DNREC invites public involvement in environmental review of proposed Rehoboth Beach wastewater ocean outfall project

by Dave on August 10, 2010

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is conducting an environmental review process on the impact of a proposed ocean outfall from the Rehoboth Beach Wastewater Treatment Facility. This process, which includes a public comment component, is the first step in DNREC’s review of an application by the City of Rehoboth Beach for funding from the state’s Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund. The City’s loan request includes assistance for a pump station, force main and ocean outfall from the treatment plant.

Given the significance of the project, DNREC is required to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) prior to the approval of financial assistance for the project. Public participation by interested federal, state, and local agencies as well as other interested organizations and the general public is encouraged during the EIS drafting process. Comments are requested on the scope of the project, and will be used by the City’s consultant to draft the EIS, which will address reasonable alternatives that should be considered, anticipated environmental problems, and actions that might be taken to mitigate concerns.

A public meeting on the content of the EIS will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 21, at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center, Rehoboth Beach, to ensure that all concerns are identified and addressed before the draft EIS is prepared by the City. The draft EIS is expected to be completed in early 2011, and will then be available for public review during a 30-day comment period and a public hearing.

After the final EIS is prepared, DNREC will review the document to ensure that all concerns and issues have been addressed and that actions will be taken by the City during the project planning and construction process to incorporate all necessary mitigating factors. DNREC will then either approve or deny the final EIS. The final EIS will be used in DNREC’s Record of Decision on the City of Rehoboth Beach’s loan application.

DNREC’s Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS can be found at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Admin/Documents/Rehoboth_Beach_NOI_08-08-11.pdf

Written comments will be accepted now through Friday, Sept. 22, 2010 and may be sent to Greg Pope, DNREC Financial Assistance Branch, 5 East Reed Street, Suite 200, Dover, DE 19901. Comments may also be faxed to 302-739-2137 or emailed to greg.pope@state.de.us. For more information, call 302-739-9941.

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