March 13, 2003
STATEMENT OF DELAWARE AUDUBON SOCIETY PERTAINING TO A DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL COASTAL ZONE ACT PERMIT AND AN AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT CONSTRUCTION PERMIT PUBLIC HEARING FOR SUNOCO SULFUR RECOVERY UNIT
The Delaware Audubon Society is a statewide chapter of the National Audubon Society with approximately 1,500 members throughout the state. The Delaware Audubon Society recognizes the need and supports the endeavor of the Sunoco Oil Refinery to construct and operate a sulfur recovery plant within its existing footprint at its Claymont facility.
However, we want to express one concern. We ask DNREC to require Sunoco to install and utilize all technologies available to reduce air emissions to the lowest possible amount, such as adding a scrubber unit. Requiring the addition of such technologies would further enhance the State of Delaware's efforts to reduce industrial air emissions and increase the likelihood that Delaware will meet our federally mandated clean air requirements.
Delaware Audubon finds the projected air emissions of 39 tons per year of sulfur dioxide, 16.1 tons per year of carbon monoxide, 7.6 tons of nitrogen oxides and amounts of volatile organic compounds and particulates unacceptable. Even though DNREC maintains the project will provide an overall net reduction in air emissions, we strongly believe those levels of emissions can be further reduced.
The State of Delaware needs to remain vigilant in its efforts to clean up the air in the state not only because it is mandated by the federal government, but because clean air or the lack thereof has an impact on public health. High levels of air pollution lead to adverse health conditions such as asthma and other respiratory illness. Adverse health conditions cost the state real money in terms of lost time from work and school as well as increased medical expenses and insurance premiums. We can ill afford to continue to increase healthcare costs while we face ever growing revenue shortfalls.
The citizens of Delaware deserve to breathe clean air. This is especially urgent for those living in the highly industrialized north eastern corridor of New Castle County. The air quality in this corridor is particularly poor largely due to the operations of many of the state's worst industrial polluters.
In summary, Delaware Audubon is in favor of permitting Sunoco to construct and operate a sulfur recovery facility in Claymont and urge DNREC to require more stringent reductions in air emissions. We believe the people of the State of Delaware deserve clean air and the State deserves a reduction in expenses due to adverse health conditions brought on or aggravated by air pollution.
Thank you for the opportunity to voice our views and respectfully submit our statement for the public record at this hearing.
– Matthew DelPizzo
– Leslie G. Savage