DNREC issues Secretary’s Order and penalty notice to Oakwood Village at Lewes LLC for sediment and stormwater violations

DOVER – DNREC Secretary David Small has issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty Assessment and Secretary’s Order to Oakwood Village at Lewes LLC (Oakwood Village) for violations of Delaware’s sediment and stormwater regulations, and Regulations Governing the Control of Water Pollution. The order includes an administrative penalty of $36,900 and an additional $5,535 in cost recovery reimbursement to DNREC.

Oakwood Village is a multi-phase subdivision in Sussex County comprising almost 64 acres with 115 single family units. The subdivision is being built in phases and is in the process of completing the final phase. Unless exempted under state law and Delaware’s sediment and stormwater Regulations, any entity disturbing land greater than 5,000 square feet (one-eighth acre) must comply with its approved sediment and stormwater management plan from DNREC or its delegated agencies.

The Sussex Conservation District referred Oakwood Village to DNREC for enforcement action in July 2014. Subsequent construction site reviews at Oakwood Village found six violations between July and October of 2014. The violations cited by DNREC were: deficiencies of the stabilized construction entrance, inlet protection, vegetative stabilization, silt fence, and maintenance.

The Secretary’s Order can be found on DNREC’s website at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/SecOrders_Enforcement.aspx.

Oakwood Village has 30 days to request a public hearing.

Media Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 63

With storm damage repairs almost complete, DNREC plans to reopen southern section of Gordons Pond Trail this week

DOVER – Repairs are nearly complete on a 2.5-mile section of the Gordons Pond Trail in Cape Henlopen State Park that had been closed last month due to damage associated with the Jan. 22-24 winter storm that struck Delaware’s coast. The storm rendered the section of Gordons Pond Trail, south of the end of the elevated boardwalk, unsafe for public use and closed it while repairs were made. The trail will reopen Friday, March 4, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced today.

The Gordons Pond Trail was completed in 2014 and consists of a 2.5 mile stone-dust trail and a half mile section of elevated boardwalk. The trail brings bikers and hikers through a previously little-known area of Cape Henlopen State Park. With repairs made and the final section of the trail completed, the Gordons Pond Trail will be part of an 18 mile circuit that includes the Junction & Breakwater Trail and surface roads in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach.

Media Contacts: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902; or Patrick Cooper 302-227-2800, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation

Vol. 46, No. 62

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrest Felton man on drug charges, multiple warrants

MILFORD – Following a traffic stop for trespassing on a state wildlife area Feb. 26, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a Felton man at Blairs Pond Boat Ramp in Milford on drug-related charges and multiple warrants.

Mahdi R. Wilson, 23, was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled or counterfeit substance/heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area and littering/dumping on a state wildlife area. Wilson was arraigned in Justice of the Peace Court 3 in Georgetown and released on $2,500 unsecured bond.

Wilson also was arraigned on two warrants out of Delaware State Police Troop 3. On the first warrant, he was charged with criminal impersonation, driving without a valid license, driving with a suspended or revoked license and speeding in excess of 55 mph on a four-lane or divided highway, and released on $3,100 unsecured bond pending a court date in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas. On the second warrant, Wilson was charged with criminal impersonation, driving with a suspended or revoked license and speeding in excess of posted limits, and released on $3,050 unsecured bond, also pending a court date in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas. In addition, Wilson was arraigned on a capias out of Kent County Superior Court for which he was released on minimal bond pending a court date.

A passenger in Wilson’s vehicle was cited for trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area.

“State wildlife areas, fishing piers and boat launching facilities are closed to the public from sunset to sunrise unless a person is actively and lawfully engaged in fishing, hunting or boating in accordance with state regulations and individual wildlife area rules,” said Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “We routinely monitor wildlife areas statewide for after-hours activity, and individuals who are found in these areas between sunset and sunrise and not engaged in these activities as described face fines up to $100 for trespassing after hours.”

For more information on state wildlife areas, including the rules and regulations specific to each wildlife area, click Delaware Wildlife Area Maps. These maps also are available in hard copy at DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030 or online at http://de.gov/ogt.

Media Contacts: Sgt. John McDerby, Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913 or 302-354-1386, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 64

Department of Insurance Recovered $1.9 Million For Delaware Policyholders in 2015

 Commissioner Stewart: DOI Also Saved Businesses $9M in Workers Comp Costs 

Dover, DE – Last year the Delaware Department of Insurance recovered more than $1.9 million for policyholders, and helped business owners save nearly $9.3 million in workers’ compensation insurance costs. DOI also collected over $105 million through fees, fines and insurance premium taxes during FY2015, and distributed most of those dollars to Delaware fire companies and ambulance services, the police pension fund, and the state’s general fund.

These figures were among the highlights of the presentation made to the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee on February 16 by Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart and her staff.  “Consumers are always our primary focus at the Department,” said Commissioner Stewart. “My staff wants Delawareans to know their rights when dealing with insurance companies. I am really proud that we were able to intervene on behalf of consumers and recover this much money for policyholders.”

DOI’s appearance at Legislative Hall differs from most state agencies’ presentations to the JFC. Instead of asking the legislature for financial support, the Insurance Department covers its own operating costs with a portion of revenue obtained through insurance premium taxes and other fees and fines. Pursuant to state law, DOI then makes contributions through the State Treasurer’s office to various state and local accounts. During fiscal 2015, the Department provided $38.4 million of the tax revenue to Delaware’s volunteer fire companies, the City of Wilmington fireman’s pension fund, ambulance service providers throughout the State, and the police pension fund. In addition, $3.8 million was transferred to the workers’ compensation assistance fund and $1 million went to the reserve fund for victims of insurance fraud.  The remaining $62.3 million was deposited into the general fund for use as the State deems appropriate.

The Department returned over $1.9 to consumers in two ways. DOI advocated for policyholders during disputes with insurance companies and recovered nearly $1.1 for individuals last year (handling 4,450 formal complaints and inquiries). In addition, the Department facilitated arbitration hearings on behalf of consumers which led to awards totaling $816,384.

DOI also succeeded in saving money for Delaware businesses through its Workplace Safety Program, which allows employers to earn discounts of up to 19 percent on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums if they meet certain safety requirements by undergoing voluntary inspections. The 1,481 businesses enrolled in the program in 2015 saved in excess of $9 million, according to Delaware Compensation Ratings Bureau estimates. The DOI continues to work with employers and insurers to promote the benefits of the program.

The Department of Insurance is also home to the Delaware Medicare Assistance Bureau (DMAB), formerly known as ELDERinfo. DMAB staff assists Medicare recipients with questions related to Medicare, Medigap (Medicare supplement) insurance, Medicare Part D (prescription medication plans), Medicare Advantage plans, and other financial assistance programs. DMAB assisted more than 7,000 beneficiaries through telephone calls, face-to-face meetings, and e-mail and helped saved beneficiaries nearly $840,000 in 2015.

If you need help with insurance matters, call the Department at (302) 674-7300, or (800) 282-8611 for Consumer Services. For more information on the Workplace Safety Program, call 302-674-7377. Visit our website www.delawareinsurance.gov  for more resources and links.


Delaware Department of Insurance: “Protecting Delawareans through regulation
and education while providing oversight of the insurance industry to best serve the public.”

New urban agriculture and community garden micro-grants available

DOVER — Organizations wanting to launch or expand an urban agriculture or community garden project to benefit their neighborhood can apply for new micro-grants from the Delaware Department of Agriculture, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee announced today.

“The last few years have seen tremendous growth and interest in local community agriculture projects across our state, and we want to support that even more,” Kee said. “These micro-grants will provide seed money to get gardens off the ground or expand current ventures. They will strengthen their communities, provide nutritious locally grown foods, and help our young people develop connections to the land.”

The pilot micro-grant program offers up to $1,000 per project for supplies, materials, seeds, or minor equipment. Under this year’s pilot program, $10,000 in reimbursement funding is available statewide.

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations, religious organizations, municipalities, schools, or organized neighborhood associations. For-profit businesses and individuals are not eligible.

Applications must be received by 4:30 p.m. April 1.

For more information and an application, visit de.gov/urbanag, email dda.marketing@delaware.gov, or call the Department of Agriculture Marketing Section at 302-698-4500.
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Dan Shortridge
Director of Communications & Marketing
Delaware Department of Agriculture