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

DNREC draft flood plain and drainage standards
and recommendations available for public review

DOVER (June 15, 2012) – Draft standards and recommendations to reduce flooding impacts in Delaware through improved flood plain management and local drainage codes is now available for public review and comment through July 6, 2012. Recommendations were developed by the Floodplain and Drainage Advisory Committee (FDAC) created by Senate Bill 64 that became law last year.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator David B. McBride, Jr. (D-Hawks Nest), charged the FDAC with providing guidance to DNREC and Secretary Collin O’Mara in the development of minimum standards and recommendations for best practices for flood plain management and drainage codes that will be reviewed and potentially adopted by local governments. "Land use decisions in Delaware are made locally," Secretary O’Mara said. "These standards are not mandates, but a body of options that can be assessed by local governments for use in their communities. With a changing climate, more extreme weather events and rising seas, we need to think proactively about the future and how we can protect public safety and reduce impacts to property and infrastructure."

The FDAC Committee, chaired by DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship Director Frank Piorko, comprised members of local government agencies as well as professional organizations. The committee held monthly meetings between September 2011 and May 2012 to guide the development of these standards and recommendations. The process differed from that typically followed by DNREC to promulgate regulations, in that local governments will have an opportunity to report back to DNREC on the proposed standards and the need to adopt them wholly or in part for their local codes and ordinances.

A final report to be developed early next year by DNREC and the FDAC is due to be presented to the General Assembly by March 15, 2013.

A series of workshops will be held this summer to present DNREC’s summary to all counties and municipalities statewide. FDAC committee chairman Frank Piorko stated that "the goal of the process is to present these standards and recommendations to municipalities with an expectation that local governments will examine their respective codes and ordinances, and determine if these recommended standards make sense for them."

DNREC will provide assistance to those municipalities requesting help in reviewing and interpreting their existing local code and ordinance language.

The recommendations prepared by the FDAC are contained in the summary report of the Committee’s work, are available online at: http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/swc/Pages/FloodplainandDrainageCodeWorkGroupCommittee.aspx.

For more information, or to provide comment on the draft standards please contact Brooks Cahall brooks.cahall@state.de.us or Michael Powell michael.powell@state.de.us, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or by telephone: 302-739-9921. 

Vol. 42, No. 227

-30-
6/15/2012
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