FEMA Mitigation Grant Application Period Open

Smyrna – The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for DR-4566 Tropical Storm Isaias funding notice has been announced. The application period started in May 2021, with up to $2,000,000 in available funding for mitigation projects. The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is intended to assist state agencies and local governments in implementing long-term hazard mitigation planning and projects following a Presidential major disaster declaration.  More detailed information regarding the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program can be found at https://www.fema.gov/grants/mitigation.

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) is seeking eligible projects to be submitted through sub-applicants (state and local governments) for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. DEMA will review all pre-applications for eligibility and determine which projects will move forward in the application process by July 2021. Eligible project sub-applications will be required to be submitted to FEMA for further review by August 2021.

For additional information, or if your organization wishes to apply for HMGP funding or further inquire about mitigation grants, contact your county emergency management office, or Karen Montes at DEMA, 302-659-2243, or karen.montes@delaware.gov.

Follow Delaware Emergency Management Agency on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Contact: Jeff Sands, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, 302-659-2211.

New website provides Seaford-area residents information on proposed flood risk mapping revisions

Seaford-area residents are asked to review and comment on proposed floodplain mapping changes in the Clear Brook watershed by visiting a new website managed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The proposed floodplain map changes for Clear Brook are being made because a recent evaluation found the Hearns Pond area floodplain is receding and areas downstream are slightly expanding.

The new wesbsite includes a helpful video that provides important information for residents about how the proposed changes may affect their properties and flood insurance rates. Visitors to the website can also record their comments on the proposed revisions. Any comments must be received by May 31.

“DNREC and its consultant performed updated watershed modeling, which included recent improvements to the Hearns Pond Dam to produce more detailed and accurate flood risk assessments and maps for the Clear Brook watershed,” said Michael Powell, administrator for the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship. “This improved study and map will ultimately be adopted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to produce updated federal floodplain maps for the watershed.”

DNREC partners with FEMA to improve the accuracy of flood risk maps statewide. Delaware’s current flood risk maps are used by FEMA to set flood insurance rates and enforce local floodplain codes. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance available to property owners. Mortgage lenders require borrowers whose properties are located in a designated flood hazard area to buy flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally-backed mortgage loan.

Standard homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by flooding, but all property owners and renters can buy flood insurance. Homeowners interested in how the proposed changes could impact the cost of their flood insurance premium should contact their insurance agent.

For information on flood risk maps, contact Gina Tonn or Michael Powell, with the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, at 302-739-9921. The Division has also posted more information about the flood mitigation program on the Department’s website.


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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov


DNREC, Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc. enter into agreements on violations at Mountaire poultry processing facilities

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control signed an agreement with Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc. Dec. 13 to resolve spray irrigation and land application permit violations cited by DNREC in a Nov. 2, 2017 Notice of Violation (NOV). DNREC first took action against Mountaire for these violations via the filing of a complaint in Delaware Superior Court against Mountaire in June 2018. The complaint was stayed by Superior Court pending resolution of a parallel action in Federal Court. To formalize ongoing and required corrective actions resulting from the September 2017 wastewater treatment plan failure, DNREC and Mountaire have finalized an agreement based on the consent decree proposed in June 2018.

The agreement includes three major components – mitigation, environmentally-beneficial offset, and an administrative penalty and costs. Mountaire is required to mitigate damage to the environment through short-term and long-term corrective measures. In the short term, Mountaire must continue the interim corrective measures required by DNREC that have been ongoing since October 2017. Mountaire must also make long-term system upgrades to the plant, including the requirement for environmental mitigation through the relocation of Mountaire’s production wells within the spray fields to establish a pump and treat system.

By way of an environmentally-beneficial offset, the agreement with DNREC requires Mountaire to offer nearby residents options for an alternative water supply, meaning an option for a whole-house filtration system in addition to the public water supply and deeper well provisions of the earlier consent decree. The agreement also requires Mountaire to pay an administrative civil penalty of $600,000 for violations of its spray and land application permits, and to reimburse the Department $25,000 for expenses incurred during the Department’s investigation. In consideration of the environmentally-beneficial offset, the Department will reduce Mountaire’s penalty by 30 percent to $420,000.

The agreement updates the consent decree by including more specificity concerning reporting requirements; adding the whole-house filtration option as an alternative water supply; requiring more specificity on tracking and reporting of mitigation efforts; and clarifying mitigation goals, including that Mountaire’s pump and treat system will be maintained as a permanent part of the facility upgrade. The agreement became effective when it was executed on Friday, Dec. 13, but DNREC will request the agreement be entered by the Federal Court as a consent decree, and that, once entered, the Court will have immediate jurisdiction to oversee and enforce the agreement.

In addition to formalizing an agreement with Mountaire regarding the 2017 violations, DNREC and Mountaire also entered into a conciliatory agreement to address unresolved violations at Mountaire’s Selbyville facility, as well as other violations at the Millsboro facility not directly related to the 2017 wastewater treatment facility failure. Issues addressed via the conciliatory agreement include unauthorized discharges of pollutants from live-hold areas at the Selbyville and Millsboro facilities; an unauthorized release of partially treated wastewater effluent to ground surface at the Millsboro facility due to an equipment weld failure; and temporary sludge storage lagoon issues that include synthetic liner concerns and elevated ammonia levels noted in monitoring wells surrounding the temporary sludge storage lagoon at the Millsboro facility. The conciliatory agreement requires corrective actions and mitigation measures to prevent future violations and includes administrative and stipulated penalties.

As a condition of the conciliatory agreement, Mountaire is required to pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $230,000. Mountaire is able to offset up to $115,000 of the assessed administrative penalty by performing a wetlands restoration and/or enhancement project on the Indian River or on Swan Creek with Department approval. Both agreements referenced above can be found on the DNREC website at dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/secretarys-orders/enforcement/.

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