Sussex urged to support DNREC regs

December 15, 2013

The following are Science Coordinator for the Inland Bays Foundation John Austin's recent comments before Sussex County Council in support of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's on-site waste water regulation, submitted to the Cape Gazette for publication.

Good afternoon, my name is John Austin. I live near Rehoboth in Mr. Cole’s district. I’m currently the science coordinator and member of the board of the Inland Bay Foundation. We have closely followed and commented on onsite treatment regulations discussed earler.

I would like to inform the council that more than 90 percent of Delaware’s rivers, streams and lakes remain "impaired waters." That's politically correct speak for “polluted.” They are waters that do not meet water quality standards for their designated uses, such as recreation, fishing or drinking.

This council as well as DNREC has an obligation to protect the county and its waterways from the harmful effects of air or water pollution of any type. The onsite wastewater regulation has been through five years of development, 13 workshops, three public hearings; proposal, re-proposal and re-re-proposals after engaging groups such as the Delaware On-Site Wastewater Recycling Association, Center for the Inland Bays, Clean Water Advisory Council, Kent County Levy Court, Delaware Association of Realtors, Tidewater and Artesian, and numerous legislators.

The septic regulations for Chesapeake Bay tidal waters is but one sentence in a multi-page update to regulations. The consensus is the regulation is a workable compromise and should now be adopted by DNREC. I thank the council for not acting to delay or impede the regulation.

John Austin
science coordinator
Inland Bays Foundation

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