Green Delaware News #29
Salem Nuke Plant Controversy Shows Problems Facing Defenders of Environment; "Partnership" Award Planned for Big Nuclear Polluter PSE&G: Unplug Salem Coalition Objects, Plans Protest
Port Penn, Delaware, September 22, 2000.
In the 1970s, the United States of America was a world leader in fixing
environmental problems. Today the leadership lies in Europe and some
parts of Asia. At international negotiations about global warming
and other problems, the US is often the big bad guy, stalling and delaying
on behalf of industrial
Consider the so-called Partnership for the Delaware
Estuary, Inc. (http://www.udel.edu/PDE/).
Operating free-of-charge in a State-owned building in Claymont, Delaware,
the Partnership is funded by the governments of Delaware, New Jersey and
Pennsylvania, among others, along with various industries. (Joe Matassino,
Director of Development and Communications, hung up on us when we sought
more information about the Partnership.) It board includes Dennis
Rochford, candidate for Lt. Gov. of Delaware and promoter of a boondoggle
scheme to dredge the Delaware River, and Jonathan H. Sharp, a University
of Delaware employee who gives talks about the "draconian" nature of the
Clean Water Act, and implies that the Delaware River is already cleaned
up adequately. Another member, Stan LaBruna, represents Public Service
Gas & Electric (PSE&G). The Chair is PA Lawyer Jonathan Rinde.
His law firm's web site (http://www.mgklaw.com)
says "We regularly provide assistance to developers and property owners
... We work with clients to identify and confront obstacles to development.
... Our attorneys serve as adjunct law professors, officers and board members
of recognized environmental and advisory groups, lecturers and course
Greenwashing a Bad Actor. On September
28, at 5:00 PM, at Fox Point State Park, in Edge Moor, Delaware, the Partnership
will give an award to Public Service Electric & Gas, operator of the
Salem/Hope Creek nuclear complex on the Delaware River. (Other awards
are also being given, but the Partnership refuses to tell us to whom.)
The Salem nuke complex has long been one of the most troubled in the US;
its cooling system sucks in up to 3 billion gallons/day of cooling water,
killing billions of fish and other marine life. PSE&G, the largest
political contributor in New Jersey, refuses to install cooling towers,
which would reduce the water intake by about 90% and greatly reduce the
disastrous impact of Salem on the River. The Unplug Salem Coalition of
89 organizations (Green Delaware is a member) wants to close Salem.
Norm Cohen, coordinator of Unplug, said "Not only does Salem slaughter
fish, its radiation contributes to the high infant mortality and high cancer
rates in the Salem area. An award to Salem
The award is for a so-called "Estuary Enhancement Program, (EEP)" which is supposed to be improving wetlands but has resulted in spraying over 25,000 pounds of the herbicide glyphosate on marshlands, and has produced large expanses of naked mud flats. Kathy Klein, Executive Director of the Partnership said "we feel they [PSE&G] are doing good work," but admitted her organization had not checked with opponents of the EEP. "We did not consult them, it's our award to give out." Jane Nogaki, of the New Jersey Environmental Federation, responded " PSE&Gs five-year herbiciding for Phragmites control in the marshes is a dismal failure and should not in any way be considered an award-worthy program. The adverse effects of repeated spraying on the marsh ecosystem will be with us for years, and in the meantime the Phragmites is rebounding stronger than ever." Klein reluctantly admitted that the Partnership is getting $5,000 per year from PSE&G, for a Delaware Estuary Teacher Education Institute.
Protest Planned. Cohen said the Unplug Salem Coalition is planning a "dead fish demonstration" at the Fox Point Park event on the 28th, but that officers of the Partnership have proposed a meeting and that "things could change."
"Our" Regulators Resent Independent Advocates. What do State officials, all snugly with the Partnership, think about Green Delaware? Delaware Natural Resources Secretary Nick DiPasquale has told this writer he "does not intend to cooperate with Green Delaware." Deputy Atty. General Keith Trostle called Green Delaware, which often opposes permits allowing increased pollution, "disgusting." Fortunately, the public thinks differently. But as long as officials, supposed to be representing the public, are allowed to "partner" with and subsidize dubious organizations fronting for big polluters, life will be increasingly tough for genuine, independent, advocates. ACTION ITEM: Contact Governor (and candidate for Senate) Carper: 302. 577.3210, firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask that the State of Delaware terminate it's relationship with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. If you are in PA or NJ, make a similar request to Governors Ridge or Whiteman.
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Email us at
Alan J. Muller, Exec. Director
P.O. Box 69
Port Penn, DE 19731
page was last updated on September 24, 2000.
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