Testimony: STATEMENT for the RECORD PROPOSED SEDIMENT and STORMWATER REGULATIONS
MARCH 1, 2012 PUBLIC HEARING
The Inland Bays Foundation is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization whose goal is to work diligently and proactively toward removing the Inland Bays and their tributaries from the State and Federal list of impaired waters and to return them to their once ‘fishable’ and ‘swimmable’ status.
REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE DESIGN, INSTALLATION AND OPERATION OF ON-SITE WASTEWATER TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL SYSTEMS
STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD
MAY 3, 2012
Good evening, My name is Bill Moyer and I am speaking tonight as President of the Inland Bays Foundation (IBF) and on behalf of our Board of directors.
The Inland Bays of Delaware provide an invaluable economic and recreational resource to all Delaware residents and visitors. As Secretary O’Mara stated in his April 22, 1012 Delaware Voice column in the News Journal, “……..there is much more effort needed as important commercial and recreational waterways like the……..Inland Bays are suffering from run-off and other pollution that prevents them from being fishable and swimmable.” This is a sad legacy to leave for future generations and the IBF commends DNREC for putting forth the proposed On Site Regulations and fully supports their effort. Those people testifying this evening with comments opposing the proposed regulations that cannot be substantiated or are not factually correct have either self-serving interests or are not genuinely concerned about environmental protection in Delaware. The IBF comments are contained in the testimony of John Austin and the supporting document that he has submitted to DNREC.
I would like to emphasize the need to include phosphorous in the required annual reports and to limit the discharge level of Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorous to 3.0 mg/l and 0.3 mg/l respectively.
The IBF is very concerned with the increasing use of ‘offsets’ in proposed DNREC regulations where offsets are allowed to ‘substitute’ for environmental degradation. There is particular concern with the proposed regs since they would allow for a permittee to “opt out to participate in a nutrient management program.” Does this mean that a facility that does not comply with their permit no longer has to comply if they choose to ‘opt out’. Also, the ‘nutrient offset program’ has not been developed by the Department and therefore the public has not had a chance to review or comment on it. Opting out is a dangerous precedent for the Department to follow. Section 2.16.1 should either be deleted from the proposed regulations or the regulations should not take effect until the ‘nutrient offset program’ has been made available for public review.
The Inland Bays Foundation urges the Department to adopt the proposed regulations as soon as possible so that the environmental benefits that will ensue can be realized.
Earth Day Message from DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara
Imagine the lengths that we would go if a multibillion dollar industry supporting thousands of jobs said it was leaving the state. We would use every tool at our disposal to save those jobs.
Would it surprise you to learn that from our stunning beaches and waterways to our unrivaled parks and wildlife areas, Delaware’s natural environment supports billions of dollars of economic activity and is a critical job generator in the state? We don’t often think or talk about our natural resources this way, but on this Earth Day, I propose that protecting and restoring our natural resources is essential to our state’s economic well-being and provides one of the greatest opportunities for job growth in the years ahead.
Thousands of Delaware jobs in businesses like hotels, restaurants, retail outlets, bait and tackle shops, recreational equipment stores, boat sales and commercial fishing depend upon a healthy environment. In addition, our natural resources provide hundreds of millions of dollars of irreplaceable economic value purifying air and water, mitigating flooding, and supporting diverse species. And recreational amenities, such as biking and walking trails, reduce health care costs.
Inland Bays Foundation seeks members to help in mission
The Inland Bays Foundation is up and running and ready to recruit members. They had their first official meeting as an established 501(c)3 organization in October 2011 and have a mission “to advocate and promote the restoration of the Inland Bays watershed by conducting public outreach and education, tracking restoration efforts, encouraging scientific inquiry and sponsoring needed research, in order to establish a long-term process for the protection and enhancement of the Inland Bays.”
“We feel we are now well enough organized and ready to go to get members,” explained IBF President Bill Moyer. “We are ready to let people know who we are, what our objectives are and why they should join.”
He added that, simply, anyone who “cares about the inland bays and wants to return them to their fishable and swimmable state” should become a member.
Wetlands Lost: News From the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
New report shows Delaware continues to lose valuable wetlands despite conservation efforts Report demonstrates importance of wetlands in cleaning water, reducing flooding, protecting the coast and providing habitat.
DOVER (Feb. 27, 2012) – A new report released this week prior to the biennial Delaware Wetlands Conference concludes that despite heightened public awareness of the importance of wetlands and stronger conservation efforts throughout the state to combat their loss, Delaware continues to surrender critical wetlands at an alarming rate. “Delaware Wetlands: Status and Changes” documents that the loss of quality wetlands in the state far outpaces the acres of wetlands that have been created and restored. The report describes the valuable functions of Delaware’s wetlands, including helping to purify the state’s waters, reducing flooding by capturing and holding water, contributing to groundwater supplies, protecting the coast from storms, and providing critical habitat for fish and wildlife species. The report also references recommendations made in an earlier report by national wetlands experts on best practices adopted in other states which could prove effective at reversing the trend of significant losses in Delaware.