DNREC hosts its first virtual public hearing

DOVER, Del. – To keep operating amid ongoing concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control yesterday held its first virtual public hearing. The topic of the hearing, which was held by DNREC’s Division of Air Quality as scheduled, was proposed revisions to Delaware’s federally required State Implementation Plan regarding air emissions.

“In order to keep our employees and community safe, we must minimize group gatherings and maintain a distance of at least six feet,” said Secretary Shawn Garvin. “This could create a challenge to schedule a hearing, especially those required to be public by law. Our team acted quickly to coordinate with the Department of Technology and Information and with counsel from the Department of Justice to set up this virtual option to keep getting business done during the coronavirus period.”

Facilitated by videoconferencing provider WebEx, virtual attendees were able to see and hear the proceedings and view PowerPoint slides in real time. They were able to review the hearing notice and all exhibits online, and can offer written comments for inclusion into the hearing record through April 9, 2020.

The hearing addressed revisions to the State Implementation Plan in three areas: certification of Delaware’s Emission Statement program, Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) program, and state requirements for Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT). The objectives of the proposed revisions are to certify that Delaware’s programs for emissions statements, NNSR, and RACT, as defined in air quality regulations under the Delaware Code, meet all the requirements of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ground-level ozone.

The proposed revisions may be inspected online with written comments being accepted now through April 9 via the online comment form or via email to DNRECHearingComments@delaware.gov or via email to Lisa Vest, DNREC Office of the Secretary, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. For more information on the proposed revisions, email mark.prettyman@delaware.gov.

Wednesday’s hearing provided a template that DNREC will use for future public hearings and meetings during the period under the Governor’s order. For notices of DNREC’s upcoming public meetings and hearings, and information on how to join them virtually, visit dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/public-hearings.


The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov