DNREC and NRG try to block appeal of coal ash dumping permit

DNREC lines up with NRG and coal ash pollution

On September 24, 2008, the DNREC gave NRG a permit for an expanded coal ash dump near it’s infamous Indian River Power Plant.  Decades of irresponsible ash dumping from that plant (it used to belong to Delmarva Power) have contaminated the land, ground and surface waters, and fish and other marine life in the area.  Citizens for Clean Power, the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Center for the Inland Bays, and others, don’t want any more ash dumping in the area.  (This poses a problem for Green Delaware, because they may in effect be wanting ash dumping somewhere else….).

Bill Zak, one of the founders of Citizens for Clean Power, has appealed the decision to allow an expanded ash dump.

Zak’s appeal is here (scroll to Exhibit “A”):

Bill Zak’s appeal

Now, both DNREC and NRG are trying to kill the appeal before it even gets heard by claiming that Zak lacks “standing” to appeal.

DNREC’s Motion to Dismiss

NRG’s Motion to Dismiss

DNREC argues “… Mr. Zak lacks standing to pursue this appeal since he does not allege that he has has been injured in a personal and individual manner by the Secretary’s decision … The term “substantially affected” does not include the interests of Delaware citizens in the preservation of publicly owned resources.”  (Read the rest for yourself–I’ll throw up on my keyboard if I type any more).

NRG invokes the same arguments and cases used by the DNREC, concluding “The statute and the Delaware Supreme Court’s Oceanport Industries standards do not recognize standing before the Board to assert injury to the public at large by an individual citizen.  As noted above, the opportunity to voice such concerns was presented at the public hearing stage …”


Since the public hearing process has been reduced to a total farec, and Delaware’s courts have indeed ruled against the rights of the people, the outcome of this is uncertain.  We’d expect NRG to raise these arguments, but for the DNREC to do it is utterly dishonorable.

Alan Muller

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