Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

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The Delaware Attorney General says that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control violated the Freedom of Information Act.

The office says that the agency failed to properly respond to a request for records by the Delaware Audubon Society last year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the law requires agencies to respond within 15 days by either providing the records, denying the request or asking for more time.

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The Delaware City Refinery is balking at paying a $150-thousand fine with its parent company PBF Energy calling it arbitrary and unreasonable.

The fines originated with an incident in 2013 in which state officials determined that the refinery concealed 17 shipments of crude oil and violated the limits on such shipments.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small handed down the fine in early March based on the determination of his predecessor.          

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - Officials say an equipment malfunction caused the Delaware City Refinery to release a hazardous chemical into the air.
 
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental control announced that the facility released 100 lbs. of sulfur dioxide into the air Wednesday morning.
 
WDEL-FM reports that the chemical is considered hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
 
The state environmental agency says the facility has fixed the equipment malfunction that was to blame.

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The battle over the ethanol expansion request by the Delaware City Refinery has pitted lawyers for the state and the refinery against citizen groups as they go before the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control along with the company claim that five of the seven arguments against the expansion are erroneous and reflect desperation.

But Delaware Audubon and the League of Women Voters of Delaware call the claims misdirection and say they are failing to follow the law.

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Shipments of crude oil have been sent from Delaware City Refinery to third-party destinations in 2014.

That admission comes from the facility’s owner PBF Energy after claiming in 2013 that it had only sent one shipment to a destination in New Jersey which was authorized by the Delaware Department Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the state decided not to issue a sanction against PBF for a shipment of crude oil to a Philadelphia refinery that same year.

Jan Tik / creative commons

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Number 1 surf fishing tag in Delaware has sold for $26,000.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Jim Weller, a Lincoln businessman, secured the tag in the final bid of an auction during a barbeque competition at Delaware Seashore State Park near Bethany Beach.

Weller said he purchased the tag in order to resell it-he doesn't fish, he said.

The tags are used by fishermen and surfers to access certain beaches.

Weller also purchased license number 11 for $2,700.

creative commons

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials have issued a water quality advisory at Rehoboth Beach after high levels of bacteria were found in the water.

Rehoboth Beach City Manager Sharon Lynn says that while swimming isn't banned, warning signs were posted Thursday on the back of lifeguard stands. The beach and ocean remain open.

Elevated bacteria levels were shown in a water sample taken Wednesday, the day before the Rehoboth area got over an inch of rain.

Harim Allen Chicken Website

A public hearing on the expansion of a Harim chicken processing plant in Harbeson drew neighbors and environmentalists last night.

The company wants to expand the facility to handle just under 2 million birds per week.

WBOC reports that the company said it wanted to construct a four stage nutrient removal system that would eliminate 97 percent of the nutrients in the water.

A meeting in late April saw around 100 neighbors attend a meeting on the expansion where they expressed concerns about the impact on the neighboring community.

creative commons

LEWES, Del. (AP) - State wildlife officials say the first piping plover nest of the season was found late last week on the Point at Cape Henlopen State Park.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said in a news release Monday that an American oystercatcher nest was also found.

Wildlife biologist Matthew Bailey says four or five pairs of plovers have set up territories at the park.

Don Rush

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Natural Resources officials are wasting no time in cleaning up and reinforcing Rehoboth Beach after last month's snowstorm.

A worker was operating a dozer through the sand less than two weeks of the snowstorm hit, pushing sand the edge of the dry beach to the dunes, over a layer of water.

This process reinforces the dunes, Tony Pratt of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control tells WBOC-TV.

Pratt says nature does most of the work, but the dozers can speed things up a bit.

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