DNREC Requires Allen Harim to Act on Environmental Concerns at Harbeson and Millsboro Poultry Plants

Conciliation Order Resolves Prior Effluent Problems at Harbeson Facility

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced the signing of a conciliation order today with Allen Harim Foods, LLC that requires the company to take actions protective of human health and the environment at its Millsboro and Harbeson facilities.

According to the order, Allen Harim is required to perform wastewater reduction actions; to investigate and install stormwater improvements; and to terminate stream discharge for wastewater disposal purposes at both the Harbeson and Millsboro facilities. Also, the order resolves past effluent violations at the Harbeson facility and requires cleanout and repurposing of an old anaerobic lagoon as a diversion lagoon for non-compliant wastewater prior to retreatment and disposal.

Beyond those DNREC requirements Allen Harim agrees to pay a penalty of $150,340 and will be subject to stipulated penalties by the Department for non-compliance with any corrective action provisions of the order. The conciliation order between DNREC and Allen Harim can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

The second action taken today by DNREC concerning Allen Harim involves the issuance of an Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Operations Permit for the company’s Harbeson facility. The operations permit allows Allen Harim to perform onsite treatment of poultry processing wastewater and subsequently to transfer treated effluent to Artesian’s Northern Sussex Regional Recharge Facility for disposal via spray irrigation. The operations permit requires that Allen Harim implement the same high level of treatment that would be required for spray disposal at golf courses or state parks. The permit also requires Allen Harim to divert non-compliant wastewater onsite for retreatment if needed.

A copy of the operations permit can be found at the DNREC Groundwater Discharges webpage at https://de.gov/gwds.

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 Water manages and protects Delaware’s water resources. 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

Funding available to communities to plan for coastal flooding and climate change impacts

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy is soliciting letters of interest from municipal, county, or state government entities to enter into projects that will support local resilience planning and adaptation activities in Delaware.

The Resilient Community Partnership program provides technical assistance and potential funding to plan for and reduce the impacts of coastal hazards related to flooding from sea level rise, coastal storms, and climate change through development of planning strategies at the local level. Coastal resilience means strengthening the ability of a community to “bounce back” after hazardous events such as hurricanes, coastal storms, and flooding – rather than simply reacting to impacts.

Examples of eligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessments of vulnerability to flooding due to sea level rise, coastal storms, and nuisance flooding (sunny day flooding).
  • Assessments of local land use ordinances, zoning codes and building codes for the purpose of identifying barriers and opportunities, and recommending improvements.
  • Adaptation plans that outline short and long-term actions that can be taken to reduce vulnerability and increase preparedness, including updating comprehensive land-use plans. Such plans can be drafted for a specific community, town, or region or for a specific type of resource or infrastructure.
  • Design of on-the-ground adaptation projects.
  • Improving communication of risk and adaptation options to affected populations from flooding due to sea level rise, coastal storms, and nuisance flooding

Limited funding is available for activities that require advanced technical assistance and are required to support the project objectives. DNREC’s Delaware Coastal Programs section, which oversees the program, will work with awardees to determine the technical needs of the proposed project and, as appropriate, retain subject matter experts or contractors to meet project requirements and deadlines.

Letters of interest from municipal, county or state government entities are due April 13. Selected partnerships will be announced April 27.

Complete guidelines for submitting a proposal and examples of past projects – including partnerships with the City of New Castle and Town of Slaughter Beach related to building resilience to flooding – are available at http://de.gov/resilientcommunity.

For more information about the program, contact Kelly Valencik at 302-739-6377 or Kelly.valencik@delaware.gov.

Media Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps to become effective Jan. 22 for portions of New Castle County

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship announced today that revised FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps in portions of New Castle County will become effective Jan. 22. The revisions were made by DNREC through a cooperating technical partnership with FEMA, and include more than 96 miles of streams in areas at risk of flooding. Revised mapping is concentrated in the Brandywine-Christina Watershed, but includes streams throughout New Castle County.

Flood risks are generally increasing over time due to factors such as watershed development and sea level rise. Updating FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) mapping to reflect current conditions is a critical way to depict these changing risks. Accurate maps give communities the tools they need to improve their resiliency to flood risk, and help consumers make informed decisions about flood insurance purchases.

Hydrologic studies that determine floodwater flows, base flood elevations, and more accurate floodplain boundaries, were performed by DNREC in parts of New Castle County that had been previously identified to have inaccurate floodplain maps. With these results, base flood elevations for many areas are now shown on FEMA’s maps for the first time, providing property owners with more detailed and accurate flood risk assessments.

Standard property insurance does not cover flood damage. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance available to local property owners. Mortgage lenders require borrowers whose properties are located in designated special flood hazard areas (SFHAs) to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally-backed mortgage loan. For structures that are newly mapped into the SFHA, property owners are eligible for a lower-cost preferred risk policy, if they purchase a policy during the first 12 months after the FIRMs are revised. Rates will then increase no more than 18 percent per year, until they reach the full-risk rate. For properties that are newly removed from the SFHA, property owners may convert their high-risk policy to a preferred risk policy, resulting in a lower premium.

For more information on the revised FIRMs, contact Gina Tonn, Division of Watershed Stewardship, at 302-739-9921. To view the maps online, DNREC’s flood mapping tool is available at de.gov/floodplanning.

Media Contact: Beth Shockley, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

FY2020 Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund public workshop Jan. 6 by DNREC Environmental Finance

DOVER – Environmental Finance within DNREC’s Office of the Secretary and the Delaware Division of Public Health will host a State Revolving Loan Fund public workshop Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in preparation for the development of the 2020 Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving (DWSRF) Project Priority Lists. The workshop begins at 10 a.m. in the Kent County Administrative Complex, Conference Room 220, 555 S. Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901.

The workshop will inform and provide municipal government representatives, privately-owned businesses, wastewater and drinking water utilities, consultant engineers, and other interested parties with detailed overviews of the CWSRF and DWSRF programs. The combined-program workshop will provide attendees with an accurate and efficient source of information for requesting financial assistance for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project needs.

Notices-of-Intent (NOI) for wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and related infrastructure projects will be solicited starting Monday, January 6, 2020, and are due by Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, to prepare the 2020 CWSRF and DWSRF Project Priority Lists (PPLs). Projects must be listed on the CWSRF and DWSRF PPLs, respectively, to be considered for funding. Workshop attendance is required by applicants and/or their consulting engineering firms who plan to apply for CWSRF and DWSRF assistance.

Workshop participants will learn about the following CWSRF and DWSRF program changes and infrastructure financing tools:

  • One-stop loan application process for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure project assistance
  • Land conservation and water quality improvement loan sponsorship programs
  • Source water protection loans for drinking water supplies
  • Wastewater, drinking water, and stormwater facilities matching planning grants
  • Community water quality improvement grants
  • Asset management plan development incentives
  • Project planning advances
  • Expanded eligibilities for privately-owned businesses

In addition, detailed information will be presented at the workshop about how and when to submit projects for funding consideration, project ranking criteria, project construction requirements, and how to apply for infrastructure planning grants.

To reserve a place at the workshop, please contact Laura Rafferty, DNREC Environmental Finance, by emailing Laura.Rafferty@delaware.gov or phone: 302-739-9941.

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

Sussex Conservation District offers free workshop on stormwater pond maintenance Dec. 5 in Lewes

GEORGETOWN – Sussex County property owners who want to learn more about stormwater pond maintenance are invited to attend free workshops being offered Thursday, Dec. 5, by the Sussex Conservation District at the DNREC Lewes Conference Room located at 901 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958. The morning workshop will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and run until noon. An afternoon workshop will begin with registration at 1:30 p.m. and run until 5 p.m.

Stormwater ponds collect surface runoff to manage and help prevent downstream flooding, remove pollutants, and settle suspended sediments transported by stormwater. These ponds can add to the aesthetics of a community, and homeowners often pay a premium to be close to these waterfront sites.

The task of maintaining stormwater ponds falls on the property owner. In many cases, the owner is a homeowners’ association or maintenance corporation, whose responsibilities also include open space management. Some associations seek professional support, while others choose to manage them on their own. Other property owners may not even be aware that the ponds require ongoing and sometimes extensive maintenance.

The workshop will provide general information on why stormwater pond management is needed and how to ensure a pond’s proper function for years to come. Many homeowners do not reach out for technical assistance until there is a problem.

Seating is limited and pre-registration is encouraged. To register for a workshop or for more information, please contact the Sussex Conservation District at 302-856-2105, or register online at www.sussexconservation.org.

For more information about Delaware’s Sediment and Stormwater Program, which operates within DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship’s Conservation Program Section, visit DNREC Sediment and Stormwater.

Contact: Jessica Watson, Sussex Conservation District, 302-856-2105, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.