improvement loan sponsorship programs
• Source water protection loans for drinking water supplies
• Wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater matching planning grants
• Community water quality improvement grants
• Asset management planning grants
• Project planning advances
• Planning and design loans

The workshop also will offer guidance on how and when to submit projects for funding consideration, project ranking criteria, project construction requirements, and how to apply for infrastructure planning grants.

Notices of Intent (NOI) for State Revolving Fund wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and related infrastructure projects are due by DNREC close of business Friday, Feb. 12.

About DNREC
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. The DNREC Environmental Finance team administers Delaware’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund, making funding available to municipalities, the private sector, nonprofit organizations and individuals. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


Garvin Statement on the Nomination of Michael Regan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Delaware Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Shawn M. Garvin, a former Regional Administrator of EPA Region 3, issued the following statement:

“I applaud the selection by President-Elect Biden of my state environmental colleague Secretary Michael Regan to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. I’m especially pleased that EPA will be led by someone from a coastal state facing the same climate-related issues as Delaware. Secretary Regan’s career — at the EPA, in the non-profit and private sectors, and currently as the leader of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality — gives him the experience and skill to address the challenges of environmental justice, climate change, safe and clean water, and cleaner air, just to name a few. His reliance on science and the rule of law, along with his compassion and understanding, make him the right person at this critical moment for our country and our planet. I congratulate Secretary Regan and commend President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris for this nomination.”

About DNREC
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 Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Solar Rebate Amounts to Increase Jan. 1, 2021

New Incentive Category Established for Diverse Businesses

Delmarva Power customers who are considering a switch to solar power will have more reason to do so when the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Green Energy Fund increases rebate amounts Jan. 1, 2021.

In addition, commercial businesses that have received Diverse Business Certification through the state Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD) will qualify for special rebate rates. OSD defines a diverse business as one where 51% or more of the ownership and control of daily operations is made up of minorities, women, veterans, service disabled veterans or individuals with disabilities. Businesses that qualify for the incentive can receive grants of $0.75/watt, up to a maximum of $35,000.

Grants are available for qualifying renewable energy systems installed in Delaware by applicants whose electricity provider collects funds for the program and offers a grant program for renewable energy projects. Each electric utility company offering rebates through the Green Energy Program has unique program regulations, requirements, and application forms. The Green Energy Program has provided grant funding to more than 4,300 Delaware renewable energy projects since 1999.

“The Green Energy Fund helps Delawareans save on energy costs and, at the same time, helps reduce the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the climate change we are experiencing today,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin.

Rates for other Green Energy Fund programs will also increase January 1, including:

  • Residential solar installation grants increase from $0.60/watt to $0.70/watt and the maximum grant increases from $5,000 to $6,000.
  • Commercial solar installation grants increase from $0.60/watt to $0.70/watt and the maximum grant increases from $25,000 to $30,000.
  • Non-profit solar installations will see a change in the grant structure, the incentive set at $1.40/watt and the maximum grant increasing from $41,250 to $50,000.

Since its inception in 1999, the Green Energy Fund has supported the installation of more than 4,700 solar energy systems.

Information on the Green Energy Fund can be found at de.gov/greenenergy.

About DNREC
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. The Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Jim Lee, jamesw.lee@delaware.gov

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Delaware Taps Fund to Replace Diesel-Guzzling School Buses

The Warehouse in Wilmington Upgrades to an Electric Bus

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has awarded $177,674 to The Warehouse, a teen-led co-working space and after-school center in Wilmington, to replace its diesel bus with an all-electric, zero emissions vehicle and purchase charging equipment.

The award is the latest investment of the Environmental Mitigation Trust that resulted from state’s plan to use $9.6 million from the negotiated settlement between Volkswagen and the federal government.

“Exhaust from vehicles is a major source of air pollution, and big diesel vehicles like buses are particularly big contributors,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Replacing school buses helps us all breathe better, including children gathering near idling buses during school arrival or dismissal in non-COVID times. At the same time, programs like the one at The Warehouse will help students learn more about the technology driving the school buses and inspire future clean energy leaders in Delaware.”

The electric bus supports the nonprofit’s “Energize the Warehouse” initiative to provide local teens with hands-on opportunities to learn about clean energy, electric transportation, and sustainable farming and agriculture.

“The Energize the Warehouse initiative has been a success due to the collaborative efforts of many community partnerships and, through these efforts, The Warehouse will become a place where young people can learn about clean energy and electric transportation,” said CEO Logan Herring. “The V2G bus also serves to decrease transportation barriers for the teens we serve, which is a critical component for greater equity and increased access to opportunities.”

The new electric bus can connect back to the grid to achieve enhanced energy savings and energy conservation. The bus is expected to be delivered in early 2021.

The Delaware Department of Education has also leveraged the Environmental Mitigation Trust to replace 81 state-owned diesel school buses with new, cleaner- fueled school buses that operate on clean diesel or propane.

“Since 2016, districts have added 81 clean school buses throughout the state with another 34 that could potentially be added next academic year,” said DOE Secretary Susan Bunting. “While it’s still a small portion of Delaware’s total school bus fleet, we’re pleased to make this progress and to see initiatives such as this one expand.”

The plan for the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust is focused on actions that can produce the greatest air quality benefit in terms of nitrogen oxides emission reductions, reduce public exposure, and promote clean vehicle technologies. As funding opportunities are finalized and awarded, details on recipients, funding amounts, and project types will be listed on https://de.gov/vwmitigation.

About DNREC
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. The Division of Air Quality monitors and regulates all emissions to the air. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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DNREC Opens Brandywine Zoo Madagascar Exhibit

Cutting the ribbon, left to right: State Senator Sarah McBride, former State Senator Harris McDowell, Delaware Zoological Society President Arlene Reppa, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin, Governor John Carney and Brandywine Zoo Director Brint Spencer. DNREC photo.

 

View Endangered Lemurs, Tortoises

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control cut the ribbon on its new Madagascar exhibit Nov. 19, and officially welcomed its new tortoise and lemur inhabitants. This new exhibit is home to radiated tortoises and three species of lemurs. The public will be able to visit the habitat starting Friday, Nov. 20.

Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin hosted a small group for a first look at the newcomers as they interacted in the exhibit, along with several who are still in quarantine. The event was also live streamed for the public and zoo fans on the Delaware State Parks YouTube page.

“I grew up coming to the Brandywine Zoo and it has come a long way since then. I am thrilled we were able to revive this habitat space as one of many upgrades in DNREC’s Wilmington parks,” said Governor Carney. “As one of few zoos managed by a State Park system, we are proud of the work the staff does here and grateful for those who brought this habitat to life.”

The animals include three radiated tortoises, four Ring-tailed lemurs from the Bronx Zoo, two Black and White Ruffed lemurs from the Duke Lemur Center; and one male and one female Crowned lemur from the Duke Lemur Center, who came as a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“We are thrilled to welcome these animals to their new home and unveil this beautiful space to the public,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Not only will the Madagascar exhibit provide a safe habitat for the animals, it will also provide an enriching environment where our visitors can learn about how humans can reduce our impacts to endangered species such as these.”

The Madagascar exhibit is part of the Brandywine Zoo’s recently approved master plan and is the largest capital improvement in the zoo’s history. The master plan focuses on improved animal welfare and guest experiences, species of conservation concern and the inclusion of more mixed-species exhibits.

At nearly 4,000 square feet, the Madagascar exhibit is one of the zoo’s largest display habitats. It includes interactive features and information about conservation concerns in Madagascar. The project took approximately 10 months to complete and cost $3.5 million, funded by the State Bond Bill with a matching Land and Water Conservation Fund grant. Since 1967, the LWCF has provided nearly 200 grants totaling almost $40 million dollars for projects in Delaware, including 73 grants to the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation alone.

As part of the Crowned lemur survival plan, a male and a female will be paired for breeding at the zoo; just 30 of the species exist in the Americas, 18 males and 12 females. Brandywine Zoo will become the 12th location on the entire North American continent where Crowned lemurs can be viewed by the public.

The Madagascar animals will be in their habitat for public viewing when temperatures are above 45 degrees. Because they are native to a subtropical climate, the animals will be brought inside the Brandywine Zoo’s new holding area once temperatures fall below 45 degrees.

In efforts to support social distancing, the Brandywine Zoo is offering three timed sessions each day. Zoo admission is $7 for adults and $5 kids (3 and older); admission is free for zoo members children ages 3 and younger. All visitors must register online at https://brandywinezoo.org. Masks must be worn by all guests ages 5 and older, and are strongly encouraged for children older than 2.

About DNREC
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. The Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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