·GREEN DELAWARE NEWS: 2000·

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Green Delaware News #29

    In this issue:  
    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 
    interests.  Transnational corporations often have one set of environmental policies for the US, and other, more progressive policies and products for Europe.  US environmental laws are falling behind.  Why?  A big factor is the state of the US environmental movement.  Independent organizations like Green Delaware, the Pennsylvania Environmental Network, and the New Jersey Environmental Federation still function effectively, but are getting drowned out by organizations funded by government and industry to promote the views of developers and industrial polluters under the guise of 
    "consensus building" and "environmental education."  (Many organizations exist in a sort of twilight zone, funded by polluters, and doing some good work but selling out on the key issues.)

    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 
    planners at numerous legal and other educational programs and as elected and appointed local government officials. It is our belief that promoting these activities by our lawyers creates problem solvers who are much more valuable to our clients...."  Get it?

    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 
    insults every fair-minded person.  PSE&G has effectively bought the support of organizations like the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary." 

    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." 

    ACTION ITEM:  contact John Rinde, 610.660.5700, Jrinde@mgklaw.com, and Kathy Klein, 1.800.445.4935, partners@udel.edu.  Ask that the award to PSE&G be cancelled.

    "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, pcherry@state.de.us. 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.

    Green Delaware Wish List

    Things we need:  Storage building (shed), contributions for our electric car project, more 
    solar panels for office power, volunteers to help with fund raising and mailings and everything else.

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Let us know what you think.

Email us at

GreenDel@dca.net

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

This page was last updated on September 24, 2000.
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