Air Permitting Training Sessions Scheduled Jan. 12, 19, 26

Generator and Boiler Permits Will be Covered

Business owners, consultants and others interested in learning about DNREC’s air quality permitting application process are invited to three virtual training sessions from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 12, 19 and 26 using WebEx and hosted by DNREC and industry partners. Certificates for professional development hours will be available for those participating.

The Jan. 12 session will be an overview including an introduction to the DNREC Division of Air Quality, air permitting basics and confidentiality. The Jan. 19 session will focus on boilers, and the Jan. 26 session will focus on generators. More information and registration can be found at air permitting training.

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: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov or Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

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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’s Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Extended Six Months

Delaware Drivers are Saving Money With Electric Vehicles

Delawareans looking to help fight climate change and reduce their carbon footprint can receive rebates for new electric vehicle and charging station purchases through DNREC’s Clean Transportation Incentive Program, which has been extended through June 30, 2021.

“Transportation is a leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware,” said Gov. John Carney. “Vehicle electrification is a leading strategy in reducing those emissions, and by providing rebates to residents and businesses we are improving the air quality for a healthier Delaware.”

Rebates for the purchase or lease of electric vehicles and charging stations include:

  • $2,500 for battery electric vehicles, including vehicles with range extenders, with a purchase price of $60,000 or less;
  • $1,000 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with a purchase price of $60,000 or less;
  • Up to 90% of the cost of the charging station with a max amount of $3,500 per port/$7,000 per station.

The program provides cash rebates as part of Delaware’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gases and improving Delaware’s air quality.

“The Clean Transportation Incentive Program has been well-received across Delaware,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Since DNREC started this program, almost 5,000 rebates have been given to Delaware residents and businesses that have adopted cleaner fueled vehicles, like electric vehicles.”

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


Weatherization Program Helps Delawareans Invest in Their Homes

Program is Free to Delaware Families Who Qualify

It’s time for Delawareans to prepare their homes for winter weather. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control offers the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) at no cost to qualified low-income families to reduce energy costs.

DNREC encourages Delaware homeowners and renters to review the eligibility guidelines at https://de.gov/wap to then receive a free energy audit. An auditor will determine the services to improve the energy efficiency of the homes. Typical services include air-sealing, insulation, heating system repair, lighting upgrades and minor repairs that are necessary to complete energy-saving measures.

Last year, 195 Delawareans benefited from this program, with an average estimated savings of $283 per home per year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The program will now be available throughout Delaware by Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA), which had previously contracted to provide services to 200 homes in New Castle County. Following a recent state competitive bidding process, ECA is contracted to weatherize an additional 200 homes each year in Kent and Sussex counties and, at the start of their contract, has a client waiting list with 100 potential homes. ECA will use two subtractors, Eleventh House Solutions and HELP Initiative, to provide administrative functions.

People interested in receiving weatherization services anywhere in the state can contact ECA at 302-504-6111 or ecasavesenergy.org/delaware-weatherization.

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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