Tickets now on sale for Kent Conservation District’s 17th Annual Barn Dance fundraiser on Oct. 14

DOVER – The Kent Conservation District invites you to join them for a rompin’ stompin’ good time from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, for its 17th Annual Barn Dance fundraiser to be held at the Harrington Fire Company, 20 Clark Street, Harrington, DE 19952. The event features a down-home meal including fried chicken, beef and dumplings, live and silent benefit auctions, and dancing to music provided by JKA Entertainment.

Be prepared to kick up your heels for a night of FUNdraising, with tickets on sale for $20 per person or $35 per couple. Tickets for children 12 years and under are $10 each, while children under two are admitted free. Reserved tables with seating for eight are available for $150, one name – one check.

Funds raised through the Barn Dance support the Delaware Envirothon, a competitive, problem-solving, natural resource challenge for high school students. The goals of the Delaware Envirothon are to test the environmental knowledge of high school students and to cultivate within the students a desire to learn more about the natural world. The students are tested on the following topics: air quality, soils/land use, aquatic ecology, forestry, wildlife and a current environmental issue.

Experience gained through the competition will prepare individual students and teams to make sound conservation decisions. The 2016 Delaware Envirothon champions from the Charter School of Wilmington recently returned from Ontario, Canada, where they competed in the NCF Envirothon with other students from across the U.S. and Canada. They returned with an 18th place finish out of 52 competing teams.

A limited number of tickets to the Barn Dance are available and can be purchased by mail or in person at the Kent Conservation District office at 800 Bay Road, Suite 2, Dover, DE 19901. Tickets sell quickly, so those who want to attend are encouraged not to wait.

For more information, please call the Kent Conservation District at 302-741-2600 ext. 3.

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

Vol. 46, No. 329

DNREC accepting grant proposals for wastewater and surface water project planning through August 4

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship and the office of Environmental Finance are now accepting project proposals from state, county and municipal governments and governmental subdivisions for matching grants for wastewater and surface water project planning. Proposals must be received by close of business (4:30 p.m.), Thursday, Aug. 4.

Eligible projects include planning, preliminary engineering and feasibility analysis of: wastewater projects; stormwater retrofits; green technology practices; stream and wetland restoration projects; small watershed studies; master surface water and drainage plans; and other source water pollution control projects.

Grant applications of up to $50,000 will be considered with a 1:1 cash match requirement. Up to 10 percent of the grant funds may be used for administrative costs. There is an annual cumulative grant award cap of $100,000 per successful applicant per fiscal year.

The Wastewater and Surface Water Matching Planning Grant programs are set-asides in the State’s Clean Water Revolving Fund. Projects will be recommended for funding by the Delaware Water Infrastructure Advisory Council through a competitive grant process. New for this grant cycle are insurance requirements of the grant recipient.

For a Wastewater Matching Planning Grant, the project guidelines and the application can be found online by clicking Wastewater Matching Planning Grant. Proposals must be submitted by email (less than 10 megabytes) to

For a Surface Water Matching Planning Grant, the project guidelines and the application can be found online at Surface Water Matching Planning Grant. Proposals must be submitted by email (less than 10 MB) to

For more information, please contact Greg Pope, DNREC Environmental Finance, at 302-739-9941 or Jim Sullivan, Division of Watershed Stewardship, at 302-739-9922.

Contact: Melanie H. Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902                      

Vol. 46, No. 245

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week: June 26 through July 2

DNREC Mosquito Control Section urges: Do your part in helping keep mosquito populations down in Delaware

DOVER – The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has declared June 26-July 2 as the 20th annual National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, and in observance of it, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Mosquito Control Section is encouraging Delawareans to take precautions to avoid or reduce mosquito bites, and to put particular emphasis on eliminating backyard mosquito-producing habitat.

“As a sustaining member of the American Mosquito Control Association, the Delaware Mosquito Control Section joins with our AMCA colleagues around the country in highlighting our efforts in making modern life as mosquito-free as possible, or at least tolerable compared to extreme infestations in the past,” said Dr. William Meredith, Delaware Mosquito Control Section administrator and past AMCA president. “But we can’t achieve all of this on our own, so we urge property owners to help us – and themselves – by practicing good water sanitation on their lands.”

Whenever there are large rainfall events, Mosquito Control staff work hard to control the large numbers of mosquitoes that can emerge from natural habitats. However, contending with the many artificial habitats holding standing water requires the help of homeowners throughout the state. The best approach for mosquitoes is prevention, and it’s easy to make a difference in your community by eliminating standing water from artificial containers on your property and encouraging your neighbors to do the same.

Common house mosquitoes and Asian tiger mosquitoes are known carriers of West Nile virus, and in Delaware are common mosquitoes produced in backyards and neighborhoods throughout the state. Asian tiger mosquitoes are of additional concern as potential carriers for chikungunya and Zika viruses, which could be introduced into the local mosquito population if a Delaware mosquito bites a resident who returns home from travel abroad carrying these viruses.

Asian tiger mosquitoes lay eggs in and hatch from artificial container habitats including tarps, flower pots, buckets, boats, tires, rain gutters, corrugated downspout pipes – anything in your yard that can collect water. These nuisance mosquitoes don’t fly more than a few hundred yards from where they hatch, so that means that if you have these mosquitoes, the source is very likely your yard or one of your immediate neighbors’. Removal of even the smallest amounts of standing water in artificial containers from your property will help reduce or eliminate these mosquitoes from your area.

If you can’t eliminate the mosquitoes from your area, always remember to protect yourself from mosquito bites by avoiding outdoor activities during peak mosquito times (dusk to dawn), wearing long sleeves and long pants, and/or properly using mosquito repellent.

To combat mosquitoes, the Mosquito Control Section provides spray services by helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft and truck-mounted sprayer. Advance public notice of when and where spraying for adult mosquitoes will occur is available by calling 800-338-8181 toll-free and in radio announcements on some stations. Interested parties may also subscribe to receive email, text or phone message notices of mosquito control spraying in their area by signing up on the Spray Zone Notification System at

In addition to providing mosquito control services, the Mosquito Control Section also monitors for various mosquito-borne illnesses. As part of their annual West Nile virus monitoring program, Mosquito Control requests that the public report finding sick or dead birds for possible testing. Residents are asked to report the following species only: crows, blue jays, cardinals, robins, hawks or owls, plus clusters of five or more sick or dead wild birds of any species. Bird specimens should have been dead for less than 24 hours and not appear to have died or been killed by other obvious causes.

Zika and chikungunya viruses are mosquito-borne diseases currently found in South and Central America and the Caribbean, and there is some concern about these viruses possibly occurring in local mosquito populations in southern and Mid-Atlantic areas of the U.S., including Delaware. Unlike West Nile virus, neither of these two viruses involves wild birds as hosts, but rather are transmitted by mosquitoes person-to-person, so monitoring wild bird populations or sentinel chickens would not be an effective means of detecting these viruses in local mosquitoes. For further information on preventing Zika visit:

To report sick or dead birds, or to report intolerable numbers of biting mosquitoes and request mosquito control services, please call Mosquito Control’s field offices between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday:

  • New Castle County and northern Kent County from Dover north, call Mosquito Control’s Glasgow office at 302-836-2555
  • Remainder of southern Kent County and all of Sussex County, call Mosquito Control’s Milford office at 302-422-1512

Callers to Mosquito Control field offices after business hours or during weekends or holidays can leave voicemail with their name, phone number, address and a brief message. Messages regarding dead birds that are left more than 24 hours before Mosquito Control can review them – typically messages left between Friday evening and Sunday morning when staff might not be present – may result in birds becoming too deteriorated for virus testing.

For more information on Delaware’s Mosquito Control program, please call the main office at 302-739-9917, or click Delaware Mosquito Control.

For more information about West Nile virus in humans, please contact the Delaware Division of Public Health at 302-744-1033 or 888-295-5156. For more information about West Nile virus in horses, eastern equine encephalitis or vaccines, please contact the State Veterinarian at the Delaware Department of Agriculture at 800-282-8685 (Delaware only) or 302-698-4500.

DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section provides statewide services to about 945,000 Delaware residents and 7.5 million visitors annually to maintain quality of life and protect public health by reducing the possibility of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis, chikungunya and Zika virus. Throughout the warmer months, Mosquito Control monitors and treats mosquito populations that emerge from wetland areas throughout the state, including ditches, stormwater ponds, wet woodlands and coastal salt marshes, using EPA-registered insecticides. These insecticides have been determined by EPA to pose no unreasonable risk to human health, wildlife or the environment when professionally applied. The Section also works year-round on water and marsh management projects designed to reduce mosquito populations, and provides the public with information on dealing with mosquitoes, from reducing backyard mosquito production to avoiding mosquito bites. For more information, call 302-739-9917 or visit

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 232

Gov. Markell Signs SB 253 into Law, Authorizing DNREC to Provide Additional Flexibility in Meeting Standards for Sediment and Stormwater Regulations

DOVER – Governor Jack Markell today signed Senate Bill 253 that provides additional options and flexibility to developers, contractors and landowners for meeting standards that protect Delaware’s water quality and reduce flooding impacts under the state’s sediment and stormwater management program.

The legislation is the result of a collaborative effort between the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, state legislators, representatives of the development community, and members of DNREC’s Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC), which has been working to improve upon Delaware’s sediment and stormwater regulations that were adopted in 2014.

“Managing stormwater is a critical component in meeting our water quality goals and for assuring that people and property are protected from flooding in Delaware,” said DNREC Secretary David Small. “We also have learned over the past two years of implementing the regulations that there are a number of challenges in meeting these standards. This legislation continues to put a priority on protection of our water resources through additional, more efficient best management practices (BMPs), with the goal of lowering the cost of compliance for developers, contractors and landowners. We appreciate the cooperation from all of the stakeholders, the DNREC team and the General Assembly in reaching agreement on the legislation.”

The new legislation clarifies that the emergency sediment and stormwater regulations that are used currently will remain in force until comprehensive regulations are adopted. SB 253, sponsored by Senator Gerald Hocker (R-20th District) and Representative Tim Dukes (R-Laurel), allows for an alternative standard to be used in meeting requirements to manage the volume of stormwater runoff from a site and will enable the approval process for permits to be expedited.

Sen. Hocker said of the bill, “We knew we had major problems. Projects were being delayed and the costs associated with engineering for the projects were out of control. I met with representatives from DNREC along with homebuilders, engineers, and members of the farming community. We were able to come up with a compromise we feel everyone can work with, without compromising the environment.”

Rep. Dukes said that SB 253 rose above politics in becoming law. “This compromise measure is the result of how government should work with the people it serves. By enacting this legislation, we are recognizing that the 2014 stormwater regulations were too burdensome on the public,” he said. “Legislators, land owners, poultry farmers and developers came together at the table with DNREC, and worked cooperatively to reduce the regulatory burden while continuing to protect the environment. I am proud to be part of this effort and to have been the sponsor of this important measure in the House.”

What resulted from collaborative interests who addressed the state’s stormwater management issues was a bill that:

  • Allows the use of additional BMPs that are determined to be functionally equivalent to existing BMPs under existing emergency regulations;
  • Provides that DNREC develop standard plans to comply with the regulation for agricultural structures, including poultry houses that disturb less than 10 acres;
  • Includes an exemption for stormwater management for residential projects under an acre, which is consistent with federal requirements;
  • Allows applicants seeking approval of stormwater management plans to continue to utilize standards established in the current emergency regulations until new regulations are adopted;
  • Extends the timeframes for an approved plan and redelegation of program elements from three to five years;
  • Requires proposed regulations to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and
  • Waives the timelines of the Administrative Procedures Act so that emergency regulations can remain in effect while the Regulatory Advisory Committee continues to develop changes to the regulations and supporting technical documents.

The current emergency regulations were adopted on April 15 to provide certainty for the development community and to allow projects to continue through DNREC’s approval process without a gap in sediment and stormwater regulations following a court decision citing a procedural flaw in the adoption of the 2014 regulations. Under the state’s Administrative Procedures Act, emergency regulations are only allowed to be in place for up to 180 days. However, with SB 253 having become law by the Governor’s signature, DNREC will not publish the interim regulations that were to appear in the July Register of Regulations. The Department will now be utilizing the emergency regulations, along with the new provisions in SB 253, to review and approve stormwater management plans, pending promulgation of comprehensive new regulations currently being developed by the RAC and DNREC.

CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9064

Vol. 46, No. 229

Responding to state Supreme Court ruling, DNREC again must adopt interim emergency sediment and stormwater regulations

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has adopted interim emergency sediment and stormwater management regulations – in effect reinstating the 2014 regulations invalidated today by Delaware’s Supreme Court, with the high court’s opinion upholding a Superior Court decision issued last fall. DNREC’s action today also adopts supporting technical materials as interim regulations, consistent with the Court’s ruling.

The technical materials for Delaware’s sediment and stormwater regulations include design and construction standards and specifications intended to assist in complying with the regulations. This action by DNREC will allow development projects to move forward through the review and approval process, which was established for reducing potential impacts from flooding and protecting public health, safety and welfare.

Neither of the two courts’ opinions provided specific guidance on how DNREC should review plans in the absence of a regulatory standard. Following the Superior Court’s decision last fall, DNREC adopted the 2014 regulations and technical documents through emergency action, until a stay was issued by the Superior Court. DNREC is following the same path today in order to allow projects currently under review to continue toward approval.

“We are obviously disappointed with the Court’s opinion, and are compelled to adopt emergency regulations to maintain certainty of the process, enabling us to continue to review and approve plans and allow landowners, developers, contractors and homeowners to maintain schedules and commitments to customers, lenders, agencies and others involved in these important projects,” said DNREC Secretary David Small. “Engineers, system designers and developers have repeatedly expressed their desire to see flexible standards that can be amended quickly if newer, cheaper and more efficient best practices are identified. Unfortunately this ruling will prevent those changes from happening more quickly, as they will have to go through the regulatory process, which may take many months to complete.”

Although some have argued that DNREC should revert to previous versions of the regulations, the Supreme Court’s opinion was silent on the matter, as was the earlier ruling by Superior Court. However, many projects submitted under the 2014 regulations would not meet standards under the previous 2006 version of the regulation and would need to be redesigned. In addition, prior regulations were implemented in conjunction with supporting technical materials, a practice criticized by the Superior Court in its original opinion last October.

The interim regulations, adopted under the state’s Administrative Procedures Act, will be in effect for 120 days and may be extended for an additional 60 days. During the effective period of the emergency regulations, DNREC will continue to work with the Regulatory Advisory Committee, which DNREC convened late last year, on changes to the sediment and stormwater regulations and technical standards. Any changes will be subject to public hearing under the state’s Administrative Procedures Act.

“We remain committed to a thorough, open and rigorous review of the regulation and technical standards,” said Secretary Small. “We have already made good progress with the Committee in identifying measures that can bring additional flexibility to stormwater management and I remain optimistic that, working together, we can find solutions that protect our precious water resources and at the same time address the concerns of other agencies, local government and the development community.”

Delaware’s sediment and stormwater management regulations are a vital tool in the state’s efforts to improve water quality and protect public health, safety and property from flooding. Under federal law, Delaware is required to have a valid erosion and sedimentation program in place for all construction activities, and Delaware’s erosion and sedimentation program must have enforceable regulations in place to be valid.

The Delaware stormwater management program was adopted in response to specific policy findings enacted into law;:“The General Assembly further finds that accelerated stormwater runoff increases flood flows and velocities, contributes to erosion, sedimentation, and degradation of water quality, overtaxes the carrying capacity of streams and storm sewers, greatly increases the costs of public facilities in carrying and controlling stormwater, undermines flood plain management and flood control efforts in downstream communities, reduces groundwater recharge, and threatens public health, welfare, and safety.”

The order adopting interim stormwater and sediment regulations can be found on the DNREC website at

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

Vol. 46, No. 131