DNREC announces release of Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act Regulatory Advisory Committee Report

DNREC LogoDover — The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today that DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin has released the Final Report and Recommendations of the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC). The report was presented to DNREC by the RAC Chairman, retired Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy Holland, and contains the committee’s recommendations regarding the regulatory approach and content of new regulations for Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act governing conversion permits.

HB 190, the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, was signed into law by Governor John Carney in August 2017. The Act authorizes DNREC to issue permits for construction and operation of new heavy industry uses within 14 existing sites of heavy industry use within the state’s Coastal Zone. It also authorizes DNREC to issue permits for the bulk transfer of products under certain circumstances. The Act requires DNREC to develop and promulgate regulations for the issuance of conversion permits by Oct 1, 2019.

“The RAC’s recommendations will serve as the guide to DNREC as we draft the conversion permit regulations,” said Secretary Garvin. “I greatly appreciate the time and effort of the RAC members and I commend them in their ability to not only develop the recommendations, but to work together to reach consensus on almost all of their recommendations. I thank Justice Holland and our facilitators from the Consensus Building Institute for their incredible leadership in this process that will serve as the gold standard for future regulatory advisory committees.”

RAC recommendations in the CZCP report address several key topic areas, including:

  • Environmental impact
  • Economic effect
  • Offsets
  • Financial assurance
  • Plans for potential impacts of sea level rise and coastal storms
  • Cross-cutting issues (that affect more than one of the other CZCP key topic areas, such as permit duration, renewal, modifications, revocation, reporting and monitoring)

DNREC will now prepare draft regulations that will be published in the Delaware Register on June 1, 2019. The draft regulations will go through a full regulatory development process, including public comment and a public hearing to be held later in June.

To view or download a copy of the CZCP report, please visit de.gov/conversionpermits. To receive updates on the regulatory process for developing the conversion permit, you can also subscribe to the Coastal Zone Act email listserv by sending a blank email to join-dnrec_coastal_zone@lists.state.de.us.

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

Vol. 49, No. 115

-End-


Governor Carney, Delaware Prosperity Partnership to Host Conversations on Economic Development

Public events scheduled in all three counties to discuss Delaware’s economy, economic development

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership (DPP) announced community conversations on economic development efforts scheduled in all three counties. Governor Carney, co-chair of the DPP, will join DPP President, W. Kurt Foreman, as well as DPP staff and board members, to provide an update on the public-private partnership that leads economic development for the state.

The Delaware Prosperity Partnership is responsible for attracting, growing and retaining businesses; building a stronger entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem; and supporting private employers in identifying, recruiting and developing talent in the state of Delaware. The state jointly funds the partnership’s operations with private business.

Governor Carney worked closely with members of the General Assembly to approve the concept and funding for the public-private entity. In August 2017, Governor Carney signed House Bill 226, creating the Delaware Prosperity Partnership and the Division of Small Business within the Delaware Department of State.

Governor Carney signed Executive Order #1 on his first full day in office to create the Economic Development Working Group to explore a new economic development strategy. Governor Carney’s economic development plan was built on recommendations from the Economic Development Working Group. Strategically partnering with the private sector on economic growth was a key recommendation of the Governor’s Action Plan for Delaware.

DPP Community Conversations on Economic Development

Each event is open to members of the public and press.

Tuesday, February 19 – GEORGETOWN

WHO: Governor John Carney
  W. Kurt Foreman, President, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  Becky Harrington, Director of Business Development, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  Rob Rider, CEO, O.A. Newton and Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  Ed Kee, Former Secretary of Agriculture and Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Representative Bill Bush, Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Representative Lyndon Yearick, Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Senator Ernesto Lopez
  State Senator David Wilson
  State Representative Daniel Short

 

WHEN: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  5:30 p.m.

 

WHERE: Delaware Technical Community College
  Jack Owens Campus
  21179 College Drive
  Georgetown, DE 19947

 

Wednesday, March 20 – DOVER

WHO: Governor John Carney
  W. Kurt Foreman, President, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  Becky Harrington, Director of Business Development, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  State Representative Lyndon Yearick, Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Senator Colin Bonini
  State Senator Dave Lawson
  State Representative Kevin Henlsey

 

WHEN: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
  6:00 p.m.

 

WHERE: Delaware Technical Community College
  Charles L. Terry Campus, Jr.
  100 Campus Drive
  Dover, DE 19904

 

Tuesday, April 2 – WILMINGTON

WHO: Governor John Carney
  W. Kurt Foreman, President, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  Becky Harrington, Director of Business Development, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
  State Representative Lyndon Yearick, Delaware Prosperity Partnership Board Member
  State Senator Anthony Delcollo
  State Representative Krista Griffith
  State Representative Gerald Brady
  State Representative Paul Baumbach
  State Representative Nnamdi Chukwuocha
  State Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker

 

WHEN: Tuesday, April 2, 2019
  6:00 p.m.

 

WHERE: Arsht Hall – University of Delaware
  2700 Pennsylvania Ave
  Wilmington, DE 19806

 


DNREC Shoreline & Waterway Management beach replenishment projects set for Pickering, Kitts Hummock and Bowers beaches

DOVER – DNREC’s Shoreline and Waterway Management Section within the Division of Watershed Stewardship will begin beach replenishment work in early February, pending permit approvals, for the Delaware Bay communities of Pickering Beach, Kitts Hummock, and Bowers Beach, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today.

Replenishment, which is expected to be completed in May, will consist of truck-hauled fill projects managed by DNREC. Bayshore beaches in the three communities were chosen for winter replenishment after experiencing significant loss of sand this year due to erosion from Delaware Bay tides and waves.

The replenishment projects will funded in part by $300,000 in Community Transportation Funding (CTF) provided by Delaware legislators Senator Colin Bonini and Representatives Andria Bennett and Charles Postles, each of whom directed $100,000 in CTF money for the replenishment projects.

“This is a timely bipartisan response by the legislators and a state agency to address the environmental and economic concerns of Delawareans and Delaware communities, who are experiencing beach erosion impacts related in part to sea level rise,” Governor John Carney said. “DNREC’s replenishment work will ensure that their concerns are eased, and that our environment and coastal economy are made more resilient.”

Beaches and dunes in Pickering Beach, Kitts Hummock, and Bowers Beach were given priority for replenishment based upon ongoing monitoring by the Shoreline & Waterway Management Section. Beaches and dunes in all three communities will be repaired and restored using sand trucked in from an inland source.

“DNREC’s shoreline management section charts the most vulnerable coastal areas for infrastructure impacts, and the three communities that are to receive replenishment this winter checked all the boxes in our monitoring process,” said DNREC Secretary Garvin. “DNREC expects that our work ahead will benefit from efficiencies gained during previous replenishment projects we provided for these same communities.”

Past beach and dune repair work in the three communities includes similar truck-hauled beach fill projects in Kitts Hummock in 2010, 2012, and 2014; Bowers Beach in 2009, 2012, and 2018; and Pickering Beach was last replenished in 2001 using a hydraulic dredge.

Beach fill projects introduce clean sand into the shoreline system to offset the effects of erosion. The beach and dune are an important line of defense between the Delaware Bay and inland public and private infrastructure, including houses, roads, and sewer pipes. The Delaware Bay beaches and dunes also provide valuable habitat to an array of plants and animals.

For more information about the work of the Shoreline and Waterway Management Section, please visit the DNREC website.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 2

-End-


Governors Lead Bipartisan Effort to Prevent Dangerous Seismic Testing and Offshore Drilling

Trump Administration Approves Offshore Airgun Use, Governor Carney Joins Atlantic Seaboard Governors Urging Protection for Our Coast

WILMINGTON, Del. – Following the announcement that the Trump Administration authorized airgun use in waters off the East Coast, Governor John Carney and a group of bipartisan governors today urged Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to halt harmful seismic testing and offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.

“As the governors of ten states on the Atlantic seaboard, we write to reiterate our strong opposition to seismic airgun surveys and oil and gas drilling off our coasts,” the governors wrote. “These activities pose an unacceptable and unnecessary threat to our coastal ecosystems and coastal economies.”

Today’s letter was signed by the following governors: Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts; Governor John Carney of Delaware; Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina; Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York; Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland; Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut; Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina; Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey; Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia; and Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island.

In November, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Fisheries department issued incidental harassment authorizations (IHAs) for seismic airgun surveys to five companies searching for oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic. The decision follows months of vocal opposition from states along the East Coast, which have repeatedly urged the federal government to protect coastal tourism and fisheries by preventing seismic testing and offshore drilling.

In a letter sent today, the governors urged the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Commerce to deny all permit applications for seismic testing, exclude the waters off the East Coast from the 2019-2024 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for offshore drilling, avoid issuing further IHAs for seismic airgun surveys and prevent any future offshore drilling efforts in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Drilling in the Atlantic would pose significant threats to Delaware’s natural resources and our economy,” said Governor John Carney. “I am proud to stand with fellow Atlantic state governors in opposition to seismic testing and drilling for oil and gas off our coasts. There’s too much at risk for Delaware and the Atlantic Seaboard to allow this to go unchallenged.”

The full letter is available here.

Seismic testing and offshore drilling pose significant economic and environmental threats to communities along the Atlantic Coast, which generate more than $98 billion in gross domestic product each year. Seismic airgun pulses can deplete fish populations that are vital for commercial and recreational fishing industries and offshore drilling increases the risk of catastrophic oil spills, which devastate marine life and tourism and hurt coastal economies. Hundreds of tourism associations, chambers of commerce, convention and visitors’ bureaus, trade groups, businesses, elected officials and local governments have formally opposed seismic testing and offshore drilling.

For more information visit de.gov/nodrilling.

###

 

Related news:
Governor Carney Signs Legislation to Protect Delaware’s Coastal Waters and Economy


Governor Carney Announces Interactive Website for Opportunity Zones Initiative

New tool to attract private investments in economically-distressed areas

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Thursday a new interactive website highlighting Delaware’s Opportunity Zones across the state. Opportunity Zones are an economic development tool designed to attract private investment and create economic opportunity in economically-distressed communities across Delaware.

In April 2018, Governor Carney announced 25 census tracts as Opportunity Zones in which communities and economically-distressed properties across Delaware could see additional private sector investment. These Opportunity Zones were designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Private investments in Opportunity Zones may qualify for tax incentives.

“Strengthening neighborhoods and communities across Delaware helps improve our economy, stabilize families, and make our state an even better place to live, work and visit,” said Governor Carney. “This Opportunity Zones resource highlights the options in Delaware for additional private investment in areas where it can have the most impact – in economically-distressed communities.”

The interactive website also features a visual StoryMap for visitors to explore Delaware’s Opportunity Zones and learn more about project sites. The website was developed in collaboration with the Office of the Governor, the Delaware Division of Small Business, the Office of State Planning Coordination, the Government Information Center, and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership.

“Opportunity Zones are going to help expand the amount of available capital for developers and businesses, providing them with the resources they need to be successful,” said Damian DeStefano, Director of the Division of Small Business. “We look forward to helping entrepreneurs access Opportunity Zones, especially as a way to help strengthen the state’s downtowns.”

Delaware’s Opportunity Zone tracts include neighborhoods in Wilmington; properties along the Route 9 Corridor in New Castle; areas in Dover, Milford, Georgetown, and Seaford, including the Seaford Nylon Capital Shopping Center; the STAR campus in Newark; and aging industrial sites along the Delaware River in northern New Castle County that are eligible for additional development and cleanup under the Coastal Zone Act.

“Delaware features a tremendous range of Opportunity Zones statewide. These designated areas provide truly attractive investment opportunities that both can benefit investors and build or enhance more vibrant communities,” explained Delaware Prosperity Partnership President Kurt Foreman.

Many of the designated Opportunity Zone tracts are located within Downtown Development Districts, where investors may already qualify for state investment rebates, local tax abatements, affordable bridge loans, and other state and local incentives. Since the downtown program launched in 2015, roughly $24 million in state-funded investment rebates has leveraged $420 million of additional public and private investment in Dover, Georgetown, Harrington, Laurel, Milford, Seaford, Smyrna and Wilmington. Governor Carney’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget included an additional $8.5 million for the program.

The new website also will serve as a resource for the upcoming Opportunity Zone Summit on December 5 at the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus. The Summit, hosted in partnership with the Biden Institute and the Office of the Governor, will engage government officials, developers, investors and business leaders in discussions about Delaware’s Opportunity Zones.

Attendees can register for the summit by clicking here.

###