DNREC determines deluge water used to contain Croda, Inc.’s 2018 ethylene oxide release did not impact the environment

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has concluded that there was no increased risk to human health or safety from deluge water used to contain the Nov. 25, 2018 ethylene oxide (EO) release at Croda’s Atlas Point facility. DNREC’s conclusion was made from a soil and groundwater sampling report required of Croda by the Department as part of a settlement agreement with DNREC in the aftermath of the EO incident.

The full report, prepared by an environmental consultant on Croda’s behalf and reviewed by DNREC’s Site Investigation & Restoration Section, can be found on the DNREC website. The DNREC-Croda settlement agreement requiring the report from Croda assessed a penalty of $230,000 to Croda for air, hazardous waste and water quality violations stemming from the EO incident, and additional steps to be completed by Croda before the EO plant can resume operations.

Data in the soil and groundwater report was based on the amount of deluge water that exceeded a containment sump at Croda’s facility in New Castle. Terms of the settlement agreement required soil and groundwater sampling by Croda to determine if EO-contaminated deluge water had impacted the area west of Croda’s EO production unit. EO was not detected in any of the soil or groundwater samples from Croda, according to the report.

Another compound associated with Croda’s operations, 1,4-dioxane, considered a contaminant, was detected in two soil samples, as well as the groundwater sample from the company. For the site’s intended manufacturing use, the reported concentrations of 1,4-dioxane in the groundwater samples do not pose an unacceptable risk to health and safety. The reported concentrations of 1,4-dioxane, the locations of detections noted during sampling, and past detections of 1,4-dioxane by DNREC at the site led the Department to conclude that there is a very low probability that last year’s EO release was the source of the 1,4-dioxane concentrations sampled. Based on the levels and location, no further action is required to address this portion of the site.

A DNREC letter to Croda reiterated that the Nov. 25, 2018 EO release does not change remedial actions already required by DNREC in addressing site contamination at the Atlas Point facility and that are ongoing as directed by the Department.

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

Vol. 49, No. 90


DNREC, Croda, Inc. reach settlement agreement on company’s air and water violations from Nov. 25, 2018 EO incident

DOVER – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and Croda, Inc. have entered into a settlement agreement that resolves environmental violations arising from the Nov. 25, 2018 ethylene oxide release (EO) at Croda’s Atlas Point facility.

Croda, Inc.’s facility located at 315 Cherry Lane, New Castle, Del., manufactures surfactants that promote mixing of oil- and water-based ingredients in consumer products such as pharmaceuticals and shaving cream. At 4:23 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25, the EO release by Croda was responsible for a seven-hour shutdown of the Delaware Memorial Bridge while emergency responders – including DNREC’s Emergency Prevention and Response Section and Environmental Crimes Unit – worked throughout the area to ensure that there was no threat to public health and safety.

Croda’s subsequent investigation found that the release was due to the failure of a gasket made of unsuitable material for processing EO at the plant. The accidental release resulted in 2,688 pounds of the highly flammable EO gas escaping into the environment. A water deluge system, deployed by Croda to minimize the risk of ignition or explosion of the EO that was released, caused almost 700,000 gallons of deluge water to overflow a spill sump and to discharge into the ground and a wooded area behind the sump.

The settlement agreement includes a DNREC Secretary’s Order issued on March 4, 2019, citing Croda for Division of Air Quality violations for the EO release and for the improper maintenance and operation of the Atlas Point facility. The Division of Water cited Croda for the unpermitted release of deluge water in violation of its NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit. The settlement agreement also directs Croda to pursue a plan of sampling and remediation, pursuant to HSCA (the Delaware Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act), administered by the Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances’ Site Investigation and Restoration Section (SIRS).

Through the settlement agreement, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin issued a Notice of Penalty Assessment and Order to Croda, Inc., for the violations of Delaware air quality regulations and the company’s NPDES permit. The Secretary’s Order assesses a penalty of $246,739 to Croda, which includes $16,489 for DNREC cost recovery from responding to and investigating the incident.

In the settlement with the State of Delaware and DNREC, Croda, Inc. also has agreed to resolve all violations arising from the operation of Croda’s new EO plant as permitted by DNREC, both prior to and including the Nov. 25 incident. The settlement agreement also calls for DNREC and Croda to define further Croda’s environmental obligations for the Atlas Point facility. With Croda having accepted those obligations set forth by DNREC and agreed to necessary remedial actions required by the Department for public health and safety, the settlement with DNREC provides a path forward to resume production of ethylene oxide at the Atlas Point facility upon final approval from DNREC.

The settlement agreement and Secretary’s Order can be found on the DNREC website at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/secretarys-orders/.
A DNREC Q&A about the Nov. 25 incident and the Department’s investigation into it can be found at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/croda-questions-answers/.

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

Vol. 49, No. 65


DNREC to hold public workshops April 16 on gasoline vapors and proposed Underground Storage Tank regulations

DOVER – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Air Quality and the Tank Management Section within DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances will hold two public workshops next month on proposed vapor emission recovery and vapor emission control at gasoline-dispensing stations and on changes to Delaware’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Regulations as required by new federal UST regulations.

Both workshops will be held Tuesday, April 16, with one upstate workshop and one downstate, as follow:

  • New Castle County: 10 a.m., at DNREC’s Lukens Drive field office, 391 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE 19720; and
  • Kent and Sussex Counties: 6:30 p.m., DNREC Auditorium, Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

At the workshops, staff from the Division of Air Quality and the Tank Management Section will discuss proposed regulatory changes to:

  • Phase out Stage II vapor recovery systems at Delaware gasoline dispensing facilities;
  • Ensure gasoline USTs remain vapor tight once Stage II systems are removed; and
  • Review changes required due to promulgation of new federal UST regulations.

For more information on the workshops, please visit the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/62548 and https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/62549

Additionally, you may contact Frank Gao at in the Division of Air Quality and/or Eileen Butler in the Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances’ Tank Management Section.

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

Vol. 49, No. 72



DNREC Recycling Program offers compost bins for sale online at discount price for pickup at three locations statewide

DOVER – DNREC’s Recycling Program within the Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances is offering compost bins that can be pre-ordered online at a discount price of $50, half the retail price of the bins. The bins must be picked up by the purchaser at any of three locations: Dover, Lewes, and Delaware City.

Locations, dates and times for pick up for the discounted compost bins are:

Dover – Saturday, April 27: Pick-up location adjacent to the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA) collection event at the Blue Hen Corporate Center, 655 S. Bay Road (8 a.m. – Noon). Pre-order deadline for Dover pickup is April 21.

Lewes – Saturday, May 11: Pick-up location at the DNREC Lewes Field Facility, 901 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958 (8 a.m. – Noon). Pre-order deadline for Lewes pickup is May 5.

Delaware City – Saturday, June 8: Pick-up location adjacent to the DSWA collection event at Fort DuPont State Park on the corner of Old Battery Lane and Hall Road (8 a.m. – Noon). Pre-order deadline for Delaware City pickup is June 2.

Orders for discounted compost bins must be placed online at www.enviroworld.us/delaware, with major credit cards and PayPal accepted.

Bins must be picked up between 8 a.m. and noon at each location – during which time DNREC’s Recycling Program will be onsite to provide assistance ensuring that Delawareans can use their new backyard compost bins for successfully converting organic waste to compost. These compact compost bins can quickly turn food scraps and yard waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that replaces traditional fertilizers to produce healthier plants and vegetables in home gardens.

To learn more about composting in Delaware please visit: https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/waste-hazardous/recycling/composting/. For more information about DNREC’s Recycling Program within the Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances, please contact Don Long by email Donald.long@delaware.gov or by calling 302-739-9403 (option 4).

Vol. 49, No. 52


DNREC’s Polly Drummond Hill Road demonstration yard waste site to open April 6 and close June 30

DOVER – DNREC’s Polly Drummond Hill demonstration yard waste drop-off site in northern New Castle County, which has been in intermittent operation since 2007, will open on April 6, 2019 and then will be permanently closed on June 30, 2019. After that, yard waste material will no longer be accepted at the Polly Drummond Hill site. The site will be restored to its natural state and will be included in the White Clay Creek State Park master planning process.The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

The Polly Drummond Hill site is the last of three “pilot” yard waste drop-off sites opened by DNREC to help with the transition of New Castle County yard waste disposal away from the Cherry Island landfill as it neared capacity. The property is part of DNREC’s White Clay Creek State Park and will return to a natural setting within the park. With the development of other nearby yard waste drop-off and collection options, and concerns regarding invasive species such as the spotted lanternfly, DNREC is closing the Polly Drummond Hill site.

New Castle County residents who have used the Polly Drummond Hill site now have nearby private operations for disposal of their yard waste, including:

  • Holland Mulch South Chapel Yard Waste Site
    1034 South Chapel Street (Route 72), Newark, DE 19702
    302-737-1000; www.hollandmulch.com
  • Holland Mulch
    135 Hay Road, Edgemoor, DE 19809
    302-737-1000; www.hollandmulch.com
  • DSWA Cherry Island Landfill
    12th Street and Hay Road, Wilmington, DE 19809
    800-404-7080; www.dswa.com

DNREC also reminds New Castle County residents that many waste hauling companies in Delaware offer yard waste collection services to customers. A current list of waste haulers and their contact information can be found on the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s website https://dswa.com/resources/licensed-haulers/. In some cases, curbside waste customers may already be paying for a yard waste collection service, but might not be using it. Yard waste collection also may be added to existing service contracts. Additionally, there are landscaping companies that offer yard waste collection. New Castle County residents are encouraged to compare and choose the best option for yard waste removal needs.

DNREC’s Recycling Program also reminds Delawareans that yard waste is banned from the state’s landfills, so it cannot be placed in trash containers. Yard waste typically consists of materials such as grass clippings, leaves, brush, small limbs (4” in diameter or less), Christmas trees or other vegetative materials.

Additional resources for managing yard waste including other drop-off locations can be found at de.gov/yardwaste. This site also includes a link to a new DNREC brochure on managing residential yard waste. For more information on yard waste in Delaware, please call DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances, 302-739-9403, option #1.

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

Vol. 49, No. 60