DNREC announces finalized Coastal Zone Conversion Permit regulations, which become effective Sept. 11

DOVER – Final amendments to the Regulations Governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone, approved Aug. 26 by the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board (CZICB), have been published in the September Register of Regulations and become effective Sept. 11, 2019, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today.

HB190, signed into law by Governor John Carney on Aug. 2, 2017, authorized the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to issue permits for construction and operation of new heavy industry uses at 14 existing heavy industry use sites within the state’s Coastal Zone. Like standard Coastal Zone permits, conversion permits require an assessment of the environmental and economic impacts of the proposed conversion.

To begin the process of developing regulations, DNREC Secretary Garvin convened a Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC), comprising various stakeholder groups and chaired by retired Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy Holland. The committee provided recommendations on a number of issues, including a Sea Level Rise and Coastal Storms Plan, an Environmental Remediation and Stabilization Plan, and evidence of financial assurance. DNREC then held public workshops to gather input on developing regulations for issuing permits.

The committee’s work and recommendations were presented at open houses, where public comments were received. Comments also were submitted to DNREC during a public comment period. The Secretary’s draft regulations and amendments were also presented to the CZICB for approval, as mandated by the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act.

“From the start of the process, DNREC has been committed to developing the regulations governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act Conversion Permit, consistent with the law, in a transparent manner that facilitated and encouraged public input and involvement,” Secretary Garvin said. “The new regulations incorporate recommendations from the RAC, technical experts, and the public that were received throughout the process.”

The regulations provide for Coastal Zone Conversion Permits to return industrial sites to active or more productive use while ensuring the protection of natural resources.

The new Regulations Governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone can be found online at Delaware’s Register of Regulations.

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

Vol. 49, No. 229

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Bond Rating Agencies Recognize Delaware’s Strong Fiscal Management

Bond refunding saves taxpayers $15 million

WILMINGTON, Del. – Delaware’s proactive fiscal management has been recognized with the announcement of the State’s triple-A bond ratings and an upgrade of the rating for Delaware Transportation Authority (DTA) bonds. The State’s ratings were issued in advance of the refunding of $123 million of Series 2009D Build America Bonds that will save Delaware taxpayers more than $15 million over the next decade. DTA’s ratings were issued as the Authority priced $138 million of new Series 2019 Transportation System Senior Revenue Bonds. Bond ratings reflect an issuer’s financial management policies and practices, ability to make future debt service payments, and economic strength, stability and diversity. Both the State and DTA’s bond issues were priced at interest rates that will result in historically low costs for Delaware taxpayers. 

“Delawareans expect us to responsibly manage taxpayer dollars, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” said Governor John Carney. “We have an ongoing commitment to ensuring that our fiscal house is in order. These important bond issues and our excellent bond ratings will save us money, and help finance important infrastructure projects like schools and roadway projects all across our state.”

The State’s August refunding refinanced $123 million of outstanding debt through a competitive bid process resulting in a 1.12% all-in borrowing cost — the lowest in modern state history for debt of a similar maturity. The State general fund will realize savings of $1.12 million in the current fiscal year alone. The original bonds financed numerous capital projects including schools, libraries, and other state infrastructure projects.  

“The State’s very successful refinancing reflects a team effort by the Carney Administration, the General Assembly, and our financial and legal advisors,” said Secretary of Finance Rick Geisenberger. “Delaware’s premier bond rating reflects many years of prudent fiscal management and recent efforts to limit operating budget growth, boost reserves during good times, and steer one-time revenues to one-time projects. Our goal continues to be preserving the State’s financial flexibility while ensuring that public borrowing is done responsibly and affordably.”

DTA priced its $138 million of new bonds at a competitive all-in rate of 2.11%. This rate followed the announcement that DTA’s bond rating was upgraded by Moody’s Investor Services from Aa2 to Aa1 while Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed its AA+ rating. Moody’s also upgraded the Authority’s outstanding US 301 Project Revenue Bonds Series 2015 from A1 to Aa3 and its Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Series 2015 Bonds from A2 to Aa3. The Delaware Department of Transportation’s steady reduction in its overall debt combined with continued positive trends in toll, DMV and motor fuel revenues helps lower the cost of capital and frees up funding to further maintain and improve transportation infrastructure throughout Delaware.    

“We are very pleased with the rating services’ upgrade, and having a strong rating enables the Department to get the most out of every taxpayer dollar,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan. “DelDOT is excited to continue delivering on Delaware’s largest Capital Transportation Program in its history.”

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DNREC seeking volunteers for Delaware Coastal Cleanup

DELAWARE COASTAL CLEANUP VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION TO CLOSE SEPT. 2

DOVER – Volunteers are still needed and encouraged to join the 32nd annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 14. Sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the cleanup spans more than 45 sites in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties, including river and ocean shorelines, as well as wetland and watershed areas.

Volunteers are strongly encouraged to preregister at https://de.gov/coastalcleanup to ensure enough supplies are readied for each Cleanup site. Preregistration will close Monday, Sept. 2.

Cleanup sites that still need additional volunteers include:

Kent County
• Big Stone Beach
• Bennetts Pier

Sussex County
• Slaughter Beach
• Lewes Boat Ramp
• Deauville
• South Bethany Beach

Delaware’s Cleanup is part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest annual clearing of trash from coastlines, rivers, streams, and lakes by volunteers. Information collected helps identify the source of the debris and focus efforts on eliminating or reducing it. For more information, visit oceanconservancy.org.

For more information about the Delaware Coastal Cleanup, please contact Joanna Wilson, Delaware Coastal Cleanup coordinator, at 302-739-9902, or joanna.wilson@delaware.gov.

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

Vol. 49, No. 226


Volunteers needed Sept. 21 for cleanup at Williams Pond in Seaford as part of Reclaim Our River program

SEAFORD – DNREC, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, the City of Seaford, and Friends of the Nanticoke River are seeking volunteers to lend a hand, picking up trash at Williams Pond from 9-11:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 21, as part of DNREC’s annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup.

Now in its second year, the Williams Pond cleanup is part of DNREC’s Reclaim Our River (ROR) program, acting as a reminder that the ocean is always downstream. ROR is a partnership between DNREC, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, Delaware Nature Society’s Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, Town of Blades, and City of Seaford. The program offers a series of monthly activities that support clean waterways and educate residents on techniques to improve water quality.

Williams Pond empties into the Nanticoke River near Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. Removing trash from the pond and near the park improves water quality, wildlife habitat, and overall health of the ecosystem.

Volunteers can join teams collecting trash from the shoreline and streets. Registered volunteers will receive a free lunch provided by the City of Seaford. The group will meet at Soroptimist Park to sign in and receive supplies, such as gloves and trash bags.

More information can be found at https://nanticokeriver.org/coastalcleanup2019. Questions can be directed to Beth Wasden at 443-944-1175 or bethwasden@nanticokeriver.org

Attendees are encouraged to follow the event at www.facebook.com/NanticokeRiver.

For more information about the 2019 Delaware Coastal Cleanup, which will be held statewide Saturday, Sept. 14, visit https://de.gov/coastalcleanup.

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

Vol. 49, No. 225


Governor Carney Announces Second Construction Career Expo

Free, family-oriented career fair to expose middle school students, adults to careers in construction industry

WILMINGTON, Del. — Governor John Carney on Friday announced the second annual Governor’s Construction Career Expo – a family-friendly career fair for adults and youth to explore a career in construction – will take place on Monday, September 23. The Expo will introduce training and career paths to roughly 2,000 middle school students in the morning and feature a career fair for students, families, and community members from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“We’re working hard to make sure that all Delawareans have the opportunity to succeed and share in our state’s economic progress,” said Governor Carney. “This year’s Construction Career Expo will help connect Delawareans with meaningful career opportunities in construction fields, which have historically provided paths into the middle class for thousands of Delaware workers and their families. It’s also a chance to expose Delaware students and adults to good-paying, skilled construction careers that are in demand and can help strengthen Delaware’s workforce.”

The construction industry has added almost 2,000 jobs in the past two years, and further growth for the industry is projected. The career fair is open to the public and will provide hands-on learning opportunities and interactive experiences. This initiative will connect employers and career-seekers, and continue to train and develop a strong, skilled Delaware workforce.
 
 
 
“Increasing awareness and access to career training and apprenticeship opportunities in the in-demand industries of our state will be key to meeting Delaware’s workforce needs,” said Cerron Cade, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor. “Specifically, careers in the construction industry provide excellent wages and benefits to its workers. Those are two of the most important ingredients to creating strong families, strong communities, and a robust economy.”

The Governor’s Construction Career Expo is presented in partnership with:

  • Office of the Governor
  • AFSCME
  • Delaware State AFL-CIO
  • Delaware Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Delaware Chief School Officers Association
  • Delaware Contractors Association
  • Delaware Department of Education
  • Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
  • Delaware Department of Labor
  • Delaware Department of Transportation
  • Associated Builders and Contractors
  • The Committee of 100
  • City of Wilmington
  • Delaware Technical Community College

“A career in construction provides paid training, room for advancement, a good paycheck, and solid benefits. Regardless of age or experience, we are always seeking hardworking men and women who are looking for a career opportunity,” said Alisha Wayman Bryson, Vice President of Wayman Fire Protection. “We look forward to welcoming students and Delawareans at this year’s Expo, where they will get a firsthand look at all the construction industry has to offer them and their families.”

“Governor Carney’s Construction Career Expo is an opportunity for our Unions to showcase the contributions made every day by the working men and women of our state, and how big of a role they play in Delaware’s economy,” said James Maravelias, President of the Delaware State AFL-CIO. “We are pleased to be partnering with the Governor again on this event, which will also introduce young Delawareans to careers in construction. We look forward to working together to promote good-paying careers in the Building Trades Unions.”

“This career event exposes our students to people, programs, and equipment that they otherwise wouldn’t see and experience either at home or in school,” said Dr. Mark Holodick, Superintendent of Brandywine School District. “They also get to interact with folks who actually do the work, gaining a better understanding of the skills they are going to need when they enter the workforce. It helps make the connection between what’s happening in the classroom and what they are aspiring to do as adults.”

Learn more and sign up to receive updates about the Governor’s Construction Career Expo.

Use the hashtag #DEBuilds to spread the word and follow discussion about the Governor’s Construction Career Expo on social media.

Share the Facebook event.

Watch and share a video about the event.

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