CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Secretary O’Mara modifies Order for Peninsula
Compost Co. to require investment in regular
compliance inspections and other community projects
DOVER (April 24, 2014) – DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara has amended an order to Peninsula Compost Co. LLC for environmental violations to require the company to spend a portion of the penalty assessed by DNREC on a consultant to assist in achieving compliance at the Wilmington facility. The original order was issued following compliance inspections that uncovered an assortment of waste and odor violations outside the company’s operating permit.
Peninsula Compost Company owns and operates Wilmington Organic Recycling Center (WORC), a commercial food and yard waste composting facility at 612 Christiana Avenue on 27 acres across from the Port of Wilmington. The company operates under a beneficial use determination (BUD) permit issued almost six years ago, most recently modified in 2013 enabling WORC to accept and process hatchery waste, food waste, yard waste, wood waste and animal bedding into compost.
DNREC’s amended Secretary’s Order calls for Peninsula Compost Co. to pay $15,000 of the original $25,000 penalty in cash, plus $3,750 in estimated cost recovery for the company’s BUD violations. The order also requires the company to spend at least $20,000 on consulting services to improve compliance, provide organics diversion education to non-profits, provide compostable bags to non-profits, and to accept certain quantities of organic waste from non-profits for free.
The Secretary’s Order was originally issued to Peninsula in response to environmental violations that included: various material waste piles exceeding size-limits; odors; material being stored outside of approved boundary limits, existence of prohibited waste; inadequate financial assurance, and a record-keeping issue. Some of these violations were determined by DNREC to be ongoing.
Despite the violations noted, DNREC recently found no problems with the quality of the finished product composted by Peninsula and WORC. Finished compost is tested by the facility, then reviewed by DNREC, which requires that it meet specific criteria within a number of parameters. Compost is a beneficial soil amendment that helps retain moisture, improves soil fertility, and suppresses plant diseases and pests. It has been shown to promote higher yields of agricultural crops and also is coveted for use on lawns, in home gardens, and in farm fields.
The amended order can be found on the DNREC website.
Vol. 44, No. 122