Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Over $53 million has been paid out to Delaware communities from the National Flood Insurance Program to help pay for damage caused by floods. Our neighboring states have similarly received tens of millions, in many cases hundreds of millions, to help respond to the damages caused by floods.
Unnatural flooding, water pollution and erosion that washes away parks and private properties are often the result of inappropriate development practices.
Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is taking a proactive step to help protect our communities from these avoidable harms. DNREC has proposed new Sediment and Stormwater Regulations that are designed to put in place modern day standards for protecting communities and waterways from the non-natural flooding, pollution and erosion caused by inappropriate development practices. Unfortunately, Developers are coming out against these reasonable regulations that are designed to protect our communities from avoidable harms.
The more than reasonable regulations DNREC is proposing will reduce the volume of runoff that is created by new development – it is the volume of runoff that is responsible for growing flood damages in our communities. The regulations encourage use of development practices that protect vegetated landscapes and focus on soaking water back into the ground rather than letting it run off the land. The regulations ensure that the aquifers that provide us drinking water and feed the streams and wetlands which make Delaware such an enviable place to live are recharged through how development is managed. The regulations will minimize unnecessary pollution that would otherwise be dumped into our waterways and environments. And the regulations provide the level of detail and guidance developers, municipalities and citizens need to make sure we are doing all of this in a way that is most protective of our communities. After all, it’s much cheaper to protect a community than to have to restore it once polluted, flooded, damaged or otherwise harmed – just ask the National Flood Insurance Program which is $18 billion in debt because of such payouts.
DNREC needs citizens to speak out in support of its scientifically based, modern day, and reasonable approach to ensuring new development and redevelopment projects contribute positively to our communities, and don’t do us harm. The deadline for comments is April 1. For more information on where to submit comments: www.delawareriverkeeper.org