Delaware State Parks Launches “Delaware Outdoor Family” Program

DOVER (May 6, 2013) – DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation is excited to announce the creation of a new program, “Delaware Outdoor Family,” in conjunction with the Children In Nature/No Child Left Inside initiative.

“Delaware Outdoor Family” will provide overnight camping trips guided by park staff, giving families an opportunity to get outdoors and experience state parks in a new way. Programs will include activities that daytime park visitors don’t get to experience, including beach campfires and nighttime astronomy. 

“Camping can seem like a challenge for busy parents, but the experience of sleeping under the stars is meaningful for kids and adults alike,” said Matthew Ritter, Chief of Programming. “When families spend time together outdoors, children are more likely to feel a strong personal connection with nature.”

For 2013, “Delaware Outdoor Family” programs will be offered throughout the summer and fall. Campouts are scheduled at Bellevue State Park, Brandywine Creek State Park and Delaware Seashore State Park. See the Delaware State Parks’ 2013 Summer Guide for details. Additional daytime Outdoor Family opportunities are marked throughout our summer guide, including an “Introduction to Rock Climbing” in Wilmington and the Annual Youth Fishing Tournament at Bellevue. Information is also available at destateparks.com.

Delaware State Parks is proud to be a member of the Children In Nature/No Child Left Inside initiative. Getting kids to spend more time outside can improve their health, encourage physical activity and even help them focus in school. The “Delaware Outdoor Family” program promotes the mission of the initiative and will create new opportunities to connect families to nature.

Vol. 43, No.183

Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

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Portion of Junction and Breakwater Trail re-routed

LEWES ( May 6, 2013) – A quarter-mile section of the Junction and Breakwater Trail has been closed to make way for construction of a new, planned housing development in Lewes, near Cape Henlopen State Park. The affected area is located in the northernmost trail segment between the Hawkseye community and Gills Neck Road.

When it was built, the now closed trail section was a temporary solution to connect bicyclists, walkers and runners to Gills Neck Road. A future, permanent, trail section will run through the new Senators residential community, making the connection to Gills Neck Road. That segment is expected to open next year.

“The Junction & Breakwater Trail is an asset to the Hawkseye community and we welcome the opportunity to continue its use via a detour,” said John Schneider, President of the Hawkseye Property Owners Association. “Our community streets are marked to direct trail users to Gills Neck Road. Many of our residents are avid trail users and decided to build in Hawkseye because of the proximity to this jewel, a multimodal pathway from Lewes to Rehoboth,” Schneider said.

Markers are posted along Peregrine and Red Tail Roads guiding bikers and runners to Gills Neck Road. Trail users are asked to follow the designated route and respect private property.

Area trail users are also advised that a 1,300-foot section on the Gills Neck Road Pathway has shifted. This quarter-mile pathway adjoins the new residential development. It will be replaced and opened as construction moves to other phases within the new development.

Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 43, No.182

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Driving on the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park

LEWES (May 3, 2013) – Cape Henlopen State Park will host Driving on the Beach workshops on Saturdays, May 11 and June 15, and Sundays, May 19 and June 2. Join park rangers and surf fishing experts to learn the rules and regulations, and get tips on safe driving, how to avoid getting stuck, and how to get unstuck.

Each program meets at the Seaside Nature Center at 9:30 a.m. for an indoor presentation. Depending on the weather, the group may go for a drive on the beach, so please bring your safe driving equipment (a low-pressure tire gauge, tow rope or chain, board, jack, and shovel). The fee is $5 per person.

For more information or to pre-register, please call 302-645-6852. Park entrance fees are in effect. More information about public programs at Cape Henlopen or any Delaware State Park is available at destateparks.com/programs.

 Contact: Richard Julian, Cape Henlopen State Park, 302-645-6852 or Beth Shockley, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 43, No. 179

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DNREC Secretary O’Mara suspends permit for Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC resource recovery facility

DOVER (May 2, 2013) – DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara has suspended a permit for Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC that allowed the resource recovery facility to accept, process, and recycle construction and demolition waste. The suspension was handed down via Secretary’s Order after the company failed to address repeated environmental violations and after Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC discounted a cease and desist order issued by DNREC. The Secretary’s Order prohibits the facility, located west of Camden in Kent County, from accepting any solid waste including recyclable materials and requires Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC to take steps to protect public health and the environment.

The suspension of the permit is in effect until Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC demonstrates to DNREC’s Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Section that it is capable of operating the resource recovery facility lawfully and in compliance with the permit and with Delaware’s Regulations Governing Solid Waste (DRGSW) 7 DE Admin. Code 1301.

Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC, was cited for 22 violations many of which were ongoing while the company continued in operation. Violations included:

  • Managing solid waste outside of allowed areas;
  • Failure to operate the facility in a manner that precludes degradation of land, air, surface water or groundwater;
  • Failure to operate the facility consistent with the approved plan of operation;
  • Failure to process construction and demolition (C&D) waste within 72 hours;
  • Storage of recyclable materials in unapproved areas;
  • Failure to dispose of non-recyclable waste materials within 72 hours;
  • Failure to timely submit complete annual reports to DNREC;
  • Failure to properly update the closure plan to be submitted annually;
  • Failure to operate the facility only during approved hours of operation;
  • Failure of the weigh master to inspect all incoming loads of C&D waste as per the approved plan of operation and the permit;
  • Failure to transfer sorted C&D waste to roll-off containers;
  • Failure to place incoming C&D waste on concrete pad for sorting and inspection;
  • Failure to send non-recyclable waste for proper disposal within 72 hours of roll-off containers becoming full;
  • Failure to use covered roll-off containers for storage of sorted wallboard;
  • Failure to maintain proper size of wood mulch piles as per the permit;
  • Failure to limit total waste at the facility at any one time to 2,400 tons as per the permit and the approved plan of operation;
  • Failure to maintain proper fire protection service as per the permit;
  • Failure to file complete quarterly reports on time;
  • Failure to follow proper procedures for testing wood mulch product as required by the permit;
  • Failure to prevent acceptance of prohibited waste;
  • Failure to maintain proper records of testing;
  • Failure to maintain proper records of personnel training, major equipment maintenance, and fire department inspections; and
  • Failure to obtain approval of recycling waste other than C&D waste.

DNREC, according to the order from Sec. O’Mara, “finds that the suspension of the Permit is supported as the proper remedy for (Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC)’s continuing and flagrant non-compliance with the permit and Delaware’s Regulations Governing Solid Waste.” The order also noted that “(i)n sum, the nature and extent of the violations show that Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC has operated the facility since the very beginning of its regulated history with a wholesale disregard for DNREC’s regulations and the company’s permit.”

DNREC has given Mike Davidson Enterprises, LLC three months “as a reasonable time frame…to make the necessary changes to the facility in order to have the Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Section lift the suspension upon full compliance.” DNREC retains regulatory authority, including amending the permit, seeking monetary penalties of up to $10,000 for each day MDE does not comply with the permit or Delaware’s Regulations Governing Solid Waste, pursuing designation of the facility as a “chronic violator” and granting an extension in the three-month compliance schedule for showing good cause.

The Secretary’s Order suspending MDE’s permit can be found at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/SecOrders_Enforcement.aspx   

Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 43, No. 176

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Delaware moves from 10th to 5th among Bicycle Friendly States

League of American Bicyclists ranks Delaware first among northeastern states

Dover – In honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists today released its latest Bicycle Friendly States ranking. In the sixth annual assessment, Delaware achieved a fifth place ranking nationally, while placing number one in the northeastern United States.

“People want to work and live in places they are proud to call home,” said Governor Markell.  “This shows the progress we’ve been making to expand trails and pathways, offering more connected workplaces and homes. We’re on the road to making our quality of life in Delaware #1 in the country. It’s good for families and for businesses who want to grow here.”

In 2011, Governor Markell challenged the state to harness the health, recreation and economic benefits of cycling, and increase Delaware’s ranking in the annual survey of bicycle friendly states.  In doing so, Governor Markell launched the First State Trails and Pathways Initiative; a partnership between DelDOT and DNREC for the planning and construction of new bicycling and pedestrian facilities.   The goal is to enhance existing trails and pathways by making connections that extend their reach, and to construct new ones where the opportunities are greatest.  The initiative was recognized for its significance last year by the League of American Bicyclists, when Delaware moved from 18th to 10th place in the 2012 ranking.

“Safe and accessible biking facilities are a smart transportation investment for Delaware residents looking for alternative ways to get to employment, shopping and entertainment venues,” said Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt.   “Coupled with public outreach to educate cyclists and drivers about sharing our roads, these facilities help increase the ease with which bicyclists and motorists successfully interact.  DelDOT is gratified Delaware’s efforts to better serve the bicycling community are achieving the national recognition they deserve.”

“That Delaware should be ranked number-five in the list of bicycle friendly states speaks well of the progress we are making in our effort to build better connections within our communities through the Governor’s Trails and Pathways Initiative,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “Now that Delaware has been determined to be the most bicycle friendly state east of the Mississippi, we can say that without a doubt that we are making the state a healthier, more active, more vibrant and attractive place to live, work and visit. Stay tuned as we go for number one.”

About the League of American Bicyclists

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America’s 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit www.bikeleague.org.  Learn more about the Bicycle Friendly America program at www.bikeleague.org/bfa.

Media contact: Elizabeth Murphy, Communications Manager, League of American Bicyclists, (202) 621-5458, Liz@BikeLeague.org