The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has ordered a seafood processor and a clamshell distributor to screen the shells for ordnance, following the discovery of explosives in driveways in Kent and Sussex counties this year.
DNREC Secretary John Hughes issued the orders to Perry Butler of Greenwood and to Seawatch International of Milford, Del., in order to stop the spread of unexploded military ordnance in clamshells used for residential and commercial driveways.
No penalty has been assessed against either Butler or Seawatch. The DNREC order requires them to follow specific guidelines to ensure that explosive ordnances are not transported or distributed to any Delaware business or residence.
Seawatch International, a seafood processing center in Milford, receives both shellfish and debris from commercial fisherman who dredge the ocean floor. Seawatch has collected and then distributed clamshells to Perry Butler of Greenwood, Del. who redistributes the clamshells throughout Kent and Sussex counties, primarily for driveway use.
Military ordnance was found earlier this year in clamshell driveways in both Kent and Sussex counties. The shells were received by Seawatch in loads of clams dredged
from the ocean floor off the coast of New Jersey.
The Delaware State Police Explosive Ordnance Unit responded to nineteen separate incidents in which military ordnance had been recovered in clamshell driveways from
Jan. 1 to Oct. 8. Butler was issued cease and desist orders on Oct. 27 and again on
Nov. 26 prohibiting him from transporting or delivering unscreened clamshells.
The intent of the orders is to continue to prohibit transportation or delivery of unscreened clamshells either from the Seawatch facility or from any existing stockpiles to customers’ driveways.
“These orders, like the two that preceded it, are necessary to protect the citizens of Delaware from inadvertently coming into contact with disposed military ordnance that may continue to be embedded in the processed clamshells,” Hughes said. “Meanwhile, the known
The order directs Seawatch:
- To ensure that all clamshells collected have been scanned;
- To make immediate notification of any explosive ordnance detected; and
To manage detected ordnance in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
In addition, Seawatch is required to develop a detection procedures workplan for review by the Department within 30 days from the date of the order.
Both parties have 30 days to request a public hearing.