Coastal Zone Act “workshops”

Most readers will know that a new Delaware law guts the Delaware Coastal Zone Act.

The basic destruction was done by the Delaware General Assembly and Governor Carney in House Bill 90. The details of how the destruction is to be implemented are to be worked out by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). To do this, the DNREC has hired the “Consensus Building Institute,” the same outfit that was used to write very harmful Coastal Zone Act regulations back in the late 1990s. What we said at the time.

“Consensus building” is an unethical industry in the sense that its practitioners typically pretend they are “neutral facilitators” when they are not. But they are clever, pleasant, artful, and very often successful in manipulating citizens. Since CBI helped the DNREC carve giant holes in the Coastal Zone Act 25 years ago, it’s not surprising that the agency would use them again to carve even bigger holes in the Act. Green Delaware expects CBI to work closely with the DNREC to run a process in which the public interest will have little voice. We shall see.

Below is a press release from the DNREC announcing two “workshops” to be put on by the “Consensus Building Institute.” Green Delaware is not promoting these in any way but we want you to be aware of them. If you go, please share your perceptions with Green Delaware.

An entity calling itself “Preserve the Coastal Zone Act” (we don’t know much about it) has circulated these suggestions:

Community engagement and transparency will be vital if this new regulatory process is going to be fair. To date the fenceline communities have been left out of the discussions, which have all occurred behind closed doors.

Now is your chance to ask DNREC to create a meaningful public process by:

– Reaching out to fenceline communities
– Conducting meetings in all communities impacted by the new regulations
– Holding the meetings at times and locations that are accessible for the public
– Using the Regulatory Advisory Committee as a way of including communities into the process
– Avoiding conflicts of interest in the appointment of members to the Regulatory Advisory Committee

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DNREC to hold public workshops, Wednesday, Nov. 29 and Thursday, Nov. 30, seeking input on Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act regulatory process

Date Posted: Monday, November 27th, 2017
Categories:

DOVER – Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will hold two public workshops this week seeking input as DNREC begins the regulatory process for developing regulations for the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, which Governor John Carney signed into law in August. The act requires the Department to develop and promulgate regulations for the redevelopment of 14 heavy-industrial use sites in Delaware’s Coastal Zone by Oct. 1, 2019. The Nov. 29 and 30 workshops will provide the public an opportunity to comment on the process the Department will use to develop regulations for the conversion permits DNREC will issue for sites to be redeveloped.

The two workshops will be held:
• Wednesday, Nov. 29, at the Kingswood Community Center, 2300 Bowers Street, Wilmington, DE 19802, and
• Thursday, Nov. 30, at Delaware City Fire Hall, 815 5th Street, Delaware City, DE 19706.
Both workshops will begin at 6 p.m.

“The workshops provide an open forum for everyone wanting to express their thoughts and concerns about the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act regulatory process,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The Coastal Zone is an important part of Delaware and our environment. The State is committed to having an open and inclusive process, which starts with defining what the process will look like. The workshops are the Department’s first opportunity to listen to input from our citizens about the best way to implement the revisions to the Coastal Zone Act.

Information gathered at the workshops will be compiled by the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), a non-profit organization collaborating with DNREC and the State of Delaware to ensure that regulations are developed by the Department with transparency and openness during the regulatory process. CBI was chosen by the State because it played a similar role in Coastal Zone Act regulations developed in the late 1990s. The information gathered at the workshops will be used by DNREC to help the Department establish a Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC), which will help guide development of Coastal Zone Conversion Permit regulations.

Both workshops will follow the same agenda. The first part will include informative presentations about legislative changes to the Coastal Zone Act (which originated as House Bill 190 before it was signed into law as the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act by the Governor) followed by an opportunity for public comment. During the second half of each workshop, all who attend will be asked to participate in breakout groups focused on establishing the RAC and the role that committee will have in formulating regulations.

The information gathered by CBI in stakeholder interviews and comments made at the public workshops will not be used in drafting conversion permit regulations, but are intended to gather input on the strategy DNREC might use in developing regulations in an open and transparent manner. Information gathered during the workshops and from CBI’s stakeholder interviews will be compiled in a report for DNREC and made available for public review when complete.

For more information on the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, please visit de.gov/conversionpermits. To stay updated on the regulatory process for developing the conversion permit, you can also subscribe to the Coastal Zone Act email listserv by sending a blank email to mailto:join-dnrec_coastal_zone@lists.state.de.us.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 47, No. 251

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Best,

Alan Muller

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