Contact: Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC postpones Jan. 5th hearing on
sediment and stormwater regulations
Comprehensive review of regulations
and technical documents underway
with Regulatory Advisory Committee
DOVER (Dec. 17, 2015) – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today it is postponing a January 5th public hearing on Delaware’s sediment and stormwater regulations and accompanying technical documents and will continue to work with a Regulatory Advisory Committee and other stakeholders to undertake a comprehensive review of the regulations that have been in place since 2014.
DNREC proposed adopting the regulations and the technical documents in response to a ruling by Sussex Superior Court that nullified the 2014 regulations because the technical guidance documents had not also been adopted as regulations. However, the Court subsequently granted a motion by DNREC requesting that the decision be delayed until the Supreme Court rules on the matter. As a result, the 2014 regulations and technical documents remain in effect allowing development projects to continue to move through the review process.
“Our goal continues to be providing certainty to the development community around these regulations,” said David Small, DNREC Secretary. “Although more than 300 projects have been approved under the new requirements, there is clearly some concern about how they impact certain properties, especially those with poor soils, high water tables and forested areas. Now that we have some experience implementing these important requirements, it’s an appropriate time to review what we have learned and see if changes are warranted.”
After recent discussions with legislators and stakeholders, DNREC concluded that it would be more efficient to work with the Regulatory Advisory Committee and others to identify any changes to the regulations and technical documents and adopt them through a single process. The committee comprises representatives of the land development community, Conservation Districts, other agencies, local government and engineering firms who previously assisted DNREC in developing the 2014 regulations.
The Department’s goal is to complete a draft set of changes by April 30. Changes to the regulation and technical documents will then be proposed, published in the State Register of Regulations and be the subject of a public hearing. No date has been set for the hearing.
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 stormwater management plan in place for all construction activities, and Delaware’s program must have enforceable regulations in place to be valid.
Vol. 45, No. 429