Delaware Extends Electric Vehicle Rebate Program

Almost 2,500 Rebates Have Been Paid Since Program’s Inception

Delaware drivers switching to electric vehicles will continue to enjoy extra savings after the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced it is extending the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program through the end of the year.

“As new and existing manufacturers introduce more electric vehicles to their lineups, more consumers are making the switch,” said Governor Carney. “Our Clean Transportation Incentive Program is helping to make the transition more affordable for more Delawareans.”

Clean transportation is a strategy identified in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The program has been in place since July 2015. In the first round of funding, which lasted until Oct. 31, 2016, the program paid out 292 rebates. By comparison, the program has paid out 267 rebates in the first four months of this year.

In total, almost 2,500 rebates have been issued since the program began. The current program was set to expire June 30.

“The continuing popularity of the electric vehicle rebate program, along with the benefits to the environment through reduced greenhouse gas emissions, are among the reasons why we are extending the program through the end of 2022,” said Secretary Garvin.

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 Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Rebate 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

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Governor Carney Announces Delaware Climate Leadership Academy

Training Will Help Integrate Mitigation, Adaptation into Decision-Making

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor Carney on Monday announced that state agencies and local governments can learn how climate change is impacting Delaware, how we can best prepare for these challenges and how we can take advantage of opportunities for improving resilience and reducing emissions through a training offered by the State of Delaware.

Delaware is partnering with the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) to begin offering the Delaware Climate Leadership Academy this spring.

The virtual training will provide instruction on understanding climate science and assessing vulnerability; basics of greenhouse gas accounting, reporting, disclosure; engaging organizational and community stakeholders to lead change; the economics of climate change; and managing climate risk.

“Delawareans expect their state agencies and local governments to provide solutions to a range of issues impacting our communities,” said Governor Carney. “Climate change affects every corner of state and local government operations — from preparing our labor force for the jobs of tomorrow to providing clean drinking water to collection of revenues — and that’s why it is critically important that we build climate change knowledge and skills in our state and local workforce. Delaware’s Climate Leadership Academy is a meaningful step forward in making sure we are prepared to respond to the global climate change challenge.”

Governor Carney released Delaware’s Climate Action Plan last November. The plan outlines actions the state can take to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and maximize resilience to climate change impacts. It also calls for training staff in state agencies and local governments to better prepare them to meet the challenges ahead.

The Academy, which will be administered by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, will provide training that integrates concepts of climate change mitigation and adaptation into the decision-making process. It will also be an opportunity for participants to network and collaborate on challenges and opportunities.

ACCO has provided training to more than 1,000 practitioners in public and private sectors. Most recently, it developed training and climate leadership academies for Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Delaware’s Climate Leadership Academy will include sessions specific to the First State, including:

  • Delaware-specific data
  • Information on Delaware’s Climate Action Plan
  • Delaware’s greenhouse gas emissions and initiatives already in place to reduce them
  • Maximizing resilience, with a focus on adapting to increasing temperatures, precipitation, flooding and sea level rise.

“Delaware has taken the vitally important step toward educating and training policymakers in state and local government, as well as building a climate smart workforce across sectors to ensure a healthy, secure and prosperous state,” said Daniel Kreeger, Executive Director of ACCO. “The Delaware Climate Leadership Academy will play a key role in building up the knowledge and skills in government and critical infrastructure that Delaware needs to address both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

The academy series will satisfy elective requirements to become a candidate for the Certified Climate Change Professional exams and become a candidate for the professional CC-P credential. Training is planned to be offered again in the fall to a larger audience of non-government stakeholders.

The deadline for state and local government employees to register is April 21. For more information and to register, visit de.gov/climateacademy

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Governor Carney Launches Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative (TEDI)

Public invited to enter trees they plant in new TEDI tracker

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday launched a new program that aims to plant a tree for every Delawarean as part of the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This initiative was originally announced in Governor Carney’s 2020 State of the State Address and discussed in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan as a strategy to support local communities’ enhancement of urban greenspaces.

Click here for photos from the event.

“Last week, when I announced Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, I said that as the country’s lowest-lying state, climate change is a very real threat to Delaware’s future,” said Governor Carney. “Reducing emissions is essential to our efforts to deal with climate change, and the Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative – TEDI – helps us move forward on accomplishing one of the strategies outlined in the Climate Action Plan.”

“We all have a stake in improving our environmental health to ensure a stronger and healthier Delaware,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “By involving the community and encouraging Delawareans across the state to plant trees, we are taking steps to mitigate carbon emissions and their impact on our state, our children and future generations.”

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) Secretary Michael T. Scuse joined Governor Carney, Lt. Governor Hall-Long, state and county officials, and stakeholders at a tree planting at Lieutenant Szczerba Memorial Park in New Castle to help launch the program. The two state agencies are partnering on the initiative.

DNREC and the Delaware Department of Agriculture partnered to develop a new website where residents can access information on selecting, planting, and caring for their trees. In addition, residents, non-profit organizations, and municipalities can visit de.gov/tedi to enter information and photos of their tree plantings to help count the trees planted throughout the state.

Healthy and resilient forests are a vital part of the efforts to combat the negative impacts of climate change. As part of a comprehensive approach in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan that includes energy efficiency, clean transportation and transitioning to clean energy sources. Planting and nurturing trees is a nature-based solution to reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“Along with our programs that help Delawareans reduce their energy use, TEDI provides an opportunity for everyone to contribute to our statewide effort to improve air and water quality, preserve soil, and support wildlife – all while reducing the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

Urban trees and forests help decrease energy use and emissions by providing shade, cooling temperatures and changing wind speeds. Studies have shown trees can reduce temperatures by 9 degrees and energy and heating costs by $7.8 billion a year in the United States.

Encompassing 1.25 million acres, Delaware has nearly 360,000 forested acres. With 78 percent of the state’s forests privately owned, the Delaware Forest Service provides technical assistance, funding and education to serve as a foundation for tree planting, conservation, reforestation, forest management and wildlife protection throughout Delaware.

“We are proud to have the Delaware Forest Service as part of the Department of Agriculture. With fewer than 25 staff, the Forest Service continually works with communities and private landowners all over Delaware to harness the power of trees to transform communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “The Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative is an important investment in our state’s forestland that will help improve our economy and public health. Every $1 million invested in tree planting and reforestation efforts creates 40 forest-related jobs. And from a health perspective, research has shown that trees absorb 17.4 million tons of air pollutants a year, helping to prevent 670,000 cases of asthma and other acute respiratory symptoms annually.”

DDA’s Urban and Community Forestry Program works to increase tree canopy in communities statewide. The Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program has provided more than $1.86 million in matching tree grants for more than 588 projects in the First State – with more than 16,000 trees planted. Municipalities, communities and organizations can assess their current level of tree cover as a starting point to explore opportunities to plant new trees using the Delaware Forest Service’s online tree canopy tool at de.gov/treecanopy

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Governor Carney Signs Three Environmental Bills

Legislation encourages adoption of solar power and electric vehicles, curbing balloon releases

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday joined members of the General Assembly and environmental advocates at a Wilmington-based solar array to sign three environmentally focused bills that will help expand the use of renewable energy, reduce carbon emissions, and protect Delaware’s fragile ecosystems from the harmful effects of plastic waste.

“It takes all of us working together to address the existential threat of climate change in our communities,” said Governor John Carney. “It is my pleasure to finish the great work of Senator Stephanie Hansen, members of the General Assembly and advocates across the state, and sign these important pieces of legislation to protect our state’s environment for future generations.”

 
All three bills signed Friday were sponsored by Senator Stephanie Hansen, who chairs the Senate Environment & Energy Committee.

“These measures – along with the updated Renewable Portfolio Standards signed by the governor in February – mark significant steps forward in Delaware’s energy policies and our stewardship of the natural environment,” said Senator Stephanie Hansen. “None of these bills would have been possible without input from dozens of environmentalists, community groups, businesses and advocates who were willing to put aside their differences to help forge policies that will lead to a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable Delaware.”

Governor Carney stands behind a podium at a bill signing ceremony event located at a solar array in Wilmington.Signed at the site of a 2-megawatt solar array near the confluence of the Brandywine Creek and Christina River owned by Soltage LLC, Senate Bill 2 is designed to accelerate the adoption of community-based photovoltaic systems in Delaware.

The legislation creates a legal framework that will allow residents to enjoy the cost savings and low-carbon footprint of solar power without needing to install photovoltaic panels on their own properties. Instead, neighbors and community groups can receive a credit on their electric bill by subscribing to a centrally located community solar project, which can now be developed under a variety of ownership, management, and contract models.

Delaware law has allowed for community-owned solar generation facilities since 2010, when the shared solar concept was still being tested throughout most of the country. Today, at least 40 states and the District of Columbia host at least one community solar project with most located in Maine, Minnesota, New York and Colorado.

Under a regulatory process implemented by the Public Service Commission with consumer protections provided by the Delaware Department of Justice, SB 2 requires all community solar projects in Delaware to serve a diverse customer base that includes low-income and middle-class households — an environmental justice component that will ensure solar energy is available to all Delawareans.

“The Public Service Commission looks forward to working with stakeholders on community solar certification requirements and important customer protections which will allow more Delawareans to participate in this exciting, fast growing market,” said Matt Hartigan, Director of the Public Service Commission.

“Senate Bill 2 addresses barriers to community solar development in our state,” said Drew Slater, Public Advocate. “This legislation was a collaborative approach with many stakeholders and through forums held by Senator Hansen. It is a testament to everyone’s hard work that this legislation received overwhelming support from the General Assembly and is enacted into law by Governor Carney this afternoon.”

“Soltage is excited to see Senate Bill 2 passed today, as we know first-hand the impact it will have on Delaware’s solar economy and community solar buyers,” said Soltage CEO and Co-Founder, Jesse Grossman. “This type of legislation is key for opening up clean energy markets, driving economic growth and job creation in the state, and ultimately, helping the country achieve the decarbonization needed to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis.”

Governor Carney on Friday also signed Senate Bill 21, an amendment to the Delaware Energy Act that encourages the adoption of electric vehicles by creating a more accessible charging-station infrastructure in the First State. The legislation specifically allows state agencies to charge employees and the public a fee for the use of charging stations on state property so long as those fees do not exceed the agency’s cost.

Finally, Governor Carney signed Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 24, legislation that makes it unlawful to intentionally release balloons filled with air or lighter-than-air gases. Releasing four balloons or fewer is considered littering and a first offense is punishable by a fine of at least $25. A mass release of five or more balloons carries a civil penalty of $250 and up to eight hours of community service on first offense.

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The Delaware Bayshore Byway National Scenic Byway Designation Sign Unveiling

As part of this week’s Earth Day celebration, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), the Delaware Tourism Office, Delaware Greenways, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) are excited to announce the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has designated the Delaware Bayshore Byway as a National Scenic Byway.

Governor John Carney, DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office Liz Keller and representatives from Delaware Greenways and tourism groups celebrated the designation with a gathering today to unveil a special sign recognizing the Byway as a National Scenic Byway at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve’s St. Jones Reserve in Dover.

The FHWA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, approved 49 new designations to the America’s Byways® collection, including the Delaware Bayshore Byway. In total, 15 new All-American Roads and 34 new National Scenic Byways in 28 states were accepted into the National Scenic Byways Program.

“Delaware’s Bayshore Byway encompasses so much of our state’s unique natural and cultural heritage,” said Governor John Carney. “We are proud to announce on Earth Day this national recognition of its beauty and importance, and we look forward to drawing new visitors to discover its uniquely all-American, all-natural waterways, landscapes and towns.”

Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski added, “This designation is quite an honor. There is so much to experience when traveling this scenic route. Whether you’re a history lover, wildlife enthusiast or perhaps you just want to slow down and enjoy the view, enrich your next trip by taking the Delaware Bayshore Byway. You won’t be disappointed.”

“DNREC’s Delaware Bayshore Initiative runs the coastline from New Castle to Lewes and has laid a foundation to focus our efforts on conservation and preservation, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and support Bayshore communities,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This new designation builds on and broadens our commitment to care for and share Delaware’s wild side with residents and visitors of today and tomorrow.”

The Delaware Bayshore Byway, now a National Scenic Byway, is a series of two-lane roads that travel along the Delaware River and Bay Estuary. From New Castle to Lewes, the byway corridor with 19 Discovery Zones offers visitors and locals an intimate experience featuring coastal marshlands, abundant wildlife, rich hunting, fishing, and farming heritage and historic river and bay towns and communities.

While traveling this 157-mile route spanning 100 miles of the Delaware coastline, the Delaware Bayshore Byway provides a connection to all that is Delaware: history, wild open space, horseshoe crabs and shorebirds, fresh and saltwater marshes, small communities, fishing villages and large farms, coastal rivers, the bay and its beaches, lighthouses and dark skies, historic mansions and migrant shacks, and waterfowl and watermen.

“The Delaware Bayshore is a special place that must be preserved for its world class birding and unique coastal marshes that benefits both Delaware residents and visitors,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “The Delaware Bayshore is a treasure of national and global significance; recognition of the Byway at the federal level is an honor the area richly deserves.”

U.S. Senator Chris Coons said, “Delaware’s Bayshore Byway is a treasure and one of the most beautiful roads in the busy and populated Mid-Atlantic, some lucky few from outside of Delaware already know about the corridor as the best way to get to the beach or to visit one of our many small coastal towns.”

“Delaware’s Bayshore Byway is a Delaware treasure, encompassing so much of our rich history, culture, and, of course, Delaware’s natural scenery,” added Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “The byway has so much to offer as it runs through all three counties with incredible Discovery Zones along the way. I was pleased to hear about its new designation as a National Scenic Byway and hope that it brings new visitors to see the wonders of our state.”

“Outdoor activities are among the most popular reasons more than 9.2 million people visit Delaware each year,” said Liz Keller, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “Whether it’s world-class birding at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge or the quiet beauty of southern Delaware, the Delaware Bayshore Byway is an ideal way for visitors and residents to explore Delaware’s natural wonders.”

Must-see destinations along the Bayshore Byway:
• Historic City of New Castle
• First State National Historical Park
• New Castle Court House Museum
• George Read II House and Gardens
• Historic Delaware City
• Fort Delaware, Pea Patch Island
• Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Area
• Thousand Acre Marsh
• Augustine Wildlife Area
• Port Penn Interpretive Center
• Historic Town of Odessa
• Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area
• Blackbird Creek Reserve
• Woodland Beach Wildlife Area
• DE Aquatic Resources Education Center
• Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
• Town of Leipsic
• Town of Little Creek
• Community of Pickering Beach
• Air Mobility Command Museum
• Community of Pickering Beach
• John Dickinson Plantation
• St. Jones Reserve
• Community of Kitts Hummock
• Historic Town of Bowers Beach
• Bowers Beach Maritime Museum
• Historic Town of Magnolia
• Historic Town of Frederica
• Community of South Bowers
• Milford Neck Wildlife Area
• Milford Historic District and Riverwalk
• DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor
• Town of Slaughter Beach
• Marvel Salt Marsh Preserve
• Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
• Community of Broadkill Beach
• Historic Town of Milton
• Historic Lewes Byway: Gateway to the Bayshore

“Delaware Greenways on behalf of DelDOT, the Delaware Tourism Office and DNREC would like to thank the Byway Management Team for their hard work, dedication and for their input during the completion of the Corridor Management Plan Update 2020 and National Scenic Byway application,” said Chair of the Byway Management Team Steve Borleske.

Discover more about the Delaware Bayshore Byway, other Delaware Byways and the Corridor Management Plan at DelDOT.gov. Encounter more adventures throughout the state at visitdelaware.com.

For more information on how Delaware Greenways is linking and building communities while winding through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, visit delawaregreenways.org.

To learn more about DNREC’s work to preserve our outdoor heritage and open spaces, visit dnrec.de.gov/bayshore.

For a list of all the 2021 Designations to America’s Byways® visit the FHWA’s National Scenic Byways Program website.