Delaware Sierra Club Supports Efforts to Clean Up Delaware’s Waters
On March 4, 2014 Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary Collin O'Mara held a press conference to kickoff their "Clean Water for Delaware's Future" initiative. We attended, along with over 200 people from the environmental and health community, press and the public, to see the unveiling of this new plan.
In response our chapter issued the following statement:
Delaware Sierra Club Supports Efforts to Clean Up Delaware’s Waters, Hopes for a Focus on Common Sense Solutions & Green Infrastructure
From improving infrastructure to better land use planning, protecting our waterways protects public health & the environment while fueling Delaware’s economy.
The Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club is thrilled that Governor Markell has chosen to unveil the Clean Water for Delaware initiative to renew and modernize our state’s focus on water. We look forward to hearing more about the Governor’s plan and working closely with the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, as well as the Governor’s office, to prioritize protecting Delaware’s waterways from new sources of pollution and finding innovative solutions to clean up the legacy of pollution left by several decades of unchecked industrial activities and incohesive land use planning.
Our communities depend on safe water to survive and to thrive in family life and business. The sad facts are that 94% of Delaware’s rivers do not support aquatic life and wildlife, while 86% are not safe for swimming. These challenges are real, but we know that Delawareans have a history of being innovators. Through implementing green infrastructure solutions we can save state and municipal governments money, create jobs and address some of our most pressing water quality and quantity issues.
In addition to focusing on stormwater and the other aspects Secretary O’Mara laid out in his presentation this morning, we hope that DNREC will renew its focus on bringing DE polluting industries into compliance with the Clean Water Act. Out of the 50 states Delaware is ranked 45th in NPDES Clean Water Act compliance, with 22/50 NPDES permits expired--some for over 10 years. We will continue to push the Department to clean up our waters and put construction workers to work by compelling companies like Delaware City Refining Co. to bring their water infrastructure up to modern standards.
In response to this morning’s event, Stephanie Herron said “It’s past time we as a state recognize the damage we have done to our 2,509 miles of waterways--through years of ineffective regulation, poor land use planning and lax enforcement--and that we begin the difficult but rewarding working of correcting those mistakes. The Sierra Club is proud to join our colleagues throughout the Delaware environmental and health communities in commending Governor Markell and Secretary O’Mara on taking the first steps toward cleaning up Delaware’s water.”
DNREC Clean Water for Delaware Video show at the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcEJNZN-Y-k&feature=youtu.be
News coverage from WBOC: http://www.wboc.com/story/24878049/del-governor-unveils-clean-water-initiative?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
News coverage from WDEL: http://wdel.com/story.php?id=57358
Tuesday, March 4, 2014