Small State, Big Problems This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


      Mostpeople in the United States have little knowledge of the small state of Delawarewhere I live. A common response is, "Dela where?" But, in our smallstate, there is a very big pollution problem that has to be solved before ourcitizens start dying at alarming rates. Many factories and chemical companiesonly seem to care about the bottom line and are polluting the air we breathe andthe water we drink.

One Delaware refinery topped 464 chemical plantsnationwide for the amount of MBTE (a gasoline additive that pollutes groundwater)released. While industries strive to be on top financially, they are pushing thelimits by also being some of the nation's leading industrial pollution sources.In addition to the natural resources that are being plundered, the citizens ofthis state are developing a high rate of cancer and bronchialdiseases.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventorystates that, in 2000, over 9.8 million pounds of toxic wastes were dumped intoour land, water and air. Vinyl chloride is a cancer-causing product that is usedin plastics production and is one of the major problems Delaware is dealing with.Why doesn't the state do something?

Our governor recently received $6.9million to fix the problems, but I highly doubt that this money will fix thehealth problems that plague our land. Polluters (like an oil company thatdispenses sulfur-containing wastes) releasing almost 20 tons of sulfur dioxideevery day into the air, aren't being punished. The environmental laws in Delawaremake companies pay fines, but they are so insignificant that they are notdeterrents.

Let's hope this new money will help improve the air webreathe and purify the water we drink. All this in my one little state - do youknow what's going on in yours?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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DifferentTeen said...
Aug. 5, 2010 at 4:16 pm
I was born in Staten Island, New York, and I moved to Seaford DE. So Honestly the pollution here is not AS bad as it could be, but I'll admit its not completely gone either.
 
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