DNREC schedules workshops on new pollution regulations

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) will hold two additional public workshops this month on revisions to the proposed Pollution Control Strategy (PCS) for the Inland Bays. The department encourages public attendance and participation.

• Tuesday, May 17 — Bay Center at Ruddertowne (Dickinson Street and Route 1, Dewey Beach), 6 p.m.

• Tuesday, May 24 — Roxana Fire Hall (Route 20, Roxana), 6 p.m.

Each workshop will begin with a formal presentation followed by rotating break-out groups that will discuss major changes in the PCS since the January and February workshops.

DNREC Sec. John A. Hughes, a life-long resident of Sussex County and former mayor of Rehoboth Beach, notes that the time has come for implementation of a strategy to control pollution in the bays.

“We’ve been studying the Inland Bays since 1969,” said Hughes. “It’s time to put measures in place that will mold the landscape in a manner that improves water quality for current residents and those who will live here in the future.

“The rapid development that is occurring in the watershed makes it imperative that we act now before we lose the opportunity to improve and protect these environmentally sensitive waterways,” he said. “We must all join in preserving the environment that brought the majority of us here in the first place.”

The revised draft of the Inland Bays PCS that will be presented at the workshops is available on-line at the Department’s website, www.dnrec.state.de.us under “Hot Topics.” This document and its accompanying appendices outline changes needed to improve water quality in the Inland Bays.

Delaware’s Inland Bays are impaired because of low dissolved oxygen levels and excess nutrients. The proposed PCS is designed to improve water quality to the extent that it achieves water quality standards.

The PCS includes voluntary actions as well as proposed regulations that would impact septic systems, development practices and stormwater management. For more information, please contact Katherine Bunting-Howarth at (302) 739-4860 or (302) 739-4590, or Lyle Jones at (302) 739-4590. DNREC requests that public comments on the document be sent to Katherine.howarth@state.de.us or lyle.jones@state.de.us or mailed to the Watershed Assessment Section, 820 Silver Lake Boulevard, Suite 220, Dover, DE 19904 by June 17.