The Pickering Metaphor

Pickering Beach

Yesterday I took some time out of the hustle and bustle and decided to go to the beach.  I like beaches that are secluded and don’t have a ton of people around.  Just me and the water.  I live not too far from Pickering Beach.  You don’t get the big waves like you do down at Rehoboth or Dewey, but it is very peaceful.  If you drive down Route 9 past Dover, you will see a sign on your left for it.  Yesterday’s visit was a little different this time.

When I go to Pickering, I make it a point to have enough time to walk all the way down the strand.  At the end, when you can’t go anymore, there is a tidal area.  It is filled with birds and sand and life.  It is also one of the most peaceful areas in Delaware if you just want to sit down and enjoy some quiet time.  I first went there back in 2006.  I would find myself returning there, usually when I needed some peace and calm in my life.

Like I said, my visit yesterday was different.  During one or several of the storms this fall, a lot of the beach eroded.  There is a huge area with seaweed all the way up to the dunes.  Not just any seaweed, but quicksand seaweed.  Where you walk in it and your feet go down until you feel water.  Can’t really walk through hundreds of yards of that!

I really wanted to get to the tidal pool yesterday.  I braved my way around the seaweed as best I could until I couldn’t anymore.  It reminded me of life in a funny way.  We have a destination and sometimes we think the road there is going to be really easy.  Until we realize it isn’t.  Do we keep going?  Even if it means putting yourself in a tough position?  Do we sit and wait if it means you might be uncomfortable for a while?  I have to believe that at some point I will be able to get to the tidal pool again.  It may not be today or tomorrow, but the path will be clear again.  It’s when you’re stuck in the weeds that life really happens.  That’s where you make the tough decisions- go on, give up, or wait it out.

I never made it to the tidal pool.  I gave it my very best shot until I couldn’t go on anymore.  I could easily sit there and think I will never see that place again.  Or I can take comfort in the fact that I will get there.  Just not today.  I can still see it perfectly in my mind.  I have an odd memory like that.  I know what the destination is.  But it isn’t the same as being there.  I need to be okay with that.  I need to know that while there are obstacles in my way, they won’t always be there.  Sometimes you just have to have faith.  Giving up, while it may see like the easy thing to do, isn’t really an option.  When you give up you will never reach what you are looking for.  When you can’t go on, you have to wait if you want it.

I can’t be there yet.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to go back and look to see if the path is clear.  I’ll enjoy the journey there even I can’t get there yet.  I’ll take more pictures and sing on the beach as my mp3 player cranks out tunes.  I’ll pick up a shiny rock and wonder at how perfectly smooth it is.  I’ll look at my footprints and wonder about other footprints that didn’t make it as far as I did.  I’ll do funny stuff with the sand.  I’ll stare out into the water and feel peace and calm.  I’ll look at the bright blue sky with the sun shining on me and thank God I’m alive.  I’ll write the words in the sand that mean more than a line in the sand.  This is the Pickering Metaphor.  A simple walk turned into the meaning of life.


Is The DuPont Hay Road Dioxin Pile Already Leaking? All Delaware Citizens Need To Read This!

Chemours, DuPont, Titanium Dioxide
The below information was forwarded to me today.  It is an email from John Kearney with the New Jersey Department of Children and Families to Delaware State Representative John Kowalko.  Yesterday, Kowalko started a petition for the removal of a dangerous toxic pile of waste at the former DuPont currently Chemours site at 1201 Hays Road in Wilmington, DE.  The petition stated the following:
Protect the health of Delaware’s residents by mandating the total removal of the hazardous waste pile built from 1997-2001 by DuPont at its Edge Moor facility, containing titanium dioxide, benzene and other life-threatening toxins and carcinogens.
Governor Markell, we the undersigned demand that you protect the health and welfare of Delaware’s residents by mandating the total removal of the hazardous waste pile containing titanium dioxide, benzene, and a host of other life-threatening toxins at the Edge Moor facility, holding both DuPont and Chemours fully liable (jointly and severally) for any costs borne by taxpayers for cleanup.
This caught the eye of John Kearney with the Department of Children and Families over in New Jersey who did some rather clever detective work on this issue, and the below results are startling.  If I were a family living in this area, and you are facing any potential health issues, I would seek advice immediately.
Is DuPont’s Hay Road dioxin Pile already leaking?  I’m unsure whether DuPont passed this liability off via its recently conceived Chemours entity, but that veil can be legally pierced to hold DuPont responsible for this location; therefore I am going to continue to refer to this as the DuPont Dioxin Pile.
Wasn’t this supposed to be a lifetime cap solution?  Is their lifetime solution already starting to wear down?
Earlier today I read Jeff Montgomery’s New Journal story about the closing of the Chemours Facility on Hay Road and then I went to Google Maps to look at satellite images of the caped Dioxin Pile.  While looking at the Google images of the Dioxin pile on Hay Road, I noticed something interesting.  It looks like the pile has already been leaking and that they have patched it.  Grey material can been seen in the recent pictures of the location that is not shown in older pictures.   This grey material clearly looks like a patch that has been added by DuPont.
This first set of pictures was from the satellite pictures included with the August 21, 2015, News Journal story  regarding  the closing of the Chemours,  Edgemoor facility.    From these pictures, it looks like some green runoff has pooled in the south east corner of  the capped DuPont Edgemoor site (see below).  If you look close, it looks like the green material goes all the way up to the base of the cap.  See the next set of pictures below.  I have marked the locations with red arrows and labels.  The patch is not in the picture included with the  August 21, 2015, News Journal story.    
The pictures and News Journal story can be found here:
This is the picture included with the August 21, 2015, News Journal story: 
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image001.png@01D0E180.6950F080
Close up showing that the green wastewater extends all the way up to the edge of the pile:
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image002.png@01D0E182.28BAC030
The red arrows show what looks like could be the source of the leak because the green color can been seen all the way up here, the furthest west that this material can be seen.
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image003.png@01D0E182.28BAC030
Now, if you go to the current pictures on Google Maps.  There is a cap in this exact location.  The cap appears to be made of the same material that they have placed around the edge of the pile and the same material as a patch on top of the pile.  This ridge of material around the edge of the pile, almost looks like a bad caulking job in an old bathtub.  The patch in the latest Google pictures is clearly made of the same material.  Again, this patch is not present in the pictures included with the News Journal Edgemoor closing story.   There also appears to be less standing green wastewater in the more recent pictures.  See below. 
Another close up showing this cap is not present in the older Google Maps pictures:
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image004.png@01D0E182.99862D90
This series of pictures is taken from the current Google Maps pictures.  You can follow this link and see for yourself:
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image005.png@01D0E182.F04D72F0
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image008.png@01D0E186.85487550
Here is a close up of that same location shown above near the source of the leak.   A comparison between the picture included in the August 21, 2015, News Journal story and the current pictures found at the Google Maps website on August 28, 2015, indicates that this is a recent patch.  Current Google Maps images in use on the Google website can be anywhere from a few months old to, approximately, two years old. 
This is a closeup of the patch.  The grey material can be seen covering the entire area, where in the older pictures, no grey material can be seen at this location.
Conspicuous black line and current leak without the red markup.  This line also was not in the August 21, 2015  New Journal article about the closing of the Edge Moor facility:
Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: cid:image011.png@01D0E185.CBE66B80
Why would this patch be there, if the pile wasn’t leaking?  Did DuPont report this leak to DNREC?  What is in this green wastewater runoff?  What toxins are contained in the runoff?  I sure would like to know.
Please see this recent story from the Huffington Post regarding DuPont and C8 as an example of how honest DuPont has been with these types of leaks:
John Kearney
Yesterday, James Dawson with WDDE/Delaware Public Media published an article about the toxic pile.  In this article, he wrote:

The nearly 23-acre site sits next to the Delaware River, east of I-495 and within a mile of surrounding neighborhoods and other waterways. Earlier this spring, Dupont installed more than 4,000 solar panels on part of the encapsulated pile that generate enough electricity to power nearly 150 homes for a year, on average.

Kowalko proposed legislation in 2007 and 2009 that would have forced companies to safely treat, store or dispose of hazardous waste they generate in Delaware according to federal standards.

“Once we allow these things to accumulate, eventually, we’re looking tragedy in the eye,” said Kowalko. “I think that we have to be more respectful of what we are using, what we are making, what we are distributing and how we are storing it in between distribution.”

The legislation did not pass.  While I don’t normally write about matters outside of the education/disabilities realm, this concerns me.  The Delaware DOE and their standardized testing vendor, American Institutes for Research questioned the overdiagnosing of special education needs for students with disabilities and openly stated Delaware’s percentage of students with IEPs was too high compared to most states.  I took great offense to this.  Delaware is known to be one of the most polluted states in the country.  Disabilities are on the rise across America, especially in Delaware.  The Autism Task Force stated they expect the number of Autism cases in this state to rise significantly in the future.  Is there a connection between the rise of disabilities in Delaware and situations like these that happen right before our very eyes while the Delaware government looks the other way?  In addition, how many cases of cancer and dangerous diseases could be attributed to these man-made environmental poisons?  Questions to ponder as this “capped” pile of toxic waste continues to pose a grave danger for all around it.