Delaware, seven other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states seek to curb pollution from upwind states

File petition with EPA requiring action from upwind states

DOVER  – With Delaware at the forefront, eight Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States today petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require upwind states to reduce air pollution generated within their borders, which causes asthma, respiratory disease, and other public health problems downwind.

The multi-state action is aimed at requiring nine upwind states – Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia – to reduce air pollution emissions that are carried by prevailing winds and contribute to the formation of ozone to the north and east. The petition seeks long-overdue commitments from the upwind states to protect the health of downwind residents and to level the playing field for businesses.

“Delaware’s air quality remains overwhelmed by air pollution from upwind states – even though we have reduced emissions within Delaware of ozone-forming pollution by more than 70 percent since 1990,” said Governor Jack Markell.  “While Delaware’s in-state sources are well-controlled with state-of-the-art technology, this is simply not true of our upwind neighbors. As a result, Delaware pays more for healthcare resulting from respiratory illnesses and our industries are forced to do more than those in the states causing the pollution, and that’s  simply unfair. We need a level playing field among states to ensure that all states can enjoy healthy air.”

The petition cites decades of inaction by the upwind states during which time the eight Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states have spent tens of billions of dollars to reduce their own air emissions. The petition asks EPA to require the nine upwind states to join them in what is known as the “Ozone Transport Region” (OTR).  Under the federal Clean Air Act, states added to the OTR would have to take actions consistent with the air pollution efforts of the downwind states through use of readily available control technologies and reliance on cleaner fuels to generate power.

States filing the petition – all current members of the OTR – are: Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

“Delaware has made great strides in cleaning up its own air pollution; but unfortunately, Delaware – along with other Northeast states – is located at the end of what I call ‘America’s tailpipe,’” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “Other states’ dirty emissions from cars and power plants drift east, causing pollution that Delaware cannot stop or regulate. At the end of the day, downwind states can only do so much without the cooperation and investment of upwind states. EPA has tried to implement new policies that would make all states be good clean air neighbors – but right now these policies are delayed in our court system. As we wait for a final decision, downwind states continue to suffer. Bringing in additional upwind states into the Ozone Transport Region is something the EPA Administrator can do now while we wait for a broader approach. It makes good sense and ensures cleaner air for downwind states like Delaware – which is why I hope the EPA Administrator will consider such a proposal.”

“Pollution doesn’t just hurt the public’s health, but the health of our state’s economy,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “Upwind states’ reluctance to invest in the necessary pollution controls imposes on Delaware’s ecosystem and forces Delawareans to absorb additional health care costs. These upwind states should act as good neighbors by integrating existing available pollution control technology, and utilize cleaner fuels to reduce the emissions crossing into Delaware.”

“Delaware has made significant progress in transitioning to a cleaner energy economy. With the state, residents, and private businesses working together, Delaware’s dirtiest coal-fired burners have either been shut down or improved with pollution controls that significantly reduce the amount of toxins they produce. The results have been dramatic – better air quality and a reduced risk of Delawareans developing chronic health problems,” said U.S. Congressman John Carney. “But we can’t control the pollutants that pass over Delaware from the states to our west. These states are upwind of us and rely on the power they obtain from one of the dirtiest energy sources: coal. It’s time for these states to step up and make the investments in cleaner energy that have been so productive here in Delaware. The health of current and future generations of Americans in this region depends on it. I’m hopeful they will make progress on a healthier, cleaner environment in the near future.”

“Clean air matters and we are petitioning EPA because Delaware and our sister downwind states are in the world-turned-upside-down position of paying to import air pollution,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “More than 90 percent of the air pollution that comes into Delaware is produced by outside sources. Meanwhile, those outside sources – most of them in the upwind states – aren’t paying our health care bills, or paying for improvements to our air quality, as Delaware’s industrial sector and power plants have done through adopting cleaner fuels, installing state of the art pollution controls, and building new low- and zero-emission generation. Instead we continue to pay – literally through the nose, as in respiratory illnesses and breathing problems such as asthma – for what other states send our way in the form of pollution and ozone transport. We’re asking the EPA that cleaner air for Delawareans – and for all Americans in upwind or downwind states – be an equitable fight and a fair-share responsibility.”

Ozone is created in the atmosphere by a reaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), and all non-trivial Delaware sources that emit VOC and NOx are well-controlled. In fact, Delaware has reduced statewide VOC and NOx emissions each by about 70 percent since 1990 – ranking the state among the highest in the country at having achieved emissions reductions.

Meanwhile, reducing emissions has improved the state’s air quality considerably. Since 1990 Delaware has attained the pervasive 0.12 parts per million (ppm) 1-hour ozone standard and the 0.080 ppm 8-hour ozone standard. However, New Castle and Sussex counties fail to meet the current federal ozone standard of 0.075 ppm, and further in-state emission reductions will not change this. Science has shown that more than 95 percent of Delaware’s ozone problem is caused by emissions from outside of Delaware, and many of these emissions are completely uncontrolled. Delaware VOC and NOx emissions could be reduced to zero, and Delaware would still have unhealthy air so long as the state remains on the receiving end of upwind emissions. “The only thing that will fix our unhealthy air problem is to reduce emissions that are generated outside the borders of Delaware,” said Ali Mirzakhalili, director, DNREC Division of Air Quality.

Under Section 176A of the federal Clean Air Act, states can petition the EPA to add any state to an air quality region such as the OTR if there is reason to believe it is the source of pollution causing violations of air quality standards elsewhere. The EPA Administrator is required to approve or disapprove of such a petition within 18 months.

In submitting the petition to EPA, the eight downwind states told EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, “We believe expansion of the transport region and implementation of the required controls in upwind states are necessary for all of the OTR to achieve attainment in a timely manner. We also believe that the consultation process that is such an important part of the OTC’s activities can benefit all states in an expanded OTR in the assessment of the ozone transport problem and result in the development of effective solutions.”

Millions of residents in the downwind states petitioning EPA are exposed to unhealthy levels of ozone, which can irritate the respiratory system, causing coughing, throat irritation and chest pains and aggravating asthma and other chronic lung diseases. Ozone and other air pollutants have also been linked to premature death.

Despite aggressive actions taken by downwind states to reduce air pollution generated in-state, EPA modeling shows that interstate transport of air pollution contributes significantly to violations of health-based air quality standards for ground-level ozone within their borders. As much as 70 to 98 percent of this ozone air pollution problem is blown in from upwind states – and parts of some downwind states would remain in violation of federal standards even if they eliminated all of the pollution generated within their borders.

Industries and electric power plants in downwind states have invested heavily in pollution control technologies and additional emissions reductions would come from smaller sources at greater cost. The cost of removing an additional ton of pollution in downwind states is estimated at between $10,000 to $40,000 – compared to as little as $200-$500 a ton in upwind states, where even some basic control technologies have not been installed.


White House Officials Visit Wetlands Project in Wilmington as part of the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

(Wilmington) The Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley and David Agnew, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs visited Wilmington today to get a firsthand look at a wetlands restoration and mitigation project site that will restore 22-acres of wetlands in the Southbridge neighborhood of South Wilmington. Governor Markell, Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara, Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams, and local legislators, including Hanifa Shabazz, Wilmington City Council, 4th District, highlighted plans for the project that will reduce flooding in one of the most economically-challenged communities in the state.
The visit came on the heels of the President’s announcement last Friday of a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience that will advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities dealing with impacts of climate change. Governor Markell was one of eight Governors appointed by President to serve on the Task Force.
In September, Governor Markell signed Executive Order 41 which requires all state agencies to incorporate measures for adapting to more extensive storms, increased flood heights and sea level rise in the siting and design of projects for construction of new structures and reconstruction of substantially damaged structures and infrastructure.

Quotes from officials during today’s visit:
Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality: Climate change is changing the frequency and intensity of flooding, wildfires, storms, and heat waves and threatening our health. This project is critical to protecting this community from future floods. It’s fitting to be here in Delaware because of the leadership of the Governor, the Natural Resources Secretary and the Mayor to take action to protect communities from potentially destructive climate impacts. We can count on Delaware for innovative ideas.
David Agnew, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs:“The President believes we have a moral obligation to leave this planet better than we found it. Across America, states, cities and communities are innovating and making the changes they need to deal with the effects of extreme weather and other climate impacts. The Governor’s Executive Order is a great example of what states are doing. Intergovernmental cooperation is key to help ensure the federal government is doing all we can to support these efforts.”
Governor Markell: As the lowest-lying coastal state in the nation, Delaware is extremely vulnerable to climate impacts. We have a long history of challenges from erosion and flooding, which will be exacerbated by more intense storms and rising sea levels. In Southbridge, we have seen record flooding that has forced evacuations and temporary closure of some businesses. While there have been flooding challenges in Southbridge for many years, more frequent storms and heavier precipitation are making things worse. We are focused on taking strategic actions that will help transition Delaware from a position of vulnerability to one of preparedness and resilience.
Collin O’Mara, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: “This is a perfect example of the type of project we need to encourage across the state and country. We are creatively working across governments to leverage existing resources to restore wetlands so they will absorb flood waters and protect this community from water damage. We will see more intense storms, greater precipitation, higher heat waves, and accelerated sea level rise that will affect communities like this one. States that prepare for climate impacts will be the most competitive in the years ahead.

The first meeting of the President’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience will take place in December.

Photos of the event can be viewed on Flickr


DNREC’s remediation and restoration of Mirror Lake in Dover gets under way

Innovative project will significantly improve health of the lake

DOVER (Nov. 7, 2013) – Scientists from DNREC with help from numerous partners are adding to the list of “firsts” for the First State. Work is now under way on an innovative project that will clean up and restore Dover’s Mirror Lake. Officials, including Governor Jack Markell, EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region Administrator Shawn Garvin, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, Dover Mayor Carleton Carey, and others were on hand today to view early progress of the work, which began Oct. 1.

The project uses activated carbon – the same technology used in many water filters – to bind contaminants in lake sediments, significantly improving the health of the lake. Mirror Lake’s health has been in decline for several decades due to contaminants in bottom sediments that accumulate in fish, stormwater runoff and sedimentation, and invasive plant species.

“Mirror Lake is a gateway to historic Dover,” said Gov. Markell. “Restoring it is important for several reasons. First, we are improving the natural, aesthetic beauty of the lake for everyone to enjoy as they approach our State Capitol. Second, we are cleaning up contamination so fish are safe to eat. And third, we want to draw people to Silver Lake Park’s exceptional walking paths for fitness and general enjoyment. When we clean and beautify our natural areas, we make Delaware more enjoyable to people that live here and more attractive to businesses who may consider locating here.”

The activated carbon product being used is called SediMite, and it is being incorporated into the sediments of the lake. It is expected to result in the reduction or removal of the fish consumption advisory in the lake and the St. Jones River downstream to Court Street in Dover within three to five years. The project marks the largest application of SediMite anywhere in the U.S. to date, and is the first state-funded sediment remediation project of its kind in the country.

“This technology demonstrates that we can, in a few short years, reverse the environmental damage that has been done in one of the most beautiful lakes in Kent County and make it fishable again,” said DNREC Sec. O’Mara. “This is a great example of what makes Delaware special – the strong support of our Congressional Delegation, the Governor, General Assembly, municipal government and local volunteers – all working together to accomplish big things.”

In addition to cleaning up the sediment with SediMite, the project includes several habitat improvement and restoration activities. The existing sandbar in the lake is being converted into an intertidal wetland that will improve ecological function and visual appeal of the lake. Coir logs – artificial logs made of coconut husks – and stone rip-rap flow diversion structures will also be used to protect the new wetland and prevent further streambank erosion. Finally, DNREC plans to add native plants to the new wetland area as well as on the western bank of the lake next to Fraizer’s Restaurant.

“This project once again demonstrates Delaware’s innovative leadership when it comes to restoring watersheds,” said EPA Regional Administrator Garvin. “Reviving Mirror Lake will improve water quality, restore habitats and increase biodiversity in the St. Jones Watershed.”

For decades the lake and downstream areas have been negatively impacted by sedimentation, stormwater runoff, chemical contaminants including PCBs and mercury, excess nutrients, bacteria, and invasive plant species. If left to restore on its own, DNREC forecasts it would take several decades for the fish in Mirror Lake to be safe to eat and for the advisory to be lifted. DNREC scientists anticipate a reduction of contaminants in fish tissue up to 90 percent within a matter of a few years.

“Mirror Lake should be a jewel in Dover’s crown, but sadly over the years it’s lost some of its luster,” said State Senator Brian Bushweller, whose district includes the lake. “But with this innovative, first-in-the-nation project, I think that Mirror Lake will become one of our crown jewels once again. The project will be a big boost for the city.”

“I am excited about this project, the first of its kind in the nation, and excited for what the completion will mean for the people of Dover,” said State Representative Darryl Scott. “Years ago, Mirror Lake was a healthy, clean, and beautiful ecosystem. By restoring it to that condition, we will make it once again a landmark all Dover residents can be proud of and enjoy.”

“The remediation and restoration of Mirror Lake will be a great asset to the City of Dover,” said Dover Mayor Carey. “This will add to the beautification of the area. Mirror Lake and the park are wonderful places for families to visit and have special events, such as weddings and other events – at the Fireman’s Monument and throughout the park area. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

“The Mirror Lake Remediation and Restoration project is the largest and most ambitious part of the Silver Lake Park Revitalization Plan that was initiated in 2007,” said Silver Lake Commission Chairman Dean Holden. “There are so many people who have made this possible. DNREC and their skilled and dedicated staff have charted the course with the help of a long list of organizations and volunteers. They all deserve our sincerest thanks for all their hard work.”

DNREC’s team evaluated several options for remediating Mirror Lake and downstream areas prior to choosing the in-situ (in-place) treatment technology. Complete removal of the contaminated sediments would cost approximately $1.5 million, not including the significant price for disposal of the contaminated material. Capping the contaminated sediment with clean sediment was also considered. Although cheaper than dredging, the added volume of capping material would significantly reduce the depth of the lake and change flow patterns, neither of which is desirable. The chosen technology of incorporating SediMite has been successfully tested on a smaller scale at several federal facilities, including nearby Aberdeen Proving Grounds. DNREC has partnered with a world- renowned sediment remediation researcher from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to develop the remediation plan.

The approximately $1 million remediation/restoration project is being funded primarily by state sources, plus $73,800 in federal grant funds from the Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source for the wetland restoration and coir log installation by federal grant funding. The project also includes Community Transportation Funds from Sen. Bushweller and Rep. Scott.

Project partners include all Divisions of DNREC, UMBC, the City of Dover, the Silver Lake Commission, Brightfields, Inc., Biohabitats, Inc., local political leaders and others.

DNREC is keeping project costs down by using volunteer labor where possible. Invasive species removal and some general site preparation work were conducted by Delaware’s Boot Camp Program, as well as by AmeriCorps volunteers. DNREC personnel from every Division are providing the majority of the labor required to broadcast the SediMite into the approximately five-acre project area. More than 3,500 hours of labor is estimated to complete the remediation/restoration project, which should be finished later this month.

DNREC and UMBC scientists have plans to monitor the effectiveness of the innovative treatment technology by collecting and analyzing sediment, water and fish tissue samples over the next three years. If the technology proves to be as successful as expected, then it is anticipated that other impacted rivers, creeks, streams and ponds across the First State may be rehabilitated using SediMite or similar non-destructive and cost effective technologies in the future.

To learn more about the Mirror Lake project, please check out a new video on DNREC’s YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/gplVE07eUq4.


Capital City Trails Phase One Complete

Trail is vital link in Governor Markell’s First State Trails and Pathways Initiative

Dover – Governor Jack Markell, Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Shailen Bhatt, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Collin O’Mara, and Dover Mayor Carleton Carey are pleased to announce the completion of Phase 1 of the Capital City Trails project in Dover.

“We’re making our state a better place for walking and biking,” said Governor Jack Markell.  “One pathway at a time, we are improving Delaware’s quality of life and attractiveness to businesses by creating safe and scenic pathways for people to use.  When families want a great place to live and businesses want a great place to locate, we want them to look at communities like Dover.”

The first phase of the project includes a continuous walkway from Public Safety Boulevard, along the west side of U.S. Route 13, to the south side of Martin Luther King Boulevard and crosses in front of Legislative Hall.  The new pathway is ten feet wide with landscaping and lighting consistent with historic downtown Dover.

“As part of our long term efforts to provide transportation options, as well as reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality, we’re providing more opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian travel in the Capital City.  We’re expanding our network by connecting existing bike and pedestrian pathways in the area and improving safety for all users,” said DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt.

The Capital City Trail in Dover’s pathways and trails system connects to the existing Silver Lake Trail at Division Street, continuing to Legislative Hall and along Court Street to the Public Safety Boulevard Pathway and the Isaacs Branch Trail. When completed, this trails and pathways system will extend a total of 4.5 miles in greater Dover – safely connecting city residents, visitors, and workers to parks, historic attractions, government offices, the Dover Air Force Base, schools, and businesses.

“The Capital City Trail fills a gap in trail work completed several years ago by the City of Dover on the St. Jones River Trail funded by local legislative Community Transportation Funds, as well as Kent County’s Isaac Branch Greenway Trail that was created with grant assistance from DNREC’s local Land & Water Conservation Trust Fund Grant Program,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “Together this network not only provides residents better community connections for walking and biking, but brings us another step closer to realizing Governor Markell’s vision of offering tremendous recreational and physical fitness opportunities in every part of our state.”

Mayor Carey stated, “This is a great milestone, with the completion of Phase 1 and moving on to Phase 2 – many people will see this project as a way to promote healthy living and will appreciate it as a user friendly means to get around our community.”

Phase 2 of the project will connect the pathway from Legislative Hall to Loockerman Street and is scheduled to being construction in spring 2014. Construction on Phase 3, which will connect the pathway from Loockerman Street to Park Drive is expected to begin the following fall.

The Capital City Trail is part of the Governor’s First State Trails and Pathways Initiative that creates a world-class statewide network of new and enhanced trails and pathways for residents and visitors to enjoy walking, biking, hiking, and active living. The Initiative has far-reaching advantages – boosting Delaware’s economy, benefitting local businesses, and promoting the continued growth of the state’s recreation and tourism industries. By offering people a place to walk, run or ride, trails and pathways allow them to connect with the outdoors and encourages healthier, more active lifestyles.

Governor Markell’s First State Trails and Pathways Initiative is a partnership led by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control with regional and local organization and government partners.

 For more information, please visit www.trails.delaware.gov


Gov. Markell, Sen. Carper Tout New Gordons Pond Trail for Health and Recreation at Cape Henlopen State Park Groundbreaking

LEWES (Oct. 25, 2013) – U.S. Senator Tom Carper, Governor Jack Markell, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, and other federal, state and local officials, trail supporters and outdoor enthusiasts, at the groundbreaking for the new Gordons Pond Trail in Cape Henlopen State Park. The trail project, combined with the existing stone trail, will result in 2.75 total miles of improved trail connecting Gordons Pond to Herring Point in Cape Henlopen State Park. The 15.5-mile loop that the trail creates will be the longest loop trail south of the C&D Canal.

“More trails for walking, hiking, biking, and jogging rank consistently as the highest outdoor recreation need identified by Delawareans throughout the state,” said Governor Jack Markell. “The investments we continue to make in our trails and pathways support our overall health and well-being, and help grow our economy. Trails like Gordons Pond help make Delaware attractive to talented workers and businesses who may want to locate here.”

“As we improve and invest in our trails, we create more than just pretty pathways in Delaware,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “We cannot underestimate the value of trails in Delaware – and this one in particular. This trail means better health for Delawareans and a better economy for Delaware.”

“Gordons Pond and the Cape Henlopen State Park provide Delawareans and guests from around the region an opportunity to take part in a delightful day of exercise and engagement with the world around them,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “The completion of the final phase of the trail will bring outdoor enthusiasts that much closer to the vibrant natural resources that surround them at the pond. I am thrilled construction is beginning shortly and look forward to heading out on the trail this spring when it’s completed.”

“I’m excited to see the construction of the Gordons Pond Trail move forward,” said U.S. Congressman John Carney. “We know the tremendous positive impact that well-maintained trails have in our state. Just last week, we dedicated a new trail along the C&D Canal. The trail connecting Lewes and Rehoboth is one of the most popular in the state, attracting both tourists and Delawareans. These trails show off the beauty of our state, while people are biking, walking, or doing other activities that are part of a healthy, active lifestyle. I’m looking forward to coming back once this trail is complete.”

The trail provides a key link in a 15.5-mile loop through Lewes and Rehoboth and along the existing Junction and Breakwater Trail – one of Delaware’s most used and loved existing trails. It will be compliant with the American with Disabilities Act and offer all visitors year-round access to enjoy and learn about a special area of Cape Henlopen State Park.

The $3 million project was funded by the 2012 Bond Bill as part of the Governor’s Trails and Pathways Initiative. As part of the initiative, the trail is an improvement and extension of the existing trail between the Gordons Pond Day Use Area and Herring Point. The existing improved Gordons Pond Trail begins at the Gordons Pond parking lot, extending 0.75 miles to an observation platform. Beginning at the observation platform adjacent to Gordons Pond – the northernmost point of the improved trail – the trail’s alignment will follow the existing primitive trail on the dike along the western edge of Gordons Pond, a distance of 1.2 miles. A boardwalk segment will begin south of an existing footbridge and will run across dunes and marsh before it rejoins a level sandy landscape to the north, a distance of 0.4 miles. At the boardwalk’s north end, a 0.3-mile trail section lies east of the marsh that connects to the Walking Dunes Trail and Herring Point at Dune Road. A new trailhead parking lot serving the trail’s north end will be constructed.

“This trail will provide a world-class recreational experience for those wishing to enjoy the magnificent views of Gordons Pond, the tidal marsh, ocean and dunes,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “In addition, trail networks promote healthy lifestyles and take cars off the road, reducing air pollution and traffic. The Gordons Pond Trail will offer an excellent opportunity for young Delawareans to be outdoors to experience and learn about nature, as we strive to have no child left inside.”

The new 10 foot wide trail will replace the existing primitive trail from the observation platform adjacent to Gordons Pond on the south end to Herring Point on north end. The trail tread surface will be stone topped with stone dust and the surface will match the existing Gordons Pond Trail. Other improvements will include benches at various locations along trail and observation areas on the boardwalk. When complete, expected in the spring of 2014, the entire length of the Gordons Pond Trail – 2.75 miles – will meet standards required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The boardwalk will be 8 feet wide and approximately 0.4 miles long. It will be elevated to span dunes and marsh; deck height above ground varies from 2 to 3 feet at its low section to 8 to 9 feet at the high section. The boardwalk will offer views, account for rising sea level, and will provide a level of separation between pedestrian traffic and sensitive cultural and natural resources. The fiberglass-grated deck is designed for light penetration to wetlands plants below it. It will include two 8 by 20-foot observation areas, and the handrail will be wood-framed with see-through wire mesh along full length of boardwalk. In addition to the handrail being designed for safety, it will also ensure that visitor stay on the trail and not wander into areas where they can potentially disturb wetlands, sensitive cultural resources, and rare plant and animal species.

Also at the event, Senator Carper on behalf of Delaware’s Congressional Delegation, paid tribute to Charles Salkin, the outgoing director of DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation, who will retire at the end of October after 35 years of state service, including 21 years as Delaware State Parks division director.