It’s time for another Horse’s Ass Award!

Horse's Ass Award

Last night was the Delaware Electric Cooperative Annual meeting.  It was well attended to say the least.  last year, according to their Annual Report, there were 900 some people who came, this  year, I’d have to guess it was a lot more!


We got there around 4:30 or so, with flyers to hand out … drat, we forgot the “Green Delaware” banner at home.  The issue of the day is the new coal plant, the BIG new coal plant, that Delaware Electric Cooperative has proposed it join in with Old Dominion Electric Cooperative to build.  EEEEEEEUW, bad idea!  Anyway, we spent some time at the door deciding what to do, Alan went in and said hello to Bill Andrew, President and CEO.


Alan made sure to give him a flyer.  After a bit of conversation about the coal plant, Andrew got huffy when Alan reminded him of the air emissions details from that coal plant’s permit application.  Alan’s good at raising those sort of details that project promoters would rather not acknowledge.  Specifics, from the Green Delaware Alert:

Emissions of climate-changing carbon dioxide would be 14.6 million tons per year.  Emissions of health damaging air pollutants are estimated in the permit applications to be about 42 million pounds per year = 114,000 pounds per day = 4700 pounds per hour.  Most of these would be belched from 615 foot smokestacks, enabling them to travel long distances.  The pollutants include 20 million pounds annually of carbon monoxide, 7.4 million pounds of sulfur dioxide, 5.4 million pounds of particulate matter–dust, 566,000 pounds of sulfuric acid, 920 pounds of  lead, 118 pounds of mercury, among others. All these are regulated because they are proven to cause illness, death, reduced intelligence in children, birth defects, and other major problems.

Anyway, we were at the door, pictured below, handing out flyers.  I would always identify myself, saying, “HI!  I’m Carol with Green Delaware, and here’s some information about the coal plant that the coop wants to build” or some such.  The green papered handout that I put together had a Green Delaware name and logo and contact info, the white handout was from Wise Energy for Virginia, based on David Schlissel’s testimony.

Green Delaware – Alert 666

Synapse Report – Fact Sheet – Hampton Road/Cypress Creek


Here’s the door we were at, handing out flyers, and we ran out all too soon.  A short guy was playing doorman, he had come out after Alan had gone in to see Bill Andrew and was in the DEC red shirt, with a name tag (hereinafter “Short Guy in Red”).  Alan had asked him earlier if he wanted a copy of the handouts and he said he did not.    After we’d been there a while, they’d sent out fully uniformed state police, one standing right at the center in front of the door at the top of the steps, there was a guy in a dark suit with a gold shield on his jacket talking with the cops and a “secret service” looking security guy with the earplug headset, moving around fast and looking very “important.”  I needed to find the bathroom, and as I went towards the door, Short Guy in Red shut it in my face, and I said I was looking for the bathroom and he opened it, not very willingly.  I asked where the bathroom was and then went directly there, getting one photo of the group,  above, and then met Alan in the main hallway.  As I had walked over to the middle of the hall, back towards the entrance, I heard a cop say, “Oh, there she is” right behind me as I passed.  Hmmmmmmm… We went toward the front, Alan went to the check in to ask for one of the handout bags with lit in it, and Short Guy in Red jumped in and reached out and slapped his hand on the stuff and said that Alan couldn’t have it.  We went round a little bit, and Alan apologized to the woman at the booth, saying that he hadn’t intended to put her in a difficult spot.  The Short Guy in Red told us to leave, that this was for members only, I noted we were not being disruptive, we weren’t infiltrating the hall and weren’t even in line for free dinner, so what was so objectionable, and what was so threatening about our being there, and we had a few more back and forths, I told him I was thinking about whether he had the right to eject us.  He said he didn’t want pictures taken (damn, I should have gotten a photo of him refusing to let Alan have the info).  I gave him my card, said he could read about it tomorrow (today) and pointed out my site.   And we left.

Drum roll please…

It’s time for another Horse’s Ass Award!

Horse's Ass Award

This one goes to:


Mr. Mark A. Nielson
V.P. Staff Services
Delaware Electric Cooperative
P.O. Box 600
Greenwood, DE 19950


If Delaware Electric Coop is so worried, it seems to me that they need MORE scrutiny.

If Delaware Electric Cooperative doesn’t want its members to know about the coal plant it’s planning to build, they need MORE scrutiny.


Alan Muller, Green Delaware, questioning and commenting at the meeting

Tuesday night, there was a meeting in Delaware City regarding the “Standard Chlorine of Delaware, a/k/a Metachem Superfund Site.”  This meeting was to gather comments on the “OU3 Proposed Plan.”

Here’s a link to the News Journal article about it — and the full story is below:

EPA: Metachem toxins will linger

Comments must be sent in by August 14, 2009, postmarked if mailed by that date, to:
Hilary Thornton, Mailcode 3HS23
US EPA, Region 3
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA  19103


Here are my comments, sent just now:

Overland Comments – Metachem

Now, take a few minutes and work on yours!


The way they handle these proceedings, it’s misleading and diversionary, a false, technical compartmentalization of the problem and solutions, which leads to a preordained, incomplete, and probably ineffective “clean-up.”  Part of the problem is that it’s  not clear that cleaning up is a priority.  My impression is that they’re just interested in “dealing with it” in some way, the CHEAPEST way, checking off the “OU3 box” and moving on.

Their plan, their PREFERRED plan, is to cover it up and move on to “OU4.”  Their “Preferred Plan” is, direct from their powerpoint slide 8:

2A.  Surface Cap/Institutional Controls
Impermeable Surface Cap
  • Cap materials TBD during Remedial Design Phase
  • Cap materials and thickness would vary depending on future land use
Institutional Controls
  • Future land use must not interfere with ongoing remedies
Five-Year Reviews
  • Required for any Superfund Site where contaminants remain
Est. $11.5 – 18.5 Million

Why look! Imagine that!   This is the CHEAPEST of the options.  All options are “cap” crap, with “materials TBD” and, based on prior past bad experience with DNREC’s “hare-brained” ideas (yes, that’s a direct quote)for “beneficial use” and using coal ash and sewage sludge to cap the dump next to the river:

  • I asked whether they’d use coal ash in the “TBD” cover material, and they would NOT commit to rejecting coal ash.
  • I asked whether they’d use sewage sludge in the “TBD” cover material, and they would NOT commit to rejecting sewage sludge.

This is where that compartmentalization becomes a problem.  They said that was not an issue for “OU3” and that it would be addressed in the “design phase.”  Uh-huh, and the public is involved in that exactly HOW?  And hello — WHAT the impermeable surface is has much to do with the appropriateness of using an impermeable cover.  Rainfall on the impermeable cover will trickle off the cover over the edge, onto and into the ground, groundwater, etc.   Even if it’s asphalt, that should be considered.  Isn’t the EPA is in the process of addressing coal ash, and a rule pending?

Cost… Their “preferred” option 2A costs $11.5-18 million.   The others?

The other options, from their powerpoint:

2B Surface Cap/ICs, with Soil Vapor Extraction
Same surface cap and ICs as mentioned in 2A, plus an in Situ SVE system:
  • Est. 200-500 air extraction wells at 50′ depth
  • Treat contaminated air from beneath the cap
  • treat off-gas from SVE system before discharge
  • Additional sampling to identify “hot spots”
  • Pilot study first, to test effectiveness
  • Est. $19.1-20.2 Million
2B Surface Cap/ICs, with ISTD
Same surface cap and ICs as mentioned in 2A, plus in Sit thermal Desorption:
  • Est. 2,800 heater and 1,400 heated vapor extraction wells, 8-12′ apart through 330,000 sq. ft. area
  • Additional sampling to identify “hot spots” within 10′ of barrier wall
  • Pilot study first, to test effectiveness
  • Est. $92.8-99.8 Million

Let’s see… $11.5-18.5 v. $19.1-20-2 & $92.8-99.8.  Doesnt’ take a rocket scientist to see that the cheapest “option” is “preferred,” and since when is cost the primary driver?  Is this an indication of how they value those living here, drinking the water, breathing the air?

Oh, and did I mention they admitted, finally, that the contamination goes down at least 140 feet!  That’s something they haven’t wanted to talk about before.

These options are the only ones looked at, the only ones that are under consideration.

CONSIDER THIS: One other option I want them to consider is to dig up part of the site, the cleaner part, and put a liner down there and take the contaminated dirt from the rest of the site and bury it there with the solid multi-layer liner, and then cover it.

Here’s an example of that in Minnesota, showing that it can and should be done.  This is a scenario where it’s been sitting there since before the mid 70s, it has contaminated ground water in Lake Elmo and Oakdale, Minnesota.  They’re using three layers of liner over packed clay and another three layers of plastic, plus sand with a collection and draingae system.  In the Metachem case, they know groundwater is contaminated, that it’s seeping down, so what, short of this, will stop it?  Take a look — Tom Meersman did a very good job on this:

History-making landfill do-over in Washington County

Hazardous 3M trash buried decades ago in Washington County is being dug up and will be reburied with a protective lining.

By TOM MEERSMAN, Star Tribune

In a $20 million job that’s the largest of its kind in state history, workers in protective suits are unearthing trash in Lake Elmo that hasn’t seen the light of day for more than three decades.

Their mission is not to burn the wastes or haul them off to another state, but to rebury them in a state-of-the-art pit that will keep chemicals that went into Scotchgard and other 3M products from getting into any more drinking water.

Excavating 33 acres of garbage, and then putting it back in the same place, may seem like a curious way to handle trash that has rested undisturbed since 1975.

However, the former Washington County landfill is not your typical dump. Wastes taken there from the 3M Co. in the early 1970s have contaminated groundwater in nearby Lake Elmo and Oakdale.

That has led to one of the biggest attempts to go back and undo decades-old environmental practices that the metro area has ever seen.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Delaware PSC in action, May 2007, saying NO to NRG’s coal gasification proposal.

Delaware’s “Governors Energy Advisory Council” of Toadies and Lobbyists has published what’s called an “Energy Plan.”  It’s pretty awful, a hodgepodge of random thoughts that has no budget allocated.  It sounds like it was written by Delmarva Power and NRG.   So what will happen?  Not much, given its stream of unconsciousness ramblings — the justifications below each recommendation are sometimes utterly nonsensical … BUT… that’s what they put out.


COMMENTS ARE DUE TODAY!  I know, Sunday, that’s weird, but when Alan called about it that’s what they said, so…

Check the plan and write up something QUICK and send it to:

Read the rest of this entry »

We sent this post out as a Green Delaware Alert to test the new consolidated email list, and WHEW, this has done a lot for Green Delaware fundraising!  Keep it comin’, folks!  To donate to Green Delaware, you can use PayPal (CLICK HERE FOR PAYPAL) or send to Green Delaware, P.O. Box 69, Port Penn, Delaware 19731.  Thanks to all those who got fired up and nominated others for a Horse’s Ass Award.  Feel free to leave suggestions in the Comment section (you have to click on the headline to get into the individual post, and the comment section is at the bottom, it’s moderated, but I approve everything but spam).  CLICK HERE FOR PAYPAL FOR GREEN DELAWARE. And click here for the Green Delaware Newsletter – December 2008.

Back to Todd Goodman, Attorney for Delmarva Power, and his Horse’s Ass Award…


Today’s Horse’s Ass award goes to BADMAN Todd Goodman, counsel for Delmarva Power.   He put on a superb performance December 3, and deserves this award, no doubt!

It took a long time to get the transcript.  I asked how long it would take, and was told 7 days.  Two weeks later, I started inquiring, and both Alan and I had a couple phone calls and emails with the “Nickerson twins,” Karen and Donna, staff at the PSC, a bit of fisticuffs, and finally, here it is.

So here’s what happened.  I went to a hearing on the Delmarva Power Integrated Resource Plan, a PUBLIC hearing that is, and he tried to keep me from testifying.  It was grossly offensive, saying that I was representing Green Delaware, which I was not, I have plenty of my own to say, thank you… and Muller can assuredly speak for himself, when he’s not wearing a gag.

Goodman was a certified horse’s ass.  He accused me of practicing law without a license (by testifying as Carol A. Overland in an IRP docket based on what I know from MN IRPs?), that I should not be allowed to testify because I don’t live in Delaware (excuse me, I live in Minnesota and Delaware, so there, pppppppffffffffbbt!), he tried everything he could think of, smirking all the way.  What is he afraid of?   It was so extreme that it made me wonder if his company knows what he’s doing.   Does Delmarva Power approve of and promote conduct like this?  Unreal…


Throughout, the Public Advocate sat there, not even at the table, sat behind in the peanut gallery, silent.  The good news is that PSC Commissioner Jeff Clark was there, witness to it all.  That makes it worthwhile, Delmarva exposed, behaving that way before a regulator.  As a bull-headed Minnesota energy regulator/energy wonk/worthy opponent said, upon hearing this story:

Re: Delmarva Power — haven’t those folks learned that it really doesn’t help them to try to screw with you like that?  A) You always have useful things to say and for folks to consider, resulting in better decisions; and B) it just pisses you off and makes you want to make things 10 times worse for them.

Yup, that it does, and yes-siree, it will indeed be 10 times worse for them.

Here’s the transcript, Todd Goodman in technicolor:

Transcript – Delmarva IRP Hearing December 3 2008

If you want to have another good laugh, check out the Delmarva Power IRP.

Delaware Public Service Commission IRP site

This 2006 IRP is on the third iteration because they couldn’t come up with one that the PUC would accept, it was deficient, and deficient again, and so now this third one was submitted in November.  On December 15, rather than file their 2008 IRP they send a letter saying they want to use this 2006 amended IRP filing as the one that’s due in December 2008.  How lame can we get?  I hope the PSC gives them the gong on that idea.