Green Delaware Action Alert #92

EARTH DAY SPECIAL: Criminal Mischief in Delaware

Port Penn, DE. April 20, 2001.  As announced in an April 19th press release, Green Delaware stenciled "DANGER RAW SEWAGE" on City of Wilmington Combined Sewer Overflow No. 26, which dumps raw sewage into the Brandywine Creek, where Delaware Natural Resources officials allow park users to wade and swim.  About six carloads of Natural Resources and City of Wilmington police greeted Green Delaware and other supports of clean water and public 
health.  After the stenciling was completed, GreenDel Executive Director Alan Muller was arrested and charged with Criminal Mischief and "Graffiti" offenses.  Trial has been set for June 27th in Wilmington.  The warning statements were immediately removed.  (Several hours locked up in a cell provided ample opportunity to compose this Alert.)

On the same day, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources issued this "DNREC News:"

"Earth Day 2001 Wilmington Storm Drain Marking Project ...  Volunteer teams will be marking storm drains throughout the city and its suburbs with the message, "NO DUMPING! DRAINS TO RIVER." ... Sponsors ... are the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the City of Wilmington, and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary."  [Our Note: The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, known to some as the "Partnership with the Polluters," is a state-subsidized organization influenced by big river-polluters such as DuPont, Public Service Electric and Gas, and the City of Wilmington (see GreenDel News #29).]
In other words, it is good for environmental regulators and big polluters to sponsor markings pointing the finger of responsibility at ordinary citizens.  It is "criminal mischief" for Green Delaware to put markings on sewage overflows warning those citizens of health hazards to themselves created by polluters.  (If this is not clear please read several more times.)

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources doesn't seem to recognize the Bill of Rights.  It's police once arrested two citizens at a Fourth of July "Liberty Day" event.  The offence: handing out flyers advocating democracy.  DNREC's chief propagandist is Maria Taylor, whose husband controls the editorial page of the Wilmington News Journal, Delaware's dominant newspaper.  The News Journal did not cover the Green Delaware stenciling.

Some Green Delaware leaders have long wanted to call for the removal of Nicholas DiPasquale, Secretary of Natural Resources.  Others feel this would be futile, because the same qualities that make Nick so unsuited for the job make Delaware's powers-that-be want him to have it.

And so it was in Delaware, United States of America, on April 20, 2001.  Some old people remember that the USA was once a world leader in environmental protection.  Happy Earth Day!

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If you are associated with an environmental or civic or health organization, please ask it to support HB 195. If you are an officer of such an organization, please contact Green Delaware. See contact info below.

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Alan J. Muller, Exec. Director
P.O. Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731
302-834-3466 Voice
302-836-3005 FAX

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This page was last updated on  April 21, 2001.