Carney Administration Continues to Push Climate Change Initiatives in Delaware
Since taking office in January 2017, Governor Carney has emphasized the threat that climate change poses to Delaware as the nation’s lowest-lying state. In July 2019, Governor Carney continued efforts to curb climate change in the First State by directing Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to adopt regulations curbing the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), greenhouse gases that are commonly used in a variety of applications, including refrigeration, air-conditioning, building insulation, fire extinguishing systems, and aerosols. HFCs were adopted by industry as replacements for ozone-depleting substances, although HFCs have high global warming potential, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Governor Carney directed DNREC to propose regulations by March 2020 that will eliminate the use of HFCs in Delaware. Delaware will join several other states that have introduced or are developing HFC phase-out rules, including California, New York, Maryland, Connecticut, Vermont, and Washington.
Meanwhile renewable energy projects continue to develop and expand in and around Delaware. The Bruce A. Henry Solar Farm, which is located outside of Georgetown, Delaware in Sussex County, announced plans to nearly double the size of the 23-acre solar facility. A proposed offshore wind farm project located off the coast of Bethany Beach is also in the works. The current plans for the wind farm involve installing an electric grid under Delaware’s Fenwick Island State Park. DNREC is currently reviewing public comments on the proposed changes.