House Passes HB 190– The Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act

On June 20, the House passed my bill to establish a conversion permitting process that would allow for remediation and redevelopment of a limited number of abandoned heavy industry sites in Delaware’s coastal zone.

Only 14 specific sites — most of which are in northern NCCo — would be eligible for a conversion permit. Currently, nine of those sites are still in use, so they would not be suited for redevelopment. The potential sites comprise about 2% of the entire coastal zone.

After multiple conversations with several environmental advocates during the past month, we added several amendments to HB 190 to better clarify the process and ensure the preservation of Delaware’s pristine coastline while creating the opportunity for more good-paying jobs.

Under HB 190, an interested industry would need to clean the brownfield, following the Delaware Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act and removing pollution from the site. A new operator also would have to show that it has the financial backing and available funds to complete any future remedial action.

A company applying for a conversion permit would also have to submit a sea-level rise plan. Additionally, there would be restrictions on what types of industries could operate along the coast. Refineries processing crude oil, basic cellulose pulp paper mills, and incinerators would continue to be forbidden, as they have been since the Coastal Zone Act was enacted in 1971.

Read more about the original bill:

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