I strongly believe the 46-year-old Coastal Zone Act was – and still is – a landmark piece of legislation. It has limited heavy industry activity to only 14 sites, comprising less than 2% of our total Coastal Zone. HB 190, signed by Governor John Carney signed on August 2, will not change that.
This new law establishes a conversion permitting process that allows for remediation and redevelopment of a limited number of abandoned heavy industry sites along Delaware’s coastline for industrial use.
I’m grateful to Rep. Debra Heffernan, Sen. Bryan Townsend and all the staff at DNREC who worked to make this legislation a reality. Our hope is that responsible companies are able to clean these abandoned brownfields and turn them into active industries, these sites could employ hundreds, even thousands, of Delawareans, offering good-paying jobs that could become careers for many. The process of remediating and building up an industry would mean more environmental cleaning and construction jobs.