Secretary Collin O’Mara of The Department of Natural resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) recently issued a Coastal Zone Act permit to Granthan Lane Associates, LLC., a New Castle construction company whose works includes demolition and excavation of existing roadway.
The permit will allow the company to install a debris crusher at their facility, which will allow them to recycle construction debris into useful products.
“The Delaware Coastal Zone Act Program is special because there is an offset formulate we use that’s 1.3 to 1,” explained Kevin Coyle, Principal Planner of the Delaware Coastal Zone Act Program.
Explaining further, he said “if a manufacturer has one ton of air emissions they have to offset that with 1.3 tons of mitigation somewhere else.”
Because the expected environmental impacts from the crusher operation include an increase of particulate matter at the tune of 0.07 tons per year, the company has proposed a detailed plan to offset that increase.
They have proposed to obtain two tons of emission credits from the Delaware Economic Development Office, to convert a heating plant from fuel oil to propane at a building onsite,to provide a one-time financial contribution of $2500 to replace a hot water heater at a local school district, to plant 200 native species trees onsite, and to remove a solid waste stream from Delaware’s solid waste management system in hopes of extending the life of existing landfills.
Because such thing as a hot water heater that runs on older technology most likely has higher emissions, Coyle said companies can offset their emission increase just by investing in new technology for somewhere else, like at a local school district, as in this case.
Coyle said this ratio allows the coastal zone not only to be protected, but also to surpass its original state.
“It absolutely makes a difference,” said Coyle. “It requires a higher standard to operate in the coast area because not only do they have to mitigate for their impacts, but they are also making improvements in the coastal zone.”
Because of its small size, Delaware’s coastal zone includes the whole state, but it is divided into two ‘tiers,’ the coastal strip, which is 4 miles in width and receives special protection from industrial development, and the rest of the state.
Typically after a permit is issued, unless there is no appeal in the 14-day appeal process, the matter is closed, although the company can start their operation right away. Once the applications preliminary administration is complete, as determined by the Secretary, a decision is issued in 90 days. This is the second Coastal Zone Act permit the state has issued this year.
Mountaire, who recently gained approval from the Sussex County Board of Adjustment for a ‘resource recovery’ or rendering plant near Millsboro has recently applied for a Coastal Zone Act permit.