Draft report released on advisory group for Coastal Zone Conversion Permits

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The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control released a draft report outlining recommendations for the formation and work plan of a Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC) for Coastal Zone Conversion Permits.

Comments on the report, prepared by the non-profit Consensus Building Institute (CBI) of Cambridge, MA. – will be accepted through Jan. 19, 2018.

The report contains 13 recommendations for DNREC to consider as it establishes a Regulatory Advisory Committee to develop regulations for Coastal Zone Conversion Permits.

The recommendations came from one-on-one interviews with stakeholders held in October and by two public workshops held in November.

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The report also contains a list of stakeholders interviewed by CBI and a summary of the public workshops.

Comments on the report can be submitted by emailing CZA_Conversion_Permits@state.de.us, by at mail addressed to CZA Conversion Permits comment, Attn: Kevin Coyle, 100 West Water Street, Suite 5A, Dover, DE 19904, or via online survey found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CZCPArac.

The process has come under fire from critics of the Coastal Zone legislation and community groups.

The Delaware Audubon Society a fierce opponent of the legislation, has boycotted the process.

The Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, was signed into law by Gov. Joh Carney in August.

The act authorizes DNREC to issue permits for construction and operation of new heavy industry within 14 existing sites that had been the site of heavy industrywithin the state’s Coastal Zone. The sites account for less than 5 percent of the Coastal Zone.

It authorizes DNREC to issue permits for the bulk transfer of products under certain circumstances and requires DNREC to come up with regulations for the issuance of conversion permits by Oct 1, 2019.

Previously, closed plant sites were difficult if not impossible to redevelop.

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