Vote tomorrow on incinerator bill
Incinerator Bill should not be weakened
Port Penn, DE. April 5, 2000. We've sent out too any emails on SB 280. This bill will reach the floor of the House of Representatives tomorrow (Thursday) April 6th in the afternoon sometime after 2:00. We expect it to pass in some form, but our enemies haven't stopped trying to weaken the bill. In an especially evil move, Governor Carper is trying to add a ten year "sunset" provision. This means the bill would die and we could have to go through all this again. Several other weakening amendments are described in the article attached below. Please:
(1) MAKE CALLS AND SEND EMAILS; Especially, call Governor Carper and demand that he withdraw the "sunset" proposal. ("Don't 'sunset' our health") Oppose any amendments to allow chicken poop burning, shorten the "three mile ban," allow local governments to permit incinerators, or to "sunset" the bill.
Governor Carper: 764-7478 (home), 577-3215, (office)
Emails of Delaware legislators are at the bottom of this message.
(2) come to Legislative Hall tomorrow afternoon if you can, to lobby for the bill.
WITH THIS FINAL EFFORT WE SHOULD GET A STRONG BILL
Incinerator Bill Should Not be Weakened.
Senate Bill 280, coming for a vote today in the House of Representatives, is to protect Delawareans from incinerator pollution that would harm their health and quality of life. The bill has a complicated history and many amendments have been offered, some on behalf of incinerator promoters. This bill benefits everyone in Delaware, and is especially important to residents of communities that have suffered from incinerators in the past. Green Delaware and many allied organizations hope the General Assembly will stand firm and pass a strong bill. Here are some of the key remaining issues:
Distance. SB 280 says no incinerator may be permitted within three miles of the boundary line of any residence, residential community, church, school, park, or hospital. Many of us would like to see incinerators banned entirely, but there is a consensus that this is a minimum distance required to protect people. Very few if any locations anywhere in Delaware could meet this "setback" requirement. Rep. Bruce Ennis introduced House Amendment 1 to SB 280, intended to "permit municipalities within Kent and Sussex Counties to allow the operation of an incinerator ... within the municipal boundaries ...." Ennis indicated that Smyrna, which he represents, wanted the Philpower incinerator in it's industrial park, said to be in need of tenants. Smyrna Mayor Robert P. Newnam told Green Delaware "we have not initiated any of this at all ... we have not asked for the legislation to be put in." Mike Jacobs, Town Manager, said the industrial park is for "office parks and light industrial." Daryl Minott, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, said "this is not the sort of facility we want in the Smyrna Industrial Park ... we are not that desperate ... we are not supportive of the project." On Monday, the Smyrna Town Council passed a resolution saying it does not support HA 1 at this time. Hopefully SA 1 is dead.
Exemption for Poultry Manure burning is a bad idea.. A chicken poop burner, promoted by the British firm Fibrowatt, would also dump thousands of pounds per day of pollution into Delaware's air, contributing to cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease (Green Delaware has studied the permits of Fibrowatt's British plants. When we went to a Fibrowatt presentation in Georgetown with questions, Delmarva Poultry Industry officials kicked us out.) There are many better solutions to excess nutrient problems than incineration, which is also so expensive it would need big subsidies. Why trade water pollution for air pollution? Former Governor Russ Peterson told us " use of poultry manure as fertilizer is the preferred approach." We agree, and so apparently does Purdue Corp., which is building a plant to pelletize poultry waste to make it suitable for shipping to places that can make good use of as fertilizer.(Green Delaware is hearing from folks in Minnesota who are fighting Fibrowatt schemes in their state.) House Amendment 2, making possible the chicken poop burner, is sponsored by Reps. Charles West (h)238-7424 (o)739-4351, Shirley Price (h)539-6738 (o)739-4351, and Wallace Caulk (h)335-3305 (o)739-4081. Please help us "kill" it.
Sunset Provision. Gov. Carper is promoting a change to the bill that would cause it to "die" after a period of years , and incinerators might again be built. This means people, especially in target communities, would have to worry about incinerators in the future. Their property values and confidence in the future of their neighborhoods would still be at risk. This is a mean-spirited idea that the Governor should abandon. Russ Peterson said "a bill without a sunset provision is the way to go."
"Local Control" Local control often works best, but not with incinerators, whose promoters can afford heavy-duty lawyers and "experts" to pressure local governments. Kent County officials have expressed some concerns that SB280 could actually reduce their right to limit incinerators. We don't think that would happen, and we are concerned that some Kent officials have supported incinerator in the past. Hopefully Kent County will not try to weaken SB 280.
The bill is not intended to apply to any existing incinerators. We have not objection to clarification of this.
Delaware needs a strong, statewide anti-incinerator bill with NO EXCEPTIONS. Everybody in Delaware deserves clean air and a decent quality of life. Please let your legislators and the Governor you want a strong SB280.
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This page was last updated on April 20, 2000.