Virtual Ethylene Oxide Informational Meeting to Be Held by DNREC, U.S. EPA and Delaware Division of Public Health

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), along with state and federal partners, will hold a virtual meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 regarding ethylene oxide (EtO) – with the meeting’s focus on public health and safety concerns over Croda, Inc.’s EtO production in the New Castle area. Information will be presented by DNREC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Delaware Division of Public Health, and Croda Inc., which manufactures EtO at its Atlas Point facility.

The information will include health data, risk estimates, facility updates and ongoing activities to address the emissions from Croda’s EtO plant. Afterward, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered by staff from DNREC and partnering agencies, and by Croda officials. Questions also can be submitted prior to the virtual meeting by email to daqpermittinginfo@delaware.gov.

Additional information about EtO and the virtual meeting is available at de.gov/EtO.

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 Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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EPA Reinstates California’s Vehicle Emissions Waiver, Helping to Get Delaware’s Air Quality Back on Track

DNREC’s Clean Transportation Incentive Programs offer rebates and incentives for electric and bi-fuel vehicles, as well as for the installation of public charging stations

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision this week to reinstate a California waiver that contains more stringent emissions limits for passenger vehicles in 14 states, including Delaware, has drawn praise from Delaware’s leaders for helping curtail air pollution while improving air quality. Governor John Carney called it “a necessary action to restore California’s authority under the Clean Air Act” while Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin said the ruling enabled Delaware to “take the wheel and better steer our very determined and ongoing efforts to improve the state’s air quality.”

EPA’s actions as directed by the Biden Administration put back in place the California waiver, which gave that state the ability to set vehicle emissions standards that are more stringent than federal requirements. Reinstating the California waiver gives other states the authority either to follow federal standards or to adopt the more stringent standards set by California. Delaware adopted California’s Low Emission Vehicle standards in 2010. Delaware and the other 13 states and the District of Columbia who have adopted the California emissions standards have reduced their greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutant emissions while improving air quality, and also capitalized on the California waiver for helping mitigate the effects of climate change and sea level rise.

Having recently unveiled Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, which outlines strategies for the state to transition to zero-emission vehicles and energy-efficient transportation systems, Governor Carney hailed the EPA’s restoration of the waiver, which will again require automakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as emissions of other harmful air pollutants.

“Delawareans, and all Americans, stand to benefit from putting cleaner cars on our roads and being proactive toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Governor Carney said. “Revoking the California waiver ignored the longstanding authority in the Clean Air Act for states to adopt California’s stronger vehicle emission standards. This is critical to Delaware for mitigating the impacts of climate change. Delaware is the lowest-lying state, and the transportation sector has become a significant contributor in degrading our air quality. This action puts us in position to move beyond that temporary roadblock toward a cleaner future – with cleaner air – for Delawareans.”

DNREC Secretary Garvin said that even after EPA rescinded the California waiver, Delaware remained focused on making progress toward improving air quality. For example, DNREC’s Clean Transportation Incentive Programs offer rebates and incentives for electric and bi-fuel vehicles, as well as for the installation of public charging stations.

“We continue to provide opportunities for clean vehicle ownership so that Delawareans can take an active role in improving our state’s air quality while also helping us take on one of the state’s major challenges to public health,” Secretary Garvin said. “Today we can thank the EPA for making the road ahead less cumbersome for our clean air future.”

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. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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


DNREC Solicits Requests for Proposals for Phase 4 of Settlement Mitigation Awards

$3.4 Million in Funding Available to Improve State’s Air Quality

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control today issued a request for proposals (RFP) for investments of $3.4 million from the Environmental Mitigation Trust on projects that improve the state’s air by reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). A virtual public meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 15 to help organizations apply for the grants by close of business on Monday, March 21.

“The Environmental Mitigation Trust is another opportunity from DNREC to help businesses, non-profit organizations, state agencies and individual citizens in our state to improve air quality,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “I encourage Delaware organizations to submit proposals for projects that will produce tangible results in reducing air pollution and help us move closer to our goal of clean air for Delaware.”

Eligible mitigation actions include projects to reduce NOx from heavy-duty diesel sources. Eligible projects include the replacement or repowering of medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and school and transit buses. Other eligible mitigation actions include engine repower for freight switcher locomotives, ferries, tugs, forklifts and port cargo handling equipment. Or, they may also include, in a more limited capacity, charging infrastructure for light-duty zero emission passenger vehicles. Details are outlined in the RFP, published at bids.delaware.gov.

The funding comes from federal redress against Volkswagen Corporation and its subsidiaries for installing emissions “defeat devices” on its diesel vehicles in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. Use of these devices increased NOx emissions throughout the country, up to 40 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limit, resulting in adverse impacts to air quality and felt particularly in Delaware, where the transportation sector is the state’s leading source of air pollution.

The $3.4 million in funding available this year to Delaware covers the fourth and final phase of the federal settlement with the automaker – and the state’s last disbursement from a total $9.6 million from the trust since 2019.

This year’s solicitation of RFPs aligns with previous project awards, going for upgrades to cleaner-fueled vehicles. These projects included:

  • Phase 1 is a multi-year partnership with the Delaware Department of Education (DDoE), which leveraged the EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Program (DERA) grants and the Environmental Mitigation Trust, to replace a total of 115 state-owned diesel school buses with buses that operate on clean diesel or propane. DDoE plans to replace additional school buses in Year 4, and exhaust all Phase 1 funds in 2022.
  • Phase 2 supported grants to Waste Management of Delaware, which replaced 10 diesel solid waste refuse vehicles with trucks that operate on compressed natural gas (CNG), and to The Teen Warehouse in Wilmington, which upgraded to an electric zero-emissions school bus using the DERA grant and the Environmental Mitigation Trust.
  • Phase 3 plans included the replacement of nine diesel school buses with two private transportation providers and five government-owned Class 4-7 medium diesel trucks. Replacement projects for one school bus and the five government-owned medium trucks were delayed to due COVID-19 and will be completed in the fall of 2022. DNREC also announced an RFP in the fall for installation of direct current, or DC-fast electric vehicle charging stations.

Comments and questions may be made in advance of the Feb. 15 public meeting. They will be considered for DNREC response during the meeting. Contact and login information is available on the DNREC online calendar at de.gov/dnrecmeetings. Additionally, written questions will be received by the DNREC Division of Air Quality until Feb. 22.

The solicitation can be found on the state Office of Management and Budget website. The final phase of Environmental Mitigation Trust funds are expected to be awarded during the second half of 2022. More information on the Environmental Mitigation Plan is available at 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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

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DNREC Announces $1.4 Million in Grant Funding to Expand Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Stations

Competitive Grants to Install DC-Fast Charging Stations Will Facilitate Electric Vehicle Adoption and Improve Air Quality

Improving the availability of public charging stations for the growing number of electric vehicles on Delaware roads is the goal of a grant program announced this week by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

The public direct current, or DC-fast electric vehicle charging installation funding will provide up to 75% of the cost to build publicly available DC-fast charging stations for electric vehicles. DNREC expects to award one to three grants with the program’s $1.4 million funding.

Funding will be targeted to increase the availability of electric vehicle infrastructure in areas where access to fast charging stations is limited.

Transportation is the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware. Today’s announcement follows closely on the heels of the release of Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, which outlines strategies and actions the state can take to reduce the emissions that cause climate change. Widespread adoption of electric vehicles and installation of charging infrastructure to support the growing number of electric vehicle drivers are key strategies in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, available at de.gov/climateplan.

“Vehicle electrification is a leading strategy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our transportation system,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “By providing funding opportunities for businesses to install charging stations, we are combatting climate change, improving public health and providing new job opportunities.”

The funding builds upon Delaware’s Clean Transportation Incentive Programs, which include a suite of rebates for light-duty electric vehicles and Level 2 charging stations.

Proposals are due by April 15, 2022. Project funds will be administered by the DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy. Funding comes from the Environmental Mitigation Trust, which resulted from the state’s plan to use $9.6 million from the negotiated settlement between Volkswagen and the federal government.

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 Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

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Rebate Program for Electric Vehicles Extended

Incentives Also Offered for Workplace, Public Charging Stations

With auto makers expanding their lines of electric vehicles, and as more Delawareans transition to clean transportation alternatives, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is extending its Clean Transportation Incentive Program through June 30, 2022.

“Thousands of Delaware drivers have made the switch to electric vehicles, and the rebate program has continued to grow as more vehicles come on the market,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Transportation is a leading contributor to harmful greenhouse gas emissions, and this program is just one of the ways we are demonstrating our commitment to reducing emissions and improving air quality for a healthier Delaware.”

Since Jan. 1, the program has processed 288 applications for rebates. In 2020, 401 applications totaling $885,000 were processed.

Vehicle electrification is a leading strategy in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.

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 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.

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 Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, Michael.globetti@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov.

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