Alert #38

Officials to celebrate weakening of Delaware Coastal Zone Act: 
Green Delaware objects -- Demonstration planned

Port Penn, DE. August 16, 1999. Philpower Corporation wants to build a waste wood incinerator between New Castle and Wilmington DE at Pigeon Point, near the site of a closed garbage burner. (Philpower is also looking at another site in the City of Wilmington.) This incinerator would put out thousands of pounds per day of additional air pollutants into already polluted neighborhoods. The proposed incinerator is in the Delaware Coastal Zone and would be an obvious violation of Delaware law banning incinerators in the Coastal Zone. Nevertheless, the incinerator has been promoted by many Delaware officials, including Natural Resources Secretary Nick DiPasquale.

A Coastal Zone Permit would needed by Philpower. A public hearing was held on June 23, 1999, (state officials had turned off the air conditioning) at which dozens of people testified against the incinerator. Hearing Officer Rod Thompson then gave the public until July 6rd (later extended until July 20th) to submit questions to Philpower, and gave Philpower until July 16th (later extended until July 30th) to respond. The public was then to have ten more days to submit final responses to the state. Green Delaware did not receive Philpower's response in a complete form until August 9th. We then contacted state officials to request until Aug 20th to provide responses from Green Delaware and civic and community organizations. Without listening to us, Hearing Officer Rod Thompson issued a letter setting the final deadline on Saturday, August 14th. We finally heard from Mr. Thompson on Monday, August 16th. Hostile, Thompson claimed he chose that date at the request of Dick Fleming of the Delaware Nature Society. Thompson claimed not to have noticed that the date was a Saturday, but said the effective date was Monday. He said he had much more important things to deal with than Philpower and hung up. Secretary DiPasquale and many others are on vacation.

Thompson had previously written: "I believe the best course is to develop the record as fully as possible not rather than to proceed with incomplete information." What changed? These maneuvers strike us as an obvious attempt to force this permit through at a time when many people are on vacation. It is typical of the servility to business interests and contempt for communities, environment, and health that is so much a part of the administration of Gov. Thomas Carper. 

Please call/email the following people, and ask that the Philpower Coastal Zone record be held open until at least August 20 to enable the public to participate:

Governor Thomas Carper Office 302.577.3210 Home 302.764.7478 (Wilmington)

Acting Natural Resources Secretary Mary MacKenzie: 302.739.4403 (Dover)

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


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Alan J. Muller, Coordinator
P.O. Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731
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This page was last updated on January 8, 2000.