Delaware Natural Resources Police Investigate Motor Vehicle Accident with Injuries at Abessinio Stadium

Delaware Natural Resources Police and Wilmington Department of Police are investigating a vehicle accident with serious injuries that occurred Friday afternoon at the Abessinio Stadium, located within Wilmington State Parks.

A 16-year-old Wilmington boy failed to maintain control of his 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee while reversing from a parking space. The Jeep, traveling in reverse, first struck two parked vehicles, a 2012 Hyundai Accent and a 2009 Cadillac Escalade. The Jeep then continued in reverse striking two individuals that were sitting on chairs behind the Escalade trapping a 65-year-old Dover woman under the Jeep.

The female victim had to be extricated from beneath the Jeep by Wilmington Fire Department personnel that arrived on scene. She was then flown to Christiana Hospital by Delaware State Police’s aviation unit. At this time, she is listed in serious but stable condition with multiple, non-life-threatening injuries.

The second victim seated in the parking lot is a 63-year-old Middletown man who was transported to Christiana Hospital by ambulance for leg injuries. He has since been treated and released.

The driver of the Hyundai, a 51-year-old Smyrna man, who was seated in his parked car was transported to Christiana Hospital for injuries to his leg and back. He has since been treated and released. A passenger in the Hyundai, a 68-year-old Smyrna man, was uninjured in the accident.

The driver of the Jeep was uninjured in this accident.

This accident remains under investigation and no charges have been filed at this time. Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Cpl. David Redgraves at david.redgraves@delaware.gov.

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: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Cpt. John McDerby, john.mcderby@delaware.gov

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Mental Health Parity Examinations Find Inequities in Insurer Behavior

More than $1.3M in total fines assessed for coverage discrimination

Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro has announced the completion of additional Mental Health Parity examinations on regulated health insurers in Delaware. These violations resulted in $735,000 in fines and significant insurer corrections to create a less discriminatory environment in the future. Combined with two examinations completed in 2020, Delaware’s largest health insurers have been fined a total of $1,332,000 for not treating mental and behavioral health care equally to other forms of needed care. A high number of violations was expected as these final reports complete the first round of assessments by the department.

“Every person should be able to seek the care they need without undue expense or difficulty, and that remains true whether the person is seeking care for a physical ailment, or a mental one,” said Commissioner Navarro. “The thorough examinations conducted by the Department of Insurance highlight many needed improvements to ensure parity, and we will continue to work to bring these corrections to fruition and to hold insurers accountable.”

Mental Health Parity laws, which exist both at the state and federal levels, aim to eliminate coverage discrimination between policyholders seeking mental illness or substance abuse care and those seeking physical care. A lack of parity can prevent a person from pursuing needed care due to cost or limited access, or otherwise make it more expensive or more time intensive than medical visits. Department examinations are critical to uncovering parity issues as consumers may not be aware if they are experiencing disparate treatment.

“We have been working toward a more just healthcare system over the past decade, and mental health parity has been a key solution to the issues of access and affordability that plague our communities,” Commissioner Navarro shared on an American Health Law Association podcast.

Throughout the examination processes, instances where parity was violated included placing greater limits on the coverage of medicines for an insured during the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness or substance dependency than for covered services provided in the diagnosis and treatment of any other illness or disease covered by the health benefit plan. Insurers imposed Non-Quantitative Treatment Limitations (NQTL) prior authorization requirements more stringently to mental and behavioral health benefits than to medical/surgical benefits and thus created barriers and delays to treatment. Companies excluded mental health-related medications in their cost-saving programs for policyholders, and placed these medications on formulary tiers that resulted in members who take those pharmaceuticals facing higher copays compared to other medications offered in lower tiers.


Investigation of Closed Solvay Polymer Facility

DNREC Reaches Settlement with Company for Investigation, Possible Remediation at Site

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control today announced a settlement with Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC to address perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) allegedly released from the company’s facility in the Marshallton area of New Castle County.

On Sept. 11, 2020 DNREC notified Solvay that it is a potentially responsible party (PRP) for the alleged PFAS release and offered the company an opportunity to enter DNREC’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) in accordance with Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act (HSCA) regulations.

Solvay is an international company that recently closed and decommissioned its facility located at 800 Greenbank Road in Marshallton. Solvay processed polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) by irradiating the PTFE feedstock, then milling it to a fine powder that was sold as product.

Under the terms of the settlement, Solvay must perform a comprehensive environmental investigation at the site and at potentially affected surrounding areas under the oversight of DNREC’s Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances. Based on the results of the remedial investigation, an appropriate remedy will be proposed to address any soil, sediment, surface water, and groundwater contamination which may be discovered at the site and in the surrounding areas affected by a release from the Solvay plant. At present, DNREC’s soil, sediment, and surface-water testing has not identified any known potential for health concerns for residents in the surrounding neighborhood or along Red Clay Creek.

To view the settlement, visit the DNREC website at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/secretarys-orders/enforcement/.

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 Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and 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: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

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DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police investigating fatal boat accident in Sussex County

REHOBOTH – DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers responded to, and are investigating a fatal boat accident that occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m. Sunday, May 19 on the Rehoboth Bay near the Lewes/Rehoboth Canal.

A 16-foot boat capsized, resulting in the boat’s operator and single passenger entering the water. The boat operator and passenger were transported to shore, where the passenger was pronounced dead by Sussex County Emergency Medical Services. At this time, all names are being withheld pending notification of family members. The investigation is ongoing.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, www.facebook.com/pages/Delaware-Fish-Wildlife-Natural-Resources-Police.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-382-7167, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 130ca


DNREC determines deluge water used to contain Croda, Inc.’s 2018 ethylene oxide release did not impact the environment

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has concluded that there was no increased risk to human health or safety from deluge water used to contain the Nov. 25, 2018 ethylene oxide (EO) release at Croda’s Atlas Point facility. DNREC’s conclusion was made from a soil and groundwater sampling report required of Croda by the Department as part of a settlement agreement with DNREC in the aftermath of the EO incident.

The full report, prepared by an environmental consultant on Croda’s behalf and reviewed by DNREC’s Site Investigation & Restoration Section, can be found on the DNREC website. The DNREC-Croda settlement agreement requiring the report from Croda assessed a penalty of $230,000 to Croda for air, hazardous waste and water quality violations stemming from the EO incident, and additional steps to be completed by Croda before the EO plant can resume operations.

Data in the soil and groundwater report was based on the amount of deluge water that exceeded a containment sump at Croda’s facility in New Castle. Terms of the settlement agreement required soil and groundwater sampling by Croda to determine if EO-contaminated deluge water had impacted the area west of Croda’s EO production unit. EO was not detected in any of the soil or groundwater samples from Croda, according to the report.

Another compound associated with Croda’s operations, 1,4-dioxane, considered a contaminant, was detected in two soil samples, as well as the groundwater sample from the company. For the site’s intended manufacturing use, the reported concentrations of 1,4-dioxane in the groundwater samples do not pose an unacceptable risk to health and safety. The reported concentrations of 1,4-dioxane, the locations of detections noted during sampling, and past detections of 1,4-dioxane by DNREC at the site led the Department to conclude that there is a very low probability that last year’s EO release was the source of the 1,4-dioxane concentrations sampled. Based on the levels and location, no further action is required to address this portion of the site.

A DNREC letter to Croda reiterated that the Nov. 25, 2018 EO release does not change remedial actions already required by DNREC in addressing site contamination at the Atlas Point facility and that are ongoing as directed by the Department.

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

Vol. 49, No. 90

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