Bill Allowing New Industry in Del. Coast Zone Clears First Hurdl - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bill Allowing New Industry in Del. Coast Zone Clears First Hurdle

Posted: Updated:

DOVER, Del. (AP)- A proposal to open Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry passed its first legislative hurdle Wednesday, clearing a House committee despite complaints from environmental groups and other opponents about the lack of public input.
    
The bill, supported by Gov. John Carney establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites, including abandoned and polluted brownfields.
    
It also allows the currently prohibited transfer of bulk products such as oil, grain and minerals at sites that had docking facilities or piers before enactment of the Coastal Zone Act in 1971.
    
The bill would not allow certain heavy industry uses that did not exist in 1971, including oil refineries, paper and steel mills, incinerators and liquefied natural gas terminals. The Delaware City oil refinery would remain grandfathered, however.
    
Supporters of the bill, including the state chamber of commerce and organized labor, say the Coastal Zone Act's restrictions on industry have been an impediment to economic development, and that modifying it could spur manufacturing and job creation.
    
"This Coastal Zone Act is a nonstarter for corporations," said Kevin McGowan, who runs a corporate real estate consulting business.
    
But environmentalists say the existing law has played a key role in protecting ecologically sensitive areas along the Delaware River and Bay, as well as coastal beach resorts that are the lynchpin of Delaware's multibillion-dollar tourism industry. They also complain that they have not been allowed input on the bill.
    
"We are simply asking for a public dialogue," said Brenna Goggin, advocacy director for the Delaware Nature Society.
    
Opponents are especially concerned about the bill's provision allowing bulk product transfers of cargo such as crude oil between ship and shore.
    
"Just one spill could have disastrous consequences along the entire length of the river," said Peggy Schultz of the League of Women Voters.
    
State environmental secretary Shawn Garvin said the administration believes that legislation offers a path toward putting the sites back into productive use, whether heavy industry or manufacturing, while ensuring that the coastal environment is protected.
    
The full House could vote on the measure as early as next week.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police Identify Driver in Crash that Shut Down Rehoboth Avenue

    Rehoboth Police Identify Driver in Crash that Shut Down Avenue

    Jul 14, 2018 10:44 PM2018-07-15 02:44:00 GMT
    Saturday, July 14 2018 10:45 PM EDT2018-07-15 02:45:28 GMT
    REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- Rehoboth Beach Police have identified the Middletown man accused of hitting multiple vehicles and injuring five people last weekend. Police say 45-year-old Martin Tuohy of Middletown was attempting to back out of a parking spot whenMore
    REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- Rehoboth Beach Police have identified the Middletown man accused of hitting multiple vehicles and injuring five people last weekend. Police say 45-year-old Martin Tuohy of Middletown was attempting to back out of a parking spot when More
  • UPDATE: Police Investigating Deadly Motorcycle Crash in Laurel

    Police Investigating Motorcycle Crash in Laurel

    Jul 14, 2018 4:53 PM2018-07-14 20:53:00 GMT
    Sunday, July 15 2018 3:49 PM EDT2018-07-15 19:49:37 GMT
    LAUREL, Del.- The Delaware State Police is advising people to avoid parts of Laurel due to a motorcycle crash. Troopers say the crash took place on Ralphs Road between Waycross Road and Skeeter Bit Lane west of Laurel. Officers classify the crash as serioMore
    LAUREL, Del.- The Delaware State Police is advising people to avoid parts of Laurel due to a motorcycle crash. Troopers say the crash took place on Ralphs Road between Waycross Road and Skeeter Bit Lane west of Laurel. Officers classify the crash as serioMore
  • Woman Arrested for Stealing and Burning Flag Placed for Fallen Delaware State Trooper

    Woman Arrested for Stealing and Burning Flag Placed for Fallen Delaware State Trooper

    Jul 14, 2018 3:31 PM2018-07-14 19:31:00 GMT
    Saturday, July 14 2018 3:36 PM EDT2018-07-14 19:36:52 GMT
    LEWES, Del.- A Wilmington woman is facing charges after destroying a flag on the Nassau Bridge placed in honor of late Delaware State Police Trooper William F. Matt. Tim Dale and Dave Repass placed a "Thin Blue Line" flag on the Nassau Bridge to pay tribuMore
    LEWES, Del.- A Wilmington woman is facing charges after destroying a flag on the Nassau Bridge placed in honor of late Delaware State Police Trooper William F. Matt. Tim Dale and Dave Repass placed a "Thin Blue Line" flag on the Nassau Bridge to pay tribuMore
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices