Revised coastal zone regs becoming a reality

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Good afternoon everyone,

The long process of updating the Coastal Zone Act has reached a conclusion with new regulations becoming effective on Sept. 11.

It comes a couple of years after passage of a bill that allows the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to issue permits for construction and operation of new heavy industry uses at 14 heavy industry use sites within the state’s Coastal Zone.

The bill was passed after a string of plant closings within the coastal zone. The sites in question are largely unsuitable for other uses.

The popular half century-old Coastal Zone Act had essentially banned new industry from the sensitive areas along Delaware’s coast. However, regulators and judges sometimes applied loose interpretations of the definition.

Meanwhile, potential employers shunned coastal zone sites, thanks to the web of regulations that essentially banned even clean industries.

To an outside observer, it might have seemed like the worst of both worlds.

We should learn before too long whether the changes are enough to bring industry and higher-paying jobs to the sites covered by the refreshed regulations. Obviously, some opportunities have already passed us by.

As Delaware Public Media reported (see link in our Business Readingsection blow) some businesspeople and environmentalists are not happy with the final regs.

It is worth noting that some elements of the environmental community refused to participate in the lengthy process of adopting regulations. Their belief was that the revised regs would open the door to dirty industry and litigation is possible.

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

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