Fight Brewing Over Delaware's Coastal Zone Act - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fight Brewing Over Delaware's Coastal Zone Act

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC/AP)- A proposal to create a new permitting process for redevelopment of more than a dozen sites for new heavy industry was released from a Delaware House committee on Wednesday, though the controversial legislation has drawn opposition from a number of environmental groups.

The bill was advanced for a full vote in the House after a committee meeting that last more than two hours with members of environmental groups claiming the process of crafting the legislation lacked public input.

The bill establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites, including abandoned and polluted brownfields, mostly located in New Castle County. One site in Kent County remains active to this day.

Transfer of bulk products such as oil and minerals, currently prohibited under the coastal zone act, would be allowed at sites that had docking facilities or piers before enactment of the Coastal Zone Act in 1971

Gov. John Carney is among the supporters of the legislation. Other backers believe it could spur job growth in many locations across the state that are not being used for any purpose.

However, many environmental groups say lifting restrictions on bulk transfer and other changes under the legislation could increase the probablility of an industrial accident and pollution.

The bill does not allow certain heavy industry uses that did not exist in 1971, though the Delaware City oil refinery would remain grandfathered.

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