Alert #26

Mainstream organizations join anti-incinerator campaign 
Gov. Carper evades public response, signals support for incineration
News Journal blackout of anti-incinerator campaign continues

Port Penn DE. May 13, 1998. Yesterday, at a press conference in Dover, the Del. Audubon Society, the Civic League of New Castle County, the League of Women Voters, the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club, PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) of Delaware, and the Greenwatch Institute joined longtime incineration opponents including Green Delaware, the Civic Health Alliance, the New Jersey Environmental Federation, the Concerned Citizens of Pennsville/Salem County, Clean Water Action, and the Grassroots Environmental Organization (NJ). All these organizations opposed a garbage incinerator at Pigeon Point, DE, and called for passage of Senate Bill 98, prohibiting incineration in Delaware's Coastal Zone. (The industry-funded Delaware Nature Society, contrary to previous assurances, said it opposed garbage incineration but also opposed immediate passage of SB 98.) A vote on SB 98 is expected today.

The administration of Governor Tom Carper has declined to take a public position on SB 98, but, in letters to constituents, has expressed its support for incineration. Some observers attribute this to the arrival of Delmarva Power ("Connective") in the pro-incineration camp. (Connective is one of the promoters of the project to burn Delaware's garbage in Pennsville, NJ.) Carper seems very responsive to the wishes of Connective, one of Delaware's major polluters.

Excerpts from a statement by Alan Muller on behalf of five organizations:

"...In this region of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, the horrible financial, health, and environmental track record of incineration speaks for itself. Nightmare at Pigeon Point from 1996 to 1990. A continuing nightmare in Chester PA, where New Castle County garbage is now being burned. Nightmares at each of the five New Jersey burners. Experience has clearly shown that garbage incineration is undesirable. No new incinerators should be built, and the existing incinerators should shut down as soon as possible. Fortunately, communities are generally winning their battles against incineration: about 300 such projects have been canceled in the last few years and Delaware is one of the few places where they are still being seriously proposed..."

"We are planning a conference to bring together people involved in some of the most effective recycling programs in surrounding states to share information with Delaware officials and officeholders in Delaware."

"Certain basic principles apply: we should manage our waste in ways that don't harm anyone's health or quality of life. We must use practices that are sustainable. We must not leave a harmful liability for future generations to deal with. ... Delaware can become a model of how to do it, and stop being a model of how not to do it. We must REDUCE, we must REUSE, we must RECYCLE and we must COMPOST (but not the way the DSWA composted at Pigeon Point)."

"First , we must persuade the General Assembly to pass SB 98 tomorrow afternoon"

Muller thanked Pat Todd of the League of Women Voters for organizing the press conference.

Look for more details in upcoming Green Delaware News. (C) Alan Muller


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Alan J. Muller, Coordinator
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Port Penn, DE 19731
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This page was last updated on June 2, 1999.