DNREC Issues Notice of Violation to Donovan Smith Mobile Home Park, LLC

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control issued a Notice of Violation today to the Donovan Smith Mobile Home Park, LLC in Lewes for ongoing violations of the state’s laws governing wastewater treatment and disposal systems. The manufactured home community’s onsite wastewater treatment system was found by DNREC to be out of compliance thus posing risks to public health and the environment. The surfacing wastewater poses public health exposure concerns and contributes to groundwater pollution. Routine monitoring of the onsite drinking water system shows that thus far the community drinking water wells have not been impacted by the ongoing wastewater compliance issues. With the NOV, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin issued the following statement:

“This action follows several months of work to document the ongoing onsite wastewater treatment and disposal violations at the Donovan Smith Manufactured Home Community. It sets enforceable deadlines to fix the issue for residents in this community and push the improved sewer connection project forward, the first project under an important plan to address wastewater and drinking water issues in underserved communities throughout Delaware.”

DNREC has been working with the Department of Health and Social Services and the Delaware Housing Authority to develop a priority list for underserved communities that have water and wastewater issues. The project for Donovan Smith Manufactured Home Community aims to end water pollution at the site by eventually tying the community’s wastewater discharge into the city of Lewes central sewer system. The NOV documents ongoing noncompliance at the manufactured home community and establishes deadlines for Donovan Smith MHP, LLC to correct the problem and move forward on the sewer connection with financing from the underserved communities initiative administered by DNREC and DHSS.

To eliminate risks to public health and the environment, the NOV calls for interim actions including cordoning off areas where wastewater surfacing has occurred in the manufactured home community, and a mandatory pumping of the community septic system to mitigate further wastewater surfacing and groundwater pollution within the community while Donovan Smith moves toward the sewer connection working with the city of Lewes Board of Public Works.

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 Division of Water manages and protects Delaware’s water resources. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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Energy Program Services Available Online

DNREC’s Energy Efficiency Investment Fund Goes Paperless

Businesses looking to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs through the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Energy Efficiency Investment Fund can apply for the program online.

The online portal replaces the current practice for accepting applications in all other formats and will make applying faster and easier for customers, increase the efficiency of reviewing files and improve communication between applicants and program staff. The Energy Efficiency Investment Fund provides grants to help commercial and industrial customers replace aging, inefficient equipment and systems with energy efficient alternatives.

Users can enter project information, including materials and energy savings, into simple tables. The portal contains specialized calculators which streamline the details provided by the applicant to generate an estimated total project cost and grant award. Applicants can also share and store documents, allowing the EEIF team to communicate clearly and directly with the applicant.

“The portal will bolster a program that already saves Delawareans millions of dollars in annual energy costs and will create a more streamlined process for applicants,” said Dayna Cobb, director of the DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy.

Improving the energy efficiency of a business helps to decrease operating costs, reduce energy consumption and improve environmental performance. Visit de.gov/eeif to learn more about grant and loan programs available, or log on to eeif.smartsimple.com to apply to the program.

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 Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.

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Scientists Investigate Mysterious Songbird Deaths in Delaware, Several Other States and D.C. Area

Photo Credit: National Parks Service photographer Leslie Frattaroli

Public Advised to Temporarily Remove Feeders and Bird Baths

State and federal wildlife experts and wildlife rehabilitators are investigating reports in at least six mid-Atlantic and central states, including Delaware, of sick and dying songbirds stricken by an unknown disorder characterized by swollen eyes with crusty discharge, as well as neurological signs such as erratic flight and stumbling. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has observed similar symptoms in Delaware’s avian population and more than 50 dead birds have been reported.

Juvenile birds appear to be more affected than adults, with European starlings, blue jays and common grackles as the species most associated with the debilitating event. Investigating agencies including DNREC are working cooperatively with animal health laboratories to find what’s behind this event, with Delaware’s samples sent to the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory in New Bolton Center, Pa., but no definitive cause has been identified to date.

Although the cause of the event is not yet known, wildlife health experts believe congregating birds may contribute to its spread. Federal and state wildlife experts recommend anyone who keeps bird feeders or bird baths in their home landscape take the following precautions to help manage the event:

  • Cease feeding birds at feeders and providing water in bird baths
  • Before reactivating bird feeders and baths when it is deemed safe by animal health experts to do so, clean them with a 10% bleach solution
  • Avoid handling wild birds, wearing disposable gloves if it is necessary to handle a bird
  • Keep domestic pets away from sick and dead wild birds

If residents observe a live wild bird exhibiting the symptoms as described above, they may contact Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research at 302-737-9543. Additional information can be found on its website at tristatebird.org. If residents find a dead wild bird they suspect displayed any of the above-mentioned symptoms, contact the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife at 302-735-3600.

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 Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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


Garrisons Lake Boat Ramp to Temporarily Close for Reconstruction

The Garrisons Lake boat ramp and parking lot in Kent County will temporary close for reconstruction beginning Monday, July 12, 2021, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced. Project completion is anticipated by Dec. 1, 2021, weather permitting. The public fishing area on the north side of the pond, including the fishing pier and parking lot, will remain open.

The project will involve reconstruction of the boat ramp, installation of a new courtesy dock, repaving the existing parking lot and installation of a portable toilet enclosure.

Alternate nearby public ponds with boat ramps also managed by DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife include Moores Lake and Derby Pond near Dover and Mud Mill Pond west of Camden.

For more information on the Garrisons Lake boat ramp reconstruction project, call the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

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 Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Rebate Program for Electric Vehicles Extended

Incentives Also Offered for Workplace, Public Charging Stations

With auto makers expanding their lines of electric vehicles, and as more Delawareans transition to clean transportation alternatives, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is extending its Clean Transportation Incentive Program through June 30, 2022.

“Thousands of Delaware drivers have made the switch to electric vehicles, and the rebate program has continued to grow as more vehicles come on the market,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Transportation is a leading contributor to harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and this program is just one of the ways we are demonstrating our commitment to reducing emissions and improving air quality for a healthier Delaware.”

Since Jan. 1, the program has processed 288 applications for rebates. In 2020, 401 applications totaling $885,000 were processed.

Vehicle electrification is a leading strategy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

Rebates for the purchase or lease of electric vehicles include:

  • $2,500 for battery electric vehicles, including vehicles with range extenders, with a total vehicle price of $60,000 or less;
  • $1,000 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with a total vehicle price of $60,000 or less.

Businesses and property owners of multi-unit dwellings can also take advantage of the rebate program by installing charging stations for customers and tenants to help in the transition of vehicle electrification. The program pays up to 90% of the cost of the charging station, with a max amount of $3,500 per port/$7,000 per station for public properties, fleets and multi-unit dwellings. Rebates are also available for natural gas and propane vehicles.

Delaware’s Clean Transportation Incentive Program is made possible through Delaware’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). More information about the rebates can be found at de.gov/cleantransportation.

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 Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.

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