DNREC to Propose Major Source Air Pollution Permit Renewal for Delaware City Refining Company

45-Day U.S. EPA Review Required Before Permit Renewal Is Granted

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has developed a proposed air pollution permit renewal for the Delaware City Refining Company (DCRC). DNREC will submit the proposed federal Clean Air Act (CAA) Title V major source air pollution permit renewal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a 45-day EPA review period before DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin can grant the final air permit for DCRC’s Delaware City refinery.

“It is important to facilities to have up-to-date permits to operate under because the permit documents how they must operate to remain in compliance with applicable air regulations,” Secretary Garvin said after approving DCRC’s permit application that led to DNREC’s development of the proposed DCRC CAA Title V permit renewal.

DNREC held a public hearing on July 14, 2020 for DCRC’s draft Title V air pollution permit renewal, with comments accepted through July 31, 2020. The proposed permit renewal has incorporated applicable requirements of Delaware Air Regulation 1102 permits for the refinery’s Ethanol Marketing Project; elimination of the maximum data capture requirements from the crude nitrogen oxides (NOx) continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS); incorporation of requirements from a consent decree issued to a previous owner of the facility in “United States of America et al., v. Motiva Enterprises LLC, No. H-01-0978”; replacement of the EPA’s Tanks 4.09 requirement with the Tanks ESP Pro Version; and modification of short-term NOx limits per the July 2019 settlement agreement between DNREC and DCRC.

The Department received extensive comments on the draft permit renewal and responded to the comments in a technical response memo (TRM) from the DNREC Division of Air Quality. The TRM is posted as an attachment to the hearing officer’s report with the DNREC’s Secretary Order at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/secretarys-orders/permitting/. The TRM also discusses revisions to be made to the draft permit renewal as a result of comments the Department received. Information presented at the Delaware City Refining Company public hearing and comments received at the hearing and during the public comment period can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

Upon receipt of DNREC’s proposed Title V permit renewal for DCRC, the U.S. EPA will begin reviewing it. Questions about the EPA’s review process can be directed to Mary Cate Opila, Air Permits Branch Chief, EPA Region III, email: opila.marycate@epa.gov.

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 Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

DNREC To Update Vehicle Emission Testing Requirements

Two Inspection and Maintenance Program Virtual Workshops To Be Held
May 25 To Ensure Delaware Compliance With Clean Air Act Requirements

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today virtual workshops will be held by DNREC’s Division of Air Quality on Wednesday, May 25 to discuss updates to Delaware’s Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program for new on-road vehicles. The first workshop on proposed I/M program changes will begin at 10 a.m., with the second workshop starting at 6 p.m. More information about the proposed amendments for the I/M program can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

The federal Clean Air Act requires areas of the country that are not in attainment with the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard – areas, like Delaware, that have had days where ozone exceeds the standard – to implement an I/M program for registered vehicles to ensure vehicle emission systems are operating properly in preventing pollution.

DNREC’s Division of Air Quality is proposing amendments to Delaware’s Vehicle I/M Program to reduce expected emissions from new vehicles and to develop consistent emissions requirements statewide. The proposed changes will amend state regulations, with the regulations going through the state’s regulatory process that includes public review and a comment period. Before the formal regulatory process starts, the I/M workshops will be held by DNREC to preview and discuss the I/M program changes with the public. Once finalized, the changes will be implemented by the Delaware Department of Transportation’s (DelDOT) Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The I/M program is part of the vehicle inspection process in Delaware when a vehicle is registered or the vehicle registration is renewed. Vehicle emissions negatively impact quality. I/M programs ensure that vehicle emissions meet the manufacturers’ requirements. Current I/M regulations exempt new cars from having to go through an emissions test for a vehicle’s first five years on the road, and the Delaware General Assembly in 2017 passed legislation to extend that exemption from emissions testing to the first seven years of a new vehicle’s life.

Extending the I/M exemption for new vehicles (which already has been implemented) requires changes to emissions testing for other vehicles to ensure air quality is not negatively affected. These program updates are a necessary follow-up to the 2017 legislation, and have been anticipated by DNREC and DelDOT since the legislation was passed.

More information about the proposed changes to Delaware’s Vehicle I/M Program can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

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 Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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


Delaware Recognizes Air Quality Awareness Week May 3 to 7

Coincides with Onset of Ozone Season and Raised Risk of Unhealthy Air

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control joins national organizations to recognize Air Quality Awareness Week on May 3 to 7. The national theme for 2021 is “Healthy Air – Important for Everyone!”

The DNREC Division of Air Quality, which monitors and regulates the emissions to the air, encourages residents to learn more about the important role of air quality for the health of people and the Earth.

Delawareans can consult the Air Quality Index (AQI) to learn about current local conditions. Created under the Clean Air Act, this online resource from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors and reports on air quality each day.

In Delaware, air quality is rated as “good” for most days of the year. However, there are days when local air quality can pose health risks to sensitive populations, and the AQI offers up-to-the-minute data on when and where such days might be occur.

Air Quality Awareness Week, hosted by the U.S. EPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also serves notice that with warmer weather comes the ozone season in Delaware. The EPA and its partner agencies including DNREC use the weeklong-recognition event to encourage people to check the AQI daily to find out when they might be most at risk of poor air quality from ozone in their location.

DNREC advises a few ways Delawareans can help reduce air pollution and help everyone breathe easier:

  • Drive less. Bike, walk, carpool, or take public transportation when you can.
  • Keep your vehicle on ozone season alert. Limit engine idling, refuel only after dark, rely on clean transportation when possible. If you must drive, avoid congested times of day.
  • Conserve electricity. Keep your air conditioner thermostat set at a higher temperature (72 degrees), participate in energy conservation programs, and use major appliances less often when possible.
  • Be aware of Delaware’s open burning ban, which runs from May 1 through Sept. 30. All open burning is prohibited on Air Quality Action Days, when Delaware’s air quality has been forecast as unhealthy.

DNREC provides regular air quality forecasts and an air quality index to help the public know when to take precautions an ozone action day. Visit de.gov/aqi to sign up for air quality email alerts.

Additionally, because air quality in Delaware is affected by pollution in the region, DNREC Division of Air Quality also maintains the Delaware Air Quality Monitoring Network throughout the state and partners with the Air Quality Partnership of Delaware.

Another DNREC partner for improving air quality is the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, which addresses numerous clean air topics, including major air pollutants and their health impacts; global warming; industrial sources of pollution; state and local implementation of clean air programs; and clean transportation spanning vehicles, engines and fuels.

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 Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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


DNREC wants EPA public hearing moved to Delaware, longer public comment period for EPA’s proposed Clean Air Act denial

DOVER – Following the US Environmental Protection Agency’s recent proposal to deny Delaware recourse under the federal Clean Air Act for improving the state’s air quality, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin today urged EPA to follow regulatory procedure and provide the state with adequate opportunity to make a case for reducing out-of-state air pollution that comes into Delaware and continues to plague the First State.

On May 31, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a notice proposing to deny four CAA Section 126(b) petitions made by Delaware against four power plants in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that, according to EPA data, transport air pollution across state lines into Delaware. Governor John Carney responded with a public statement opposing EPA’s proposal to deny Delaware’s petitions.

The EPA has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed denial of the CAA petitions for June 22 in Washington, D.C.

In a letter to EPA, Secretary Garvin stated that “Delaware is deeply concerned at the setting of a public hearing less than two weeks after publishing EPA’s proposed action in the Federal Register.” Secretary Garvin requested that the public hearing take placce no sooner than 45 days following the date of publication of EPA’s proposed denial in the federal register, and that the public hearing be moved from Washington, D.C., to Wilmington.

Holding the hearing on the earlier date, as EPA intends, allows inadequate time for the state’s response to the proposed Delaware’s Clean Air Act petitions, Secretary Garvin wrote, and also noted that holding the public hearing in Washington, D.C., will limit participation by Delawareans, particularly those in the northern part of the state most affected by the poor air quality that besets Delaware from cross-state transport of air pollution.

In addition to a 45-day comment period leading up to the public hearing, Secretary Garvin requested that EPA hold open the comment period for at least 30 days following the hearing. In his letter, he noted that the EPA proposal signed by Administrator Pruitt indicated that EPA would receive written comments regarding the proposal for 45 days following the date that the proposal is published in the Federal Register. Yet on June 5, EPA released a notice of its intent to conduct the public hearing on June 22 at EPA’s headquarters in Washington.

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

Vol. 48, No. 154

Governor Carney: EPA can’t let other states pollute Delaware’s air

Op-ed by Governor John Carney

Watching a Blue Rocks game. Sitting by the pool. Walking along the Rehoboth boardwalk.

For most of us, that’s what summertime means. It’s a time of fun and relaxation.

But for the majority of Delawareans with asthma or other breathing problems, summer can be a nightmare.

That’s because Delaware’s air quality ranks among the worst in the country. The real kicker, though, is that 90 percent of that pollution comes from other states.

90 percent of Delaware's air pollution comes from other states

Delaware has made great strides over the past 30 years in reducing our own emissions.

We’ve enacted stricter controls on power plants, refineries, and manufacturing sites.

From 2000-2017, Delaware’s coal-fired electric generation has been reduced by approximately 90 percent. We’ve reduced coal-fired power generation to one well-controlled unit in the entire state.

To comply with federal and state air regulations, Delaware electric generators and operators such as Calpine and NRG have spent millions of dollars to control emissions that cause ozone pollution.

But, without help from the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, we can’t move the needle on our air quality. So, we asked the EPA to intervene in the states that are “upwind” from Delaware – where all our air pollution is coming from.

Most of the power plants in these states have pollution control technology. But sometimes, the plants don’t turn the technology on.

Delaware asked the EPA to require these power plants to run their pollution control equipment any time the plants are in operation, and especially during the summer months, when ozone levels are the highest.

EPA has the authority to do this under the Clean Air Act. We’re asking them to use it. Delawareans Deserve Clean Air

Unfortunately, though, the EPA recently proposed to deny our request. So, for the time being, Delawareans will continue to suffer as we enter this hot summer season.

Working with Attorney General Matt Denn, we’re looking at ways to force the EPA to enforce the Clean Air Act, and protect Delaware’s air quality.

We can have a debate about the role of government, or climate change, or the decisions coming out of Washington. But there’s no disputing that power plant emissions cause air pollution, air pollution makes it harder to breathe, and Delaware’s air pollution is coming almost entirely from other states.

Delaware’s companies have spent the money and cleaned up their emissions. Other states have not.

If we do nothing else as a government, it seems to me that ensuring our citizens have clean air to breathe should be the minimum standard.

Delaware will continue to employ state-of-the-art emission control technology for our industrial sites. We will continue doing what we can to keep our citizens safe. But we need the federal government to step up and do its job, as well, so all Delawareans can breathe easy.



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