House Bill 248
152nd General Assembly (Present)
House Natural Resources & Energy 6/23/23
Committee Hearing takes place within twelve legislative days.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PRE-PERMIT COMMUNITY OUTREACH IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES.
This Act establishes a pre-permit community outreach process for any qualified project, as defined in DNREC Regulations, that wishes to apply for a permit within 3 months, in an underserved community. Underserved community is defined in (5) specified demographic areas as well as any community so identified in a mapping tool on DNREC’s website. It is anticipated that DNREC will have an environmental justice area viewer, or similar tool, as a link on its website. Under this Act the applicant must (1) identify a facility community liaison; (2) must schedule a community meeting in or within 3 miles of the boundaries of the underserved community;(3) must provide a written overview of information to be provided in the permit application, the operation the applicant seeks to have permitted, including any renewal, new or change to any amounts or contents of emissions, and the community liaison’s contact information to all residences within the underserved community, (4) must publish the community meeting notice on-line and in at least 1 newspaper and, if available, 1 in the predominate non-English language if the underserved community is identified as limited English proficiency, at least 30 days prior to the scheduled community meeting. The community meeting must allow for interaction and questions and answers. The community meeting must be recorded or transcribed and made publicly available. Any written materials and oral and visual presentations must be accurate, free of technical language, and comprehensible to readers at a sixth-grade level. The applicant must also provide an Underserved Community Outreach Report to DNREC as part of the permit application and review process by DNREC. The Report must include: (1) The community demographics that qualify it as an underserved community;(2) Community liaison’s contact information; (3) Benefits of the qualified project to the community;(4) Proposed activities and their impact on air, water, soil, and health;(5)That releases of emissions over permit levels will be reported in accord with DNREC regulations; (6) Description of operations conditions or control measures that serve to reduce or mitigate pollution associated with the permit application; (7) Compliance history of facility over last 5 years and verification that any fines, penalties and remedial obligations have been fulfilled; and (8) all applicable state and federal permits held by the facility. All material provided by mail or at the community meeting and all notices must also be provided to DNREC. If the Secretary of DNREC determines any false information was provided by the applicant, it will be considered a falsification of the permit application. All cost incurred in complying with these new pre-permit community outreach requirements are to be paid by the applicant. This Act will be effective within 30 days of publication of notice by the Register of Regulations that DNREC has advised it that it has promulgated regulations to administer this Act.
Takes effect upon being signed into law