DNREC is working every day to reduce the public health risks for toxic air pollutants. Through former Governor Ruth Ann Minner’s “Livable Delaware” initiative, programs such as the Alternative Commuting Initiative and “Ride Share Delaware” are helping make a difference by encouraging Delawareans to reduce air pollution. In addition, DNREC is promoting air quality planning into the land use approval process to promote “Livable Delaware” growth management goals .
DNREC is responsible for statewide air quality monitoring and communications, issuing ozone advisories. Through DNREC’s enforcement and permitting programs, air toxic pollutants are regulated. Other programs, the Toxics Release Inventory, the Clean Air Act for Motor Vehicles, and the Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance Program, are in place to reduce air toxic pollutants and improve air quality.
DNREC has fostered partnerships with stakeholders, government agencies, and industry and community groups, which have led to programs that address Delaware’s air quality. Partners, including the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), the Transportation Management Association (TMA), the Delaware Division of Public Health, DelDOT, and Astra Zeneca, have been instrumental in such programs as the Ozone Action Partnership and the Ozone Action Awareness Week.
A partnership with the Delaware Soybean Board, a farmer-led organization working to promote a more profitable soybean industry, has resulted in the use of a cleaner-burning alternative to diesel fuel, now used at DNREC’s Indian River Marina and by State of Delaware fleets. Thanks to the efforts of partnerships between the Delaware Soybean Board, the Delaware Department of Agriculture, and DNREC, environmentally-friendly fuels including soy biodiesel and ethanol are now available at public fueling locations throughout the state.
DNREC’s Green Energy Program, Technology Demonstration Program, Research and Development Program, Clean State Program, ENERGY STAR Program, and partnership in the Delaware Bioenergy Consortium – all provide effective ways and incentives to improve air quality through the use of renewable energy technologies, including wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass energy, alternative fuel vehicles, and energy efficiency practices.
DNREC ombudsmen and educators have developed presentations, materials, and exhibits designed to educate school children and the general public on air quality. They travel to schools and public events and meetings throughout the state educating our citizens on ways they can reduce hazardous air pollutants and improve the air that we breathe.