Delmarva Stockpiles Propane, Keeps Chickens Warm

Propane heats many poultry residents of the Delmarva Peninsula. (image: Compassion in World Farming via

With winter coming, the Delmarva Peninsula — that three-state thumb of land running down the Mid-Atlantic — is stockpiling propane to brace against cold-weather shortages.

The region lost its 20-million gallon emergency reserve last year, the Salisbury Daily Times reports, when Valero shuttered a Delaware facility that had provided Delmarva with about half its propane.

The move isn’t just about keeping Delmarvians warm. Poultry is big business on the peninsula, which is home to Perdue Farms. And propane heats the chicken houses. “An interruption during the winter would be devastating to the industry,” a Maryland state senator told the Daily Times.

In a public-private partnership, Maryland kicked in $250,000 to help a Dorchester County facility triple its propane stockpile ahead of any foul weather. But despite growing demand for propane in the region, the new reserve is teensy next to the old Valero supply site: this one holds 304,000 gallons.

Sidenote: The word Delmarva is a mish-mash of DELaware, MARyland, and VirginiA.

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