DNREC announces that Croda, Inc. can resume ethylene oxide production at company’s Atlas Point facility

Approval granted for operation of Croda’s EO plant after company fulfills Delaware accidental release prevention requirements

DOVER – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today that the Department has granted approval to Croda, Inc. to resume ethylene oxide (EO) production at the company’s Atlas Point facility. Croda received DNREC approval by fulfilling its obligations to improve safety at the facility through actions required by DNREC’s accidental release program. DNREC issued its requirements after investigating the Nov. 25, 2018 accidental release of EO, the volatile chemical substance used in the manufacturing of Croda’s products.

DNREC Secretary Garvin ordered Croda to complete seven accidental release prevention action requirements before the Department would approve the resumption of EO production at Croda’s new ethylene oxide plant. At DNREC’s direction, Croda completed an internal incident investigation report; a focused process hazard analysis of all EO release points; a fire water system hazard analysis; fire water system procedures training; fire department manifold connection to Croda’s fire water system supply tank; employee training for EO plant operation and emergency procedures; and a safety validation process – also known internally by Croda as the pre-startup safety review.

In addition to DNREC’s requirements, Croda installed automated purge and isolation valves, 26 additional fixed ethylene oxide gas detectors and eight additional closed circuit TV cameras, as well as upgraded its vapor suppression capabilities.

After coordination with DNREC and the New Castle County Office of Emergency Management, Croda also decided to install an emergency siren system to be used in conjunction with several other notification systems for alerting the public in the event of an accidental release by the facility. The system will be installed on or about Jan. 31, 2020.

Within a month of the Nov. 25, 2018 incident, DNREC, along with numerous state and local government agencies and Croda officials, held a public information meeting to review the incident and governmental agencies’ response. Other agencies included Delaware’s Department of Homeland Security, Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), Division of Public Health, State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), and the New Castle County Department of Public Safety and Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). DNREC also held a second public meeting in August with Croda to update the surrounding community on the required accidental release prevention actions and obtain additional community input.

After Croda established that it had met all of DNREC’s requirements, including resulting upgrades and safety improvements for both Croda employees and the community, Secretary Garvin announced today that the company could begin operating the ethylene oxide plant again at the Atlas Point facility.

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


Winter Weather Awareness Week Begins November 11

(Smyrna) – Every year, winter weather conditions cause deaths, injuries, and illnesses in Delaware, and throughout the United States.  Awareness of the various hazards and ways to deal with them can make a large difference in how people are impacted.

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is partnering with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, NJ, multiple state agencies, the Center for Environmental Monitoring and Analysis at the University of Delaware, and the City of Wilmington, among others.   During Winter Weather Awareness Week, participating agencies and organizations will provide information via social media and other venues, explaining the hazards associated with various types of winter hazards or conditions (snow, ice, extreme cold, fire safety, and pet safety), how to prepare for them, and how to stay safe during weather extremes.

Increased awareness of the dangers presented by winter weather extremes can lead to better preparedness and a better way to avoid becoming a victim of severe conditions.  As we begin to experience some of the colder temperatures this week, the public is reminded that cold temperatures bring about conditions that create hazards to health and safety.

Participate in the Great Shake-Out

(Smyrna) – Thursday October 17 at 10:17 a.m.

Two earthquakes in the last ten years were felt in Delaware.  As recently as two years ago in November, 2017, a 4.1 earthquake was centered in the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Dover.  That followed a quake in August, 2011 that was centered in Virginia.

Participation in The Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill is simple and takes just a few moments. On October 18th at 10:17 a.m. local time, we ask that you join us when we drop, cover, and hold on for earthquake preparedness;

    • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
    • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops

Go to https://www.shakeout.org/southeast/register/ to register your family, school, business, or organization in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan a drill, and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. It takes less than five-minute and could save your life.  Registration is free and open to everyone – individuals, businesses, schools, and many other types of organizations.  For more information, visit http://ShakeOut.org/southeast.  The ShakeOut is free and open-to-the-public.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Opportunity

(Smyrna) – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is seeking eligible projects to be submitted through sub-applicants (state and local governments) for the FY 2019 application cycle of FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant programs. PDM is intended to assist states and local communities in implementing pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation projects by awarding planning and project grants designed to mitigate future damage before disaster strikes. FMA provides funding to states and local communities for projects and planning intended to reduce or eliminate long-term risk of flood damage to structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program. More information on both programs can be found at https://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance.

Pre-applications can be completed by eligible sub-applicants until October 15 by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/W9M2HVS. DEMA will review all pre-applications for eligibility and provide programmatic guidance for completing the full project application. Eligible project applications will be required to be submitted to DEMA by November 30, 2019. Applications that are selected to move forward will be submitted by DEMA to the Federal Emergency Management Agency no later than January 31, 2019.

For additional information, or to apply for either PDM or FMA funding, contact the appropriate county emergency management office, or contact Damaris Schweers and Loren Reed at damaris.schweers@delaware.gov and loren.reed@delaware.gov####

Emergency Sirens To Be Tested

(Smyrna) – The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) and Delaware State Police will conduct a quarterly test of the Salem/Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations Alert and Notification system on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.  The sirens will sound at around 10:45 a.m.

The 37 sirens located within ten miles of the Salem/Hope Creek (New Jersey) plants will be activated for three to five minutes.  The siren tests will be followed by a test message of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on local radio stations.

Sirens that will be tested are the same sirens used to alert the public in the event of an actual emergency at either the Salem or Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations.  In such an emergency, the public would be alerted by the sirens to tune their radios to one of the local EAS stations for important emergency instructions.