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c PRINTED ON RECYCLED P APER

Delaware
DELAWARE AUDUBON

Audubon Journal Vol. XXV No.5


May-June 2003

CHRONOLOGY
M O T I VA S E E K S M O D I F I C AT I O N S TO CURBING AIR POLLUTION

MARCH 2001
Motiva agreed to install smokestack scrubbers in a nationwide settlement of
Federal and State air pollution citations covering nine refineries. A consent
decree filed in U.S. District Court in Texas required one scrubber to begin
operating in Delaware in December 2003, and a second by December 2004.
Scrubbers are devices that trap and remove air pollution from smokestacks or
factory exhausts.

NOVEMBER 2002
State and Federal officials agreed in November to revise the plan outlined by the
2001 agreement. That revision called for converting the plant’s sulphur dioxide
air emissions to wastewater, rather than recycling them. Motiva claims the
revised approach would be more reliable and result in cleaner air than the
PRESERVING OUR recycling option.
NATURAL STATE
DECEMBER 2002
Delaware officials agreed to consider a Motiva Enterprises plan to cut air
pollution from its refinery near Delaware City using equipment that instead
would deposit more than 209 million pounds of sulfate wastes into the
Delaware River each year.
continued on page 6
IN THIS ISSUE
B L U E B I R D C A P TA I N S
Bird Tales ................................7 Bluebird Trail Captains
began training for the
Books of Interest ......................8 coming breeding
season with Nest Box
Calendar ..................................4 Project Chair, Peggy
Jahn.
Letter From the President ........2
Pictured at the newly
News & Views ....................5,6,7 installed Bluebird Trail
at Buena Vista State
Officers & Committees..............2 Conference Center are
Peggy Jahn, Jennifer
Site Seeing ................................3 Christy, Diane Crom,
Landscape Superintendent for Delaware State Museums, Julie Lawson, Delores
What You Can Do ....................3 Whitely and Fred Jahn. Not in the picture is Robert Mentzer.

DELAWARE AUDUBON SOCIETY, INC.


A State-wide Chapter of National Audubon
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT D E L AWA R E A U D U B O N
S O C I E T Y 20 02-200 3 2
OFFICERS & COMMITTEES
Subj: Motiva Consent Decree Update
If there are any issues you feel strongly about
Date:03/31/2003 that you think Audubon should address, please
To: Delaware Audubon Members write Issues, P.O. Box 1713, Wilmington, DE
19899, or call the office at 302-428-3959.
We are now moving into a different phase of the Chairpersons can always be reached through the
ongoing dispute with Motiva and getti ng office answering machine , 302-428-3959.
regenerative scrubbers installed. In March 2001,
Motiva and DNREC had agreed to install a
Honorary Chairman of the Board
control system in a settlement of a federal Russell W. Peterson
pollution suit. This settlement was going to take President Matthew Del Pizzo
sulfur dioxide out of their air emissions. Sulfur dioxide is a respiratory irritant Vice President Leslie Savage
that causes acid rain and smog. Motiva and DNREC worked out together Secretary Ellen Wright
what kind of scrubbers would remove the air emissions, they agreed upon a Treasurer Mark Martell
regenerative technology (recycle chemicals used in the scrubbing process,
CONSERVATION COMMITTEES:
diverting recovered wastes to other uses or disposal in a landfill). After this Environmental Advocate Grace Pierce-Beck
was agreed to things progressed and efforts were being made to install this Recycling Open
technology, Dredging Leslie Savage
Proposal/policy Review Dave Chambers
Then Motiva decided they would use a cheaper substitute technology called Nest Box Projects Peggy Jahn
Armchair Activists Open
non-regenerative (would use the scrubber chemicals only once, and then,
Adopt-a-Wetland
after treatment, send them into the river). Non-regenerative technology Peggy Jahn, Kathy Tidball
would not capture contaminants as the regenerative technology would have White Clay Creek Adopt-a-Highway
and they would be poured into the river and also use about 504,000 gallons Dorothy Miller
of water daily. Important Bird Area Program Ann Rydgren
PROGRAMS COMMITTEE Open
PUBLICITY COMMITTEE
Motiva abandoned the regenerative scrubbers and pressed ahead with non- Internet Fred Breukelman
regenerative scrubbers regardless of their implications to pollution of the mail@delawareaudubon.org
river and aquatic life. MEMBERSHIP RECORDS David Brannan
EDUCATION COMMITTEE Kathy Tidball
After a much publicized fight by concerned groups and citizens, DNREC SOCIAL COMMITTEE
Annual Dinner-Nancy Frampton
rejected Motiva’s permit for the non-regenerative scrubbers, citing among
FIELD TRIPS COMMITTEE Peggy Jahn
continued on page 3
PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE Ann Rydgren
FINANCE COMMITTEES
Fundraising-Grants Andrew Urquhart
The Audubon Journal is t WEB SITE Fundraising-Bird Seed Sale
published bi-monthly by the http://www.delawareaudubon.org Mark and Susan Martell
Delaware Audubon Society. t MAILING ADDRESS: Fundraising Birdathon
Original articles may be Delaware Audubon Society Ruth Holden, Maud Dayton
reprinted without permission. Please give Fundraising-Silent Auction Asha Iyengar
P.O. Box 1713
credit to the Delaware Audubon Journal and Fundraising-Wildlife Sanctuary Open
Wilmington, DE 19899
the author. Fundraising-Piping Plover Suite Ann Rydgren
t TELEPHONE: NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Editor: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ann Rydgren 302-428-3959 Matthew DelPizzo,
Assistant Editors: . . . . .Mary Leah Christmas t DELAWARE A UDUBON SOCIETY E- MAIL: Asha Iyengar, Leslie Savage
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Barbara Roewe mail@delawareaudubon.org
DIRECTORS FOR SERVICE UNTIL 2003
Design & Layout : . . . . . . .Maryellen F. Birk
Dorothy Miller Grace Pierce-Beck
Printing: . . . . . .Sprint Quality Printing, Inc. We can receive contributions
Ann Rydgren
through your United Way
Delaware Audubon Society, incorporated in payroll deduction designation. DIRECTORS FOR SERVICE UNTIL 2004:
1977, is a state- wide chapter of the National Our United Way designation Fred Breukelman David Chambers
Audubon Society. number is 9017.
DIRECTORS FOR SERVICE UNTIL 2005:
Peggy Jahn
VISIT DELAWARE AUDUBON'S WEBSITE Leslie Savage
http://www.delawareaudubon.org.
Sample educational, informative articles and features. Order books and other REPRESENTATIVES
goodies from the Marketplace! Search the archive of past articles. Visit our photo Sharon Burchenal, Dover
gallery. Survey legislative updates and Action Alerts. Email policy makers. Kay Tebbens Greene, Milford
Till Purnell, Millsboro
“Preserve Our Natural State” 3
WHAT YOU CAN DO...

VOLUNTEER
O P P O RT U N I T I E S
Join the fun!
Meet new people!
Do a great thing!

We need help in the following


MONITORING BLUEBIRD BOXES areas.

The first year I put up my Bluebird brood of Tree Swallows. I tried to


nest boxes, I was happy to see I had check the boxes every day and throw
one brood of Bluebirds and several out the sloppy nests House Sparrows
broo ds o f Tree Swallows. I have build with trash, twigs and feathers.
learned quite a bit since then.
Eastern Bi rds ’ Nes ts b y Hal H.
Volunteers
After the first brood fledged, I should Harrison helped me learn what the Make It
have cleaned out the old nesting different bird eggs look like. Bluebird Happen!
material. This keeps the nest box eggs ar e p ale blue or sometim es
clean. The Bluebirds will build a new white. Tree Swallow eggs are pure
nest for the second brood. white and they like to line their nests
with feathers. House Sparrow eggs
WE NEED YOU!
The second year I did a much better are white dotted with brown. When I
job of monitoring my Bluebird boxes. found Ho use Sp ar ro w n es ts I
V ATTORNEY
It’s a good thing, because the House destroyed th em. I l earned it was
Sparrows were determined to take E xpe ri enced in t ru st an d
import ant t o ke ep the Ho use
over all the Bluebird houses. The Sparrows from reproducing since they corporation law who will give
Bluebirds tried to nest in several take over the Bluebird boxes. advice pro b ono. This is a
boxes but the House Sparrows kept limited project, not litigation.
taking over. I did at least have one Ellen Wright
V BIRDSEED
Marketing Manager for our
fundraising birdseed sale in
SITE SEEING O ct ob er . We ne ed mor e
customers. One month a year.
This column will suggest Internet websites
that may be of interest to readers. If you V WELCOME WAGON
have a favorite that you think will interest Fun-loving, creative person
others, please send the address to us, needed to recruit and integrate
mail@delawareaudubon.org or call us at new members.
(302) 428-3959.

Please call 302-428-3959 and


<http://www.americanbirding.org/opps/> leave a message if you are
An on-line version of the American Birding Association’s OPPORTUNITIES interested in helping.
FOR BIRDERS directory. It lists projects by state that can use volunteer birders.
Please call Field Trip leaders ahead of time and register.
You will be notified if any changes arise. Most trips are 4
half-day. Dress according to the weather and ask leader if
waterproof boots, etc. are needed. 14 Wednesday 7:30 am
DELMARVA
M AY ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY
Spring Migrants. Brandywine
1 Thursday 6:00 pm Creek State Park Meet at the
ANNUAL DINNER AND SILENT AUCTION Park Maintenance Shop parking
Delcastle Inn off McKennan’s Church Road, Dr. Carolyn lot. Don Vasallo 302-478-1733
Thoroughgood will speak about Marine Studies at the
University of Delaware. 17 Saturday 7:00 am
For information please call 302-428-3959. GRASS DALE
Birding. Especially for
1 –31 beginners. Meet in the picnic
DELAWARE AUDUBON BIRDATHON area at Grass Dale Center on
Polktown Rd., Delaware City.
3 Saturday 6:00 am – 2:00 pm Please call, time may change.
GREAT CYPRESS SWAMP Ann Rydgren 302-235-0242.
Delmarva Ornithological Society. Meet at Boyd’s Corner
Park & Ride. Bring boots, lunch and bug spray. 17 Saturday 7:00-5:00
Kitt Heckscher 302-653-2880 INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD
DAY, Bombay Hook National
Wildlife Refuge Bird walks,
3 Saturday 7:30 am boat rides, horseshoe crabs and
FRIENDS OF WHITE CLAY CREEK WHITE CLAY CREEK STATE PARK more. For schedule of events,
Spring Migrants, Jeff Gordon. please call 302-653-6872
Meet at Chambers House Nature Center on Creek Road
north of Hopkins Road. No bird watching experience is 17 Saturday 8:00-4:00
necessary, just bring binoculars. For further information or INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD
to reserve a pair of loaner binoculars, call Friends of DAY, Prime Hook National
White Clay Creek State Park 302-239-2471. Wildlife Refuge Nature walks.
302-684-8419.
7 Wednesday 11:00 PM
DELMARVA ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY 27 Tuesday 6:30 - 9:00 pm
Rails. Meet at Boyd’s Corner Park & Ride, Rte13 & 301. DELAWARE CITY
Bring long boots. Andy Ednie 302-792-9591 Count herons and egrets as they
return to Pea Patch Island
10 Saturday rookery. Meet in the park at
DELMARVA ORNITHOLOGICAL SOCIETY the end of Clinton St.
Spring Count and International Migratory Bird Day DNREC Chris Bennett
John Janowski 302-834-9710 Chris.Bennett@state.de.us

31 Saturday 8:00 – Noon


I want Audubon to sponsor a program on SHOREBIRD & HORSESHOE CRAB
CONNECTION
.............................................................................................. Bombay Hook National Wildlife
(topic) in my area. Refuge. Meet at Refuge
Headquarters. Pre-registration
Name: .................................................................................. required, 302-653-6872.

Phone: ( )...................................................................... JUNE


7 Saturday
Zip Code: .............................................................................. Come and work on a new trail
with the FRIENDS OF WHITE CLAY
Send to: CREEK STATE PARK.
Program, Delaware Audubon Society Contact Wendel Cassel at
P.O. Box 1713, Wilmington DE 19899 (302) 737-3319 or
Wil1rog@aol.com.
5
News & Views
C L I M AT E U P S E T S BOARD ACTION
N AT I V E S P E C I E S
“Take Back Audubon”(TBA) is a movement of concerned
For w ild li f e, th e biggest wallop Chapter leaders and members who are seeking to reform
from global climate change may the National Audubon Society and its relationship with
not b e s p e c i e s e xt in cti on s bu t Chapters. An alternate slate of candidates for the National
m aj o r s h i f t s i n t h e m ak e- up o f Audubon Board will be proposed this year and an effort to
creature communities. enact resolutions to democratize National Audubon will be
made.
That’s the prediction from the most
ambitiou s ap plication yet of the “Take Back Audubon”’s m ission is to restore a true
computer model for climate change partnership between the independent Chapters and the
and biodiversity developed by A. National Audubon Society through a real voice in the
To w n s e n d Pe t e rso n of th e Audubon organization and in all decisions that affect
Uni v e r s i t y o f K an sas a n d h is chapters.
co ll e a g u e s . T h e y st ar ted w it h
information on the current ranges The Delaware Audubon Society Board of Directors voted to
of 1 ,8 7 0 b i r d s , mam m al an d support the mission of the TBA movement.
butterflies in Mexico. Their model
crun che d th e in formation under We believe that reform will make National Audubon more relevant. Your
various scenarios of climate change proxies will be needed at the next National Audubon annual meeting to pass
to predict the ranges of the species reform resolutions and elect board members that support those reforms. You will
in 2055. receive more information about these issues as events develop.

Fewer th an thr ee percent of the


spe c i e s w i l l g e t s qu ee ze d int o
extinction by then, according to the
model, but the mix of animals in a
lot of places will be different from
wh at i t i s t o d a y . Low la nd s, i n
particular, may have more than 40 J O I N D E L AWA R E A U D U B O N N O W !
pe r c e n t t u r n o v e r a mo n g t hei r
species, the researchers report in
the April 11 Nature.

Ecologist F. Stuart Chapin, III, of


the University of Alaska-Fairbanks
ca ll s t h e n e w m ode l “a r ea ll y
important step forward.” However,
he caut io ns that plenty of other
factors will combine with climate
to determine the ultimate ranges of
specie s. A n an imal might find a
m ore h o s p i t a b l e c li m ate b y
m ov i n g , b u t t h a t ’s no g o od i f
people have covered the escape
route with houses and asphalt.

Excerpt from S. Milius,


Science News
6
News & Views
President’s Letter continued from page 2 Chronology continued from page 1

other things the mercury releases, and JANUARY 2003 air-pollution issues. No discussion of
that the department did not know of No data concerning expected levels subsequent water issues was allowed.
the extent of the releases to the river. of oth er wa stew at er p ol lu ta nt s, DNREC orders Coastal Zone review.
including mercury, have yet to be
We held a pr ess conference and released by the company. FEBRUARY 2003
asked Motiva to not litigate and to Docum ents re le as ed u nder th e DNREC rejects Motiva’s wastewater
work speedily with DNREC to install Freedom of Information Act reveal permit application as incomplete.
the original regenerative scrubbers. doubts about the proposal within
We did not hear anything for a while. DNREC. DNREC rejects Motiva’s plan to install
DNREC said there was some talk with air-pollution control systems that
Motiva on this but not much progress. Company respons es to questions wo uld ha ve in cr eased t ox ic
from regulators are described as wa s tew at er re lea s es in to th e
DNREC has hired a consultant, a “evasive and superfluous” and “a bit Delaware River.
former British Petroleum executive, to insulting.” “Substantial” errors were
help them in their decisions. We do cited in Motiva’s descriptions of the Motiva must now seek permits for a
not know if this is good for us or not. plan—including a failure to fully potentially cleaner but more costly
He may want to suggest a describe the likelihood of mercury technology.
compromised settlement that would and other toxic metal releases to the
lean in favor of Motiva, and not the river. T he he ad of t he Envi ro nme nt al
citizens of Delaware. Protection Agency reaffirmed that the
Inform ation gaps a re c ite d in Federal government expects Motiva
In the meantime Motiva sent out a Motiva’s plan to curb air pollution. Enterprises to fulfill a 2001 agreement
letter to neighbors of the refinery and req ui ri ng i ts D el awa re Ci ty oil
said that the DNREC decision was The co mpa ny’ s f iling f ail ed to refinery to reduce toxic air emissions
wrong. Motiva held a “community mention me rc ury or ot he r to xi c wi th ou t in cr ea si ng the fl ow o f
meeti ng” in late March. In the metals or contaminants that could be pollution into the Delaware River.
meeti ng they sa id that that they released to the Delaware River.
woul d n ot litigate but that MARCH 2003
“regenerative” technology has never DNREC learned of the mercury risk Motiva Enterprises holds the first in a
been clearly defined. from an environmental group late last series of community meetings with
year. p ar t o f the s e ssion focu s ing o n
Motiva said they would work with pol lu ti on -c on tr ol pl ans a t th e
DNRE C an d th e E.P.A. on what Motiva provided DNREC with “the Delaware City Refinery.
“regenerative” really means and on data we k no w, ” ad ding : “We ’r e
getting the scrubbers installed once continuing our analysis on mercury DNREC has yet to receive specifics
they agreed. and more data will be submitted.” about Motiva’s plan.

Motiva and DNREC certainly seemed Company officials want DNREC to


to know what “regenerative” meant issue a permit for the first pollution- NOTE:
back in Ma rch 2001 when they control system by Feb. 17, despite “Regenerative”—recycle chemicals
settled on the consent decree. We are objections that the timetable prevents u se d i n th e scr ubb in g pr oc ess ,
looking to DNREC and the E.P.A. to a formal review of related wastewater diverting recovered wastes to other
hold Motiva to the original agreement concern s an d lim it s p ubli c uses or disposal in a landfill. This is
that will significantly improve our air participation. the process ordered in the Consent
quality without sacrificing the quality Decree.
of the Delaware River. State regulators have unanswered
questions. DNREC reported that they “Non-regenerative”—would use the
Thanks for your support, have no data from Motiva that their scrubber chemicals only once, and
Matt Del Pizzo technical experts can review. then, after treatment, send them into
The public hearing was restricted to the river.
7
News & Views
B i rd Ta l e s . . .
for a minute or so, then took off few flecks of white (but were
toward the old farm behind our t he y fle cks, or we re th ey
house. underfeathers showing through
after being ruffled in flight?);
It was so exciting to see this u n derp ar ts whit e wi th s ome
hawk in action, it was hard to brown; a nicely proportioned,
concentrate on the markings, noble looking head (didn’t make
even when he was practically no te o f eye c ol or —s ee
sit ting ri ght u nder m y no se ! “adrenaline,” above); and of
(Blinded again by adrenaline, course that dramatic, striped tail.
dontcha know.) The main thing I The NAFG says of the Cooper’s
2/11/03 noticed was his considerable and Sharp-Shinned, respectively,
size. I did try to study the end of “Immature brown above with
Big excitement in the yard this the tail, which seemed to be w hit is h s po ts, cre amy-wh ite
morning! The hawk was back! I straight, but I can’t be 100% below, with streaks on breast,
saw him (?) go bulleting by in certain due to looking at him b arr in g on f lanks ” a nd
o ne di re ction, a large blur from an angle. But wouldn’t a “Immature brown above, whitish
causing the finches to scatter straight tail make him a Sharp- below with fine streaks.”
from the feeders. A few minutes Shinned Hawk? The National
later, once the finches had re- Audubon Field Guide describes I guess it’s going to take time,
grouped, I got a clearer look at them as “jay-sized, fast-flying.” p at ie nce , a nd f ur th er
him as he came swooshing by in He was certainly fast-flying— observation for me to get the
th e other direction, feathers very impressive!—but jay sized? hang of this hawk business—if
flaring as he came in low under I joked with my husband that not a pair of those binoculars
the feeders and swung back up this hawk uses jays for scuffy with a built-in digital camera!
and landed on the fence near bedroom slippers!
our window—even closer to the Mary Leah Christmas
window than the last time I saw I also tried to concentrate on the
him, on January 10. He sat there coloring. Brown on back with a

HEREIS A
B i rd Ta l e s . . . BIRD FOR YOU
TO COLOR.
American Robin
The American Robin Turdus migratorius, one of the
best known birds in North America, was so named by
the early colonists because, although much larger, it
reminded them of the English Robin.

For more information and a color picture of the bird go


to our website delawareaudubon.org.
8
BOOKS OF INTEREST
N O M I N AT I O N S
FOR YEAR
Progger: A Life on the Marsh by Tony Florio 2003-2004
Smyrna-Clayton Heritage Association, Smyrna, DE. $20.
Matthew DelPizzo - President
“Legen d ” is a w ord frequently end of a bean sprayer loaded with Leslie Savage - Vice President
associated with Tony Florio. As a paint. Secretary - Ellen J. Wright
renow ned ar ti st and wildlife Treasurer - Mark Martell
biolo gist , he has earned it. His In addition to many idyllic scenes,
current book of observations is a Florio touches on everything from Board of Directors
valued addition to Delawareana. the excursion steamers which used
to ply the area 100 years ago, to the Directors for service until 2006:
State’s first attempts at mosquito Nicholas DiPasquale
control, to Florio’s techniques for Dorothy Miller
fine-tuning the rocket nets used in
the Canada Goose banding process.
Also included are discussions of Submitted by the Nominating
Delaware’s wetland plants, local Committee:
Progger rec ounts Florio’s tidema rs h featu res and Fl orio’s Asha Iyengar
experiences living on the marsh at defense of hunting. Each chapter Leslie Savage
the Woodland Beach Wildlife Area contains scratchboard illustrations Matthew DelPizzo
in Delaware, which included such by the author.
unromantic things as run-ins with
snakes and being on the receiving MLC