DNREC to hold public workshops April 16 on gasoline vapors and proposed Underground Storage Tank regulations

DOVER – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Air Quality and the Tank Management Section within DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances will hold two public workshops next month on proposed vapor emission recovery and vapor emission control at gasoline-dispensing stations and on changes to Delaware’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Regulations as required by new federal UST regulations.

Both workshops will be held Tuesday, April 16, with one upstate workshop and one downstate, as follow:

  • New Castle County: 10 a.m., at DNREC’s Lukens Drive field office, 391 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE 19720; and
  • Kent and Sussex Counties: 6:30 p.m., DNREC Auditorium, Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

At the workshops, staff from the Division of Air Quality and the Tank Management Section will discuss proposed regulatory changes to:

  • Phase out Stage II vapor recovery systems at Delaware gasoline dispensing facilities;
  • Ensure gasoline USTs remain vapor tight once Stage II systems are removed; and
  • Review changes required due to promulgation of new federal UST regulations.

For more information on the workshops, please visit the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/62548 and https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/62549

Additionally, you may contact Frank Gao at in the Division of Air Quality and/or Eileen Butler in the Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances’ Tank Management Section.

Contact: Joanna Wilson or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 72

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DNREC soliciting RFPs for projects to benefit Delaware’s environment through VW Mitigation Plan settlement funds

DNREC sets public meeting set for Wednesday, Feb. 13 in Dover

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host a public meeting Wednesday, Feb. 13 in Dover to solicit requests for proposals on projects benefiting the state’s environment to be funded by lawsuits settled against Volkswagen and Audi for installing emissions “defeat devices” on the automakers’ vehicles in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. The meeting will be held at the State Street Commons Building, 100 W. Water Street, Suite 6A, Dover, DE 19904.

Delaware anticipates spending approximately $3.2 million from an Environmental Mitigation Trust established through partial settlements against the automakers. This is the second of three rounds of the mitigation trust’s settlement funding for the state, with each round providing the same amount of funding, or about $9.6M in total for Delaware. DNREC’s Division of Air Quality has begun soliciting proposals on projects that reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from the following environmental mitigation actions:

  • Class 8 Local Freight and Port Drayage Trucks
  • Class 4 School Bus, Shuttle bus, or Transit Bus
  • Freight Switchers
  • Ferries/Tugs
  • Ocean Going Vessels
  • Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks
  • Airport Ground Support Equipment
  • Forklifts and Port Cargo Handling Equipment

The solicitation can be found on the state Office of Management and Budget website at: bids.delaware.gov. The Feb. 13 pre-bid meeting hosted by DNREC is intended to provide an overview of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation application process.

Comments and questions will be considered during the meeting. Both may be submitted before the meeting to Deanna Morozowich at Deanna.morozowich@delaware.gov or online to the VW Mitigation mailbox at VW_Mitigation_Plan@delaware.gov. Written questions will be received by the Division of Air Quality until Friday, March 4.

Proposals for projects that seek funding from the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust are due by DNREC close of business Thursday, March 28. VW Environmental Mitigation Funds are expected to be awarded during the second half of the year.

More information on the VW Mitigation Plan is available on the DNREC website. More about the Feb. 13 public meeting can be found on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar.

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

Vol. 49, No. 27

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DNREC announces Notice of Conciliation and Administrative Penalty Assessment Order for MEDAL Air Liquide

The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlDOVER – DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin has issued a Notice of Conciliation and Administrative Penalty Assessment Order to MEDAL Air Liquide to resolve compliance issues with state regulations governing air pollution at the company’s Delaware facility. The order for MEDAL Air Liquide calls for a cash penalty of $80,000, and an additional $4,000 as cost recovery reimbursement to DNREC associated with the Department’s investigation.

MEDAL Air Liquide owns and operates a plant in Newport, Del. that produces semi-permeable hollow fiber polymeric gas-separation membranes used in a variety of applications, such as air separation, industrial inerting processes and hydrogen purification in petroleum refining, enabling low-sulfur fuels.

On May 31, 2018, internal review of emissions for all operations onsite resulted in the discovery that MEDAL Air Liquide had exceeded its daily volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions limit permitted by DNREC. Facility representatives informed the Department of the VOC exceedances on June 18, 2018. The facility has reduced its operations to comply with permitted VOC limits while negotiating the Conciliation Order with the Department.

The Secretary’s Order addresses the air pollution compliance issues at the facility, and lays out a schedule for MEDAL Air Liquide to return to compliance that includes the application for and construction of a new thermal oxidizer – a control device that will ultimately result in a long-term reduction of emissions while allowing the facility to expand production.

The DNREC conciliation notice and Secretary’s Order also address both environmental benefits and the business needs of the Newport facility, enabling expansion and profitability for MEDAL Air Liquide in Delaware, while ensuring that the company reduces its environmental impacts.

The Notice of Conciliation and Administrative Penalty Assessment Order can be found on the DNREC website at
http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/SecOrders_Enforcement.aspx.

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

Vol. 49, No. 20

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Delaware Part Of Proposed Environmental And Consumer Protection Penalty Settlements With Fiat Chrysler And Auto Supplier Robert Bosch For Allegedly Undermining Auto Emissions Regulations And Harming Consumers By Adding Unlawful “Defeat Devices” To Diesel Vehicles

Fiat Chrysler Required to Fix Vehicles, Provide Restitution and Address Environmental Harms; State Attorneys General Obtain $72.5 Million in Nationwide Civil Penalties from Fiat Chrysler and Another $98.7 Million from Bosch for its Role in Supplying and Programming the Software Used by Fiat Chrysler and Earlier Violator Volkswagen

Attorney General Kathleen Jennings and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin today announced that Delaware has negotiated settlements in two matters: The first settlement, when finalized, will provide for hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation for Delaware consumers who purchased or leased Fiat Chrysler vehicles allegedly containing illegal emissions defeat devices. The second will settle claims that as a supplier of auto components, parts maker Robert Bosch allegedly supplied and helped program the illegal emissions “defeat device” software used by both Fiat Chrysler and by Volkswagen in their diesel vehicles.

“Fiat Chrysler betrayed the trust of its customers regarding the emissions of its vehicles and Bosch enabled Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen to do so,” Attorney General Jennings said. “Consumers are being compensated through these and other settlements directly and the financial penalties being paid to the states serve as punishment and warning for companies not to engage in deceptive consumer practices.”

“With this settlement, we are holding these companies accountable for causing very real and detrimental impacts – vehicle emissions being a large part of our air quality problems,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “These settlement dollars will be used to invest in improvements in Delaware’s air quality.”

Fiat Chrysler

Following a nearly two-year investigation, Delaware and other states allege that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., its U.S. subsidiary FCA US, LLC, its Italian affiliate V.M. Motori S.p.A. and V.M. North America, Inc. (collectively, “Fiat Chrysler”) installed unlawful defeat device software and undisclosed Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices (“AECDs”) in 181 Model Year 2014-16 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles that the automaker sold in Delaware. Delaware alleges that Fiat Chrysler cheated on federal and state emissions tests by calibrating the vehicles’ software to conceal that the vehicles emitted higher than permitted levels of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) in real-world driving conditions, and misled consumers by falsely claiming the “Eco-Diesel”-branded Jeep SUVs and Ram 1500 trucks were environmentally friendly and compliant with the law in all 50 states.

Delaware’s settlement will prohibit Fiat Chrysler from engaging in future unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection with its dealings with consumers, and require Fiat Chrysler to carry out its obligations under a series of related settlement agreements in the Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL Settlements”) pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The MDL Settlements, once approved by the MDL court, will resolve claims brought by a national class of affected consumers, the United States Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Air Resources Board and the State of California. The MDL Settlements require Fiat Chrysler to: eliminate the defeat device features from the relevant software through a software “flash fix”; provide eligible owners and lessors extended warranties; and, together with co-defendant Bosch, pay eligible owners who take their vehicle to an authorized dealer for the software repair an average restitution of approximately $2,908 and lessees and former owners who do so restitution of $990. They also require Fiat Chrysler to make available 200,000 upgraded catalytic converters to mitigate air pollution across the country when installed by Fiat Chrysler vehicle owners as replacements to their existing catalytic converters.

Fiat Chrysler will be required to pay Delaware more than $250,000 in civil penalties, including more than $140,000 under Delaware environmental laws for equipping, offering, selling and leasing the environmentally non-compliant vehicles, and more than $110,000 under Delaware consumer protection laws for deceptively and unfairly marketing, selling and leasing the vehicles to consumers. Nationwide, excluding the separate penalties the company will be required to pay to the federal government and California, the multistate agreement is expected to result in civil penalties totaling $72.5 million to 49 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and Guam.

If all owners and lessors nationwide participate, this will result in total available restitution of approximately $307 million, including approximately $500,000 to the 181 affected owners and lessors in Delaware.

Bosch

Bosch is a multinational engineering company well known for its consumer products. It is also a major supplier to the global automotive industry. Among the products Bosch supplies to its auto manufacturing customers are the electronic control units (“ECUs”) that house the complex software that controls nearly all aspects of an engine’s performance, including emissions systems. When Volkswagen, a Bosch customer, was revealed to have systematically utilized defeat device software in its diesel vehicles, several states, including Delaware, commenced a separate investigation into the role played by Bosch in enabling its customers to potentially violate federal and state emissions regulations. Today, after another Bosch customer, Fiat Chrysler, has settled claims that it too employed illegal defeat devices, Delaware is able to announce the conclusion of that separate investigation into Bosch’s conduct.

Delaware alleges that Bosch facilitated the implementation of the defeat device software in more than 600,000 Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler vehicles over a period that spanned more than a decade. Notwithstanding concerns about the illegality of the devices raised internally, to management, and externally, to Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler, Delaware alleges that Bosch continued to assist these customers as they implemented the defeat devices and concealed their misconduct from regulators and the public.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement with Delaware, Bosch will pay Delaware more than $340,000 to settle the State’s consumer and environmental claims. The agreement also includes precedent-setting injunctive terms and requires Bosch to maintain robust processes to monitor compliance and to refuse to accommodate requests for software development and programming that could result in the installation of defeat device software.

Under a multistate agreement involving Delaware and 49 other jurisdictions—including Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam and all states other than California, Texas and West Virginia—Bosch will pay a total of $98.7 million in civil penalties under the jurisdictions’ consumer protection and environmental laws and make a separate $5 million payment to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) for training and future enforcement purposes. Under the related MDL Settlements, Bosch will also pay approximately $27.5 million to consumers who purchased or leased the affected Fiat Chrysler vehicles. Bosch earlier paid more than $275 million to consumers who purchased or leased the affected Volkswagen vehicles.

These matters were handled for Delaware by state Department of Justice Director of Consumer Protection Christian Douglas Wright and Deputy Attorney General Valerie Edge.


DNREC initiates new permit program for removal of lead coatings from water tanks

The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlDOVER – Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) announced today the creation of a new permit program that establishes regulatory conditions for the sandblasting of outdoor water tanks to remove lead-based paint. Contractors often use sandblasting to remove paint from water tanks in preparation for repainting them. Effective immediately, all water tank sandblasting projects involving removal of lead paint are required to have an air quality permit from DNREC that will ensure sufficient containment measures are taken to prevent the release of lead paint chips into the environment.

The new sandblasting permit to be issued by DNREC’s Division of Air Quality also requires the tank owner to provide residents within 1,000 feet of a tank notification 30 days prior to any sandblasting activities.

“DNREC is committed to the proper management of sandblasting activities of outdoor water tanks to ensure no lead enters the environment, given the harm that lead exposure can cause,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “By implementing this new permit, DNREC will also increase public awareness of lead-containing water tank sandblasting projects in Delaware.”

For information on the permit, please visit DNREC’s website at de.gov/sandblasting or contact DNREC’s Division of Air Quality, at 302-739-9402.

According to the Division of Public Health, the largest source of potential lead exposure for Delaware residents is in homes constructed before 1978. To learn more about lead abatement strategies, please visit www.LeadSafeDelaware.org, or call the Division of Public Health’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (302) 744-4546, ext. 4.

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

Vol. 49, No. 4

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