DNREC Releases NCCo Community Air Monitoring Results

Community Meetings to Be Held on Claymont and Eden Park Studies June 22 and 23 to Help Determine Path Forward for Improving Air Quality

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has released final reports on two community air quality-monitoring projects for the Eden Park and Claymont communities in New Castle County. Drawing on the results from the two reports, DNREC will work with these communities to help them become less susceptible to air pollution and thus improve the quality of life for their residents.

“These types of studies support DNREC’s efforts to improve air quality in communities that may be disproportionately affected by sources of air pollution,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Our adoption of targeted mitigation measures to reduce these emissions – which the air quality monitoring projects will help determine – will improve the quality of life for these impacted communities in Delaware.”

The DNREC Division of Air Quality launched the multi-year and multi-pollutant Eden Park study to investigate air quality based on community concerns of high levels of dust and other pollutants. DNREC found the amount of most types of air pollution at low levels and that air quality in Eden Park comparable to air quality found at other state monitoring locations in New Castle County and in Wilmington. However, while localized to the community, the amount of dust in Eden Park was confirmed to be higher.

Further analyzing the dust composition, DNREC concluded there were three main types of dust identified: concrete dust, soil dust, and dust from tire/brake wear. The concrete dust was the largest component when dust levels were highest. Using this information, the Department has been actively working with local industry to develop and implement mitigation measures to reduce dust in the Eden Park community.study

The Claymont study was conducted to investigate citizen concerns focused on volatile organic compounds (VOC) that could originate from the nearby Claymont/Marcus Hook, Pa. border where several industrial facilities are located.

The study shows that VOC concentrations in Claymont were very low and similar in both specific compounds and amounts as measured by the monitoring station in Wilmington.

DNREC will hold virtual community information meetings later this month to discuss the results of the Eden Park and Claymont studies. The Claymont community meeting is scheduled for June 22 at 6 p.m. The Eden Park meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 23. For more information about the meetings, including how to sign up for and attend them virtually, please visit the DNREC Events Calendar. More information about the studies and air quality reports can be found on the DNREC website at https://de.gov/airstudies.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Air Quality monitors and regulates all emissions to the air. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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New Head of DNREC Division of Air Quality Named

Angela Marconi to Succeed Retiring Director David Fees in the Position

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin has named Angela Marconi the new director of DNREC’s Division of Air Quality, succeeding David Fees, who is retiring at the end of May from DNREC after 25-plus years in state government. Joining DNREC in 1995 as an engineer, Fees rose through career-ladder promotions and held several management positions prior to leading the division that addresses Delaware’s air quality issues, ensures regulatory compliance with air permits, and enforces the state’s air quality regulations in conjunction with the federal Clean Air Act.

“I thank Dave Fees for his dedication to the Department and the people of Delaware,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “In naming Angela Marconi as his successor, I know we have an experienced leader moving us into the future.”

David Fees
Retiring DNREC Division of Air Quality Director David Fees

For the last four years at DNREC, Marconi, an environmental engineer and program manager, has been responsible for all air permits issued in the state, overseeing a team that includes managers, engineers and support staff. “The Division of Air Quality’s Engineering and Compliance section – which includes all air quality permitting, compliance and enforcement work – has done an outstanding job under her management,” Secretary Garvin said.

Angela Marconi
New DNREC Division of Air Quality Director Angela Marconi

Before coming to DNREC in 2015, Marconi, who holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Delaware, with a concentration in environmental engineering, worked in engineering positions with Cabe Associates and the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA).

In his 26-year career at DNREC Fees managed the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting program, the air emissions inventory program, and the Airshed Planning and Inventory Program, developing regulations and the state implementation plan under the Clean Air Act. He became director of DNREC’s Division of Air Quality in 2018.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Air Quality monitors and regulates all emissions to the air. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov


Croda to Restart Ethylene Oxide Plant for Emissions Test, Then Shut Down

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) announced Friday that it has authorized the ethylene oxide plant at the Croda Atlas Point facility near New Castle to restart solely for the purpose of conducting an emissions test, then will shut down and await a department decision on a path forward. The EO plant had a failed emissions test, known as a “stack test” in September that led to a recently issued Notice of Violation (NOV) for air emission and equipment violations associated.

The EO plant will start up the first week of January and the test will be conducted the second week of January, as the plant must be fully operational for the test. Operation for the purpose of the testing will not include the hotwell or use of the unpermitted emission source. During the operation, the company must monitor water circulation and pressure through the scrubber. The tanks will also be monitored for pressure and temperature. These operational parameters will be reported to DNREC. During the test, DNREC staff will be on site and ethylene oxide levels and scrubber performance will be known in real time. The operational data will also be collected.

The EO plant will shut down following the completion of the testing. DNREC continues to work from its regulatory purview to determine the path forward for Croda to resume operations at the EO plant.

A public information session was held virtually with about 75 participants on November 19 to answer questions and take comments about Croda’s operations and about the NOV. DNREC on Friday released a list of questions that came up at the session with responses for the community, available at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/croda-atlas-point/.

The NOV issued on November 11, 2020 can be found at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/Documents/croda-nov-20201111.pdf.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Air Quality monitors and regulates all emissions to the air. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov, Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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Delaware Taps Fund to Replace Diesel-Guzzling School Buses

The Warehouse in Wilmington Upgrades to an Electric Bus

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has awarded $177,674 to The Warehouse, a teen-led co-working space and after-school center in Wilmington, to replace its diesel bus with an all-electric, zero emissions vehicle and purchase charging equipment.

The award is the latest investment of the Environmental Mitigation Trust that resulted from state’s plan to use $9.6 million from the negotiated settlement between Volkswagen and the federal government.

“Exhaust from vehicles is a major source of air pollution, and big diesel vehicles like buses are particularly big contributors,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Replacing school buses helps us all breathe better, including children gathering near idling buses during school arrival or dismissal in non-COVID times. At the same time, programs like the one at The Warehouse will help students learn more about the technology driving the school buses and inspire future clean energy leaders in Delaware.”

The electric bus supports the nonprofit’s “Energize the Warehouse” initiative to provide local teens with hands-on opportunities to learn about clean energy, electric transportation, and sustainable farming and agriculture.

“The Energize the Warehouse initiative has been a success due to the collaborative efforts of many community partnerships and, through these efforts, The Warehouse will become a place where young people can learn about clean energy and electric transportation,” said CEO Logan Herring. “The V2G bus also serves to decrease transportation barriers for the teens we serve, which is a critical component for greater equity and increased access to opportunities.”

The new electric bus can connect back to the grid to achieve enhanced energy savings and energy conservation. The bus is expected to be delivered in early 2021.

The Delaware Department of Education has also leveraged the Environmental Mitigation Trust to replace 81 state-owned diesel school buses with new, cleaner- fueled school buses that operate on clean diesel or propane.

“Since 2016, districts have added 81 clean school buses throughout the state with another 34 that could potentially be added next academic year,” said DOE Secretary Susan Bunting. “While it’s still a small portion of Delaware’s total school bus fleet, we’re pleased to make this progress and to see initiatives such as this one expand.”

The plan for the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust is focused on actions that can produce the greatest air quality benefit in terms of nitrogen oxides emission reductions, reduce public exposure, and promote clean vehicle technologies. As funding opportunities are finalized and awarded, details on recipients, funding amounts, and project types will be listed on https://de.gov/vwmitigation.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Air Quality monitors and regulates all emissions to the air. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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DNREC Issues Croda NOV for Air Quality Permit Violations

Information Session on Path Forward for EO Plant Set for Thursday, Nov. 19

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to Croda, Inc. for air emission and equipment violations associated with the operation of the ethylene oxide (EO) plant at Croda’s Cherry Lane Facility near New Castle.

The violations include: connecting and routing an unpermitted source into an air pollution control device (scrubber); exceeding the annual emission limit for ethylene oxide at the scrubber; failure to meet the volatile organic compound (VOC) removal efficiency at the scrubber; and operation of an unpermitted source of ethylene oxide at the hotwell, which collects and condenses vapors from the purification and vacuum distillation of crude ethylene glycol. The violation notice can be found at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/Documents/croda-nov-20201111.pdf.

The violations at the EO plant outlined in the notice were discovered through a source testing event conducted Sept. 17 by the company and observed by DNREC staff. Croda submitted results of the testing to the Department in a report dated Oct. 5. Following receipt of the report, DNREC has been working to accurately quantify Croda’s emissions that resulted in the NOV issued by DNREC, as compared to the emissions Croda is allowed under conditions of its air permit for the EO plant. For example, while some fugitive emissions are associated with the hotwell, ethylene oxide was detected there during the stack test, and is not permitted at this location.

The ethylene oxide plant has not operated since the date of the test.

An NOV is the first step in a process that can lead to DNREC taking further enforcement actions. DNREC is currently working from its regulatory purview to determine the path forward for Croda’s resuming operations at the EO plant.

DNREC will hold a virtual information session at 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19 to describe the violations and answer questions from the community nearby to the Croda facility. The public may join the video meeting via WebEx at https://stateofdelaware.webex.com/stateofdelaware/onstage/g.php?MTID=e4c89abf0bc79ce0f842c2b6e9d0eb72b with event number 173 655 4144 and password CrodaInfoSession, or to join by audio conference only, by calling 408-418-9388. Questions and comments from the public can also be sent to daqpermittinginfo@delaware.gov.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Air Quality monitors and regulates all emissions to the air. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov, Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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