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Green Delaware News #33

    "No Flush" bill advances

    Bill to protect inland bays needs support

    Nuke power presentations

    Mercury pollution from Conectiv

    Reapportionment

    More....

    Port Penn, DE, April 11, 2001. About twenty people attended a Green Delaware public meeting in Newark on April 4th. We are considering similar meetings in Wilmington, Dover, and other parts of Delaware. Please let us know if you would be interested in helping organize one.

    "No Flush Campaign" moving ahead

    More legislators are "signing on" as co-sponsors of the bill to end raw sewage dumping in Delaware. The bill, which was House Bill 671 in the previous General Assembly, is scheduled to be re-introduced on Thursday, April 12. Some changes have been made to beef up the proposed new law, and it will have a new number. We will report on which legislators have signed on as co-sponsors. This bill represents years of effort by people all over Delaware.

    ACTIONS: express your support for this bill at every opportunity. Let us know if you are interested in coming to Dover to lobby for clean rivers. Contact Governor Minner and ask her to support the bill: gminner@state.de.us, 302.739.4101 (Dover), 302.577.3210 (Wilmington)

    House Bill 39 - protection for Inland Bays

    The Inland Bays of Eastern Sussex County are among the most threateded parts of Delaware. Rep. Shirley Price and co-sponsors have introduced HB 39, which would provide for additional review of large development projects in the area. A similar bill last year was heavily attacked by developers and the same thing is happening again. A House Land Use Committee hearing on HB 39 will be held on Wednesday, April 11, at 4:00 in Legislative Hall. From the Citizens Coalition:

    "Dear Concerned Neighbors: YOU can help SAVE Sussex County's INLAND BAYS!

    PLEASE HELP our inland bays by coming to Legislative Hall in Dover on Wednesday, 4/11, at 4 p.m. in support of HB #39 sponsored by Representative Shirley Price & other concerned delegates to designate the inland bay watershed as a CRITICAL AREA. (For car-pooling arrangements in the Rehoboth/Lewes area call Joan at 302-645-6657)

    We hear the newly formed group called PGA is swamping state elected officials with telephone calls, trying to kill the bill. Let our side be heard!"

    ACTION: Contact Delaware Senators and Representatives in support of HB 39 (Email addresses can be found on the Green Delaware website www.greendel.org.)

    "15 Years After Chernobyl--Can the U.S. Nuclear Industry Achieve a Revival?"

    Michael Mariotte, Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), Washington, DC, will speak Thursday, April 12, 2001, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. at the Perkins Student Center, Ewing Room, University of Delaware. NIRS is a leading source of critical analysis and policy advocacy on nuclear power in the U.S. He has testified before the U.S. Senate and House on a variety of issues including the future of nuclear power, "one-stop" reactor licensing, radioactive waste metals "recycling," and the transport and storage of nuclear plant waste. Norm Cohen, Coordinator of the UNPLUG Salem Campaign (Green Delaware is a member) will speak briefly about the upcoming protest on 4/25 at the Salem Nuclear Plant.

    Cohen will also speak at 7:00 in the Williamson Room of the Perkins Student Center. Topic:"Star Wars, Landmines, Nuke Power--We Don't Need Them."

    Comment: The Bush administration is a heavy supporter of nuke power. The right answer to energy needs is investment in conservation and efficiency programs, and truly renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

    Mercury pollution from Conectiv

    Many people are mislead by the cute little "greenwash" newsletters that Delaware's major electric utility Conectiv sends to its customers with each monthly bill. Don't be. Conectiv is not only one of Delaware's biggest polluters, but one of the leading opponents of environmental protection. The so-called "Toxics Release Inventory" for Delaware DOUBLED when Conectiv's plants were finally included. Total Conectiv emissions in Delaware, not including "greenhouse gases," are about 280,000 pounds per day. Here, courtesy of Environmental News Service, is an example of the electric power industry in action:

    "Two electric utility trade groups, the Utility Air Regulatory Group and Edison Electric Institute, have filed a lawsuit demanding that the power industry remain exempt from the national emissions standards required for every other major source of mercury. The lawsuit claims that EPA's decision last year to regulate mercury emissions from power plants was 'arbitrary and capricious.' The EPA concluded that such standards are necessary because of mercury's harm to people and wildlife, and has begun to develop new mercury rules."

    Neil Kagan of the National Wildlife Federation responded: "There is no scientific dispute that mercury damages people and wildlife, that power plants are the largest source of mercury in the U.S., and that power plants are the only major source that have no required mercury controls."

    "Power plants in the U.S. emit 100,000 pounds of mercury into the air each year. This mercury ends up deposited back onto the land and into the water, where it concentrates as it moves up the food chain."

    Conectiv admitted discharging 705 pounds of mercury in 1998. Mercury causes cancer, birth defects, and neurological damage. Conectiv is selling its old, dirty, power plants to businesses specializing in old, dirty power plants. (Conectiv reps did not immediately respond to a call from Green Delaware.)

    ACTION: Contact Howard Cosgrove, CEO of Conectiv. Ask that Conectiv disassociate itself from these lawsuits and install mercury controls on all its coal plants-including those it's selling. How to reach Howard: office: 302.429.3634, home: 302.427.8619, FAX 302.429.3367 (email not available).

    Reapportionment

    Every ten years, after the national census, boundaries of legislative districts have to be readjusted to equalize the number of people represented by officeholders. This is a heavily "political" process, described by Common Cause rep John Flaherty as "one of the last things still done in secret" in Delaware. Common Cause is promoting a statewide coalition to support two bills, House Bill 105 and Senate Bill 36. These similar bills provide for public input through a commission that would prepare a preliminary redistricting plan, hold public hearings, and adopt a final plan for the General Assembly.

    Common Cause argues: "We need to assure the citizens of Delaware that the reapportionment of legislative districts, based on the results of the 2000 census, will be handled in a professional, nonpartisan fashion, which eliminates the appearance, if not the reality, that the self-interest of incumbent legislators controls the process of redrawing district lines. Too often in the past, the appearance of impropriety has been noted in the redistricting process. At this critical time, our legislature cannot afford to have it happen again. The people of this state deserve a nonpartisan redistricting commission created to handle the process and to recommend to the legislature a comprehensive reapportionment plan to be approved or rejected by the legislature without modification (in other words, on an up or down vote)."

    Green Delaware supports this effort. A public meeting will be held by the Let My People Know Coalition on April 14th in the Wilmington City Council Chambers (Redding Building) from 8:30 to 10:30.

    ACTION: Contact legislators in support of these bills.

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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 March 25, 2001.

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