Rich Collins was on the show last week to discuss the proposed regulations DNREC wants to put in place. You can open the document by clicking here.
What follows is his letter that was published in the 9-12 Delaware Patriots e-mail dated December 12, 2012, regarding those proposed regulations.
POSITIVE GROWTH ALLIANCE
DNREC SEPTIC REGULATIONS
Official Statement from Positive Growth Alliance
Positive Growth Alliance members & interested parties:
Public comments are due on DNREC's septic regulations by this Saturday, December 15. They should be sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also mail to:
DNREC - Division of Water
Groundwater Discharges Section
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901
Below are the official PGA comments for the record on this matter:
For the public record regarding the proposed regulation for Onsite Wastewater Disposal and Treatment systems:
The Positive Growth Alliance is quite concerned about the ongoing revision of the "Onsite Wastewater Disposal & Treatment System" regulations. We have concerns regarding the legal process as well as specific requirements in the regulation that conflict with state law.
As you know, we were quite concerned that no public hearing was originally scheduled with the re-publishing of the regulation in the Delaware Register of Regulations. Even though the public hearing was eventually held on November 15, 2012, it still is not mentioned in the Register of Regulations.
Also, there have been no public workshops between the May 3, 2012, public hearing and the December 15, 2012, public hearing. This is an extremely dense regulation and we are formally requesting the scheduling of a public workshop for the specific purpose of explaining exactly what the differences are between the May 3 and November 15 versions. At a minimum, we are requesting at least one workshop in Sussex County.
Concerns about specific requirements:
1. Reducing the nitrogen discharge of large RIB systems from 5 mg/liter to 4 mg/liter would have virtually no environmental benefit while being extremely expensive. It is our understanding that 1,000 homes being served by a RIB system with 300,000 gallons per day of flow would create a reduction of nitrogen to the groundwater of only 2.5 pounds per year. This insignificant reduction would cost as much as $500 per home per year, not accounting for inflation. Over 10 years, that would be a total reduction of 25 pounds of N at a cost of approximately $5 million. At the public workshop, we would appreciate it if DNREC could explain how this could possibly be a benefit to Delaware citizens. Surely there must be a use of $5,000,000 of our dollars that could provide more benefit, environmental or otherwise.
2. We are also extremely concerned about the concept of permits being "personal" and being transferable only on the whim of DNREC. This violates the constitutional requirement that citizens receive equal protection under the law. Also, DNREC has no authority to deny a permit on a "personal" basis in state code and there are no criteria spelled out in the proposed regulation for permit denial on this basis.
3. We also believe requiring 30 day written permission from DNREC in advance would put an unacceptable legal burden on sellers of real estate.Title 7, 6010(a) prohibits DNREC from creating regulations that "extend, modify or conflict with any law of this State or the reasonable implications thereof." This language was affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court in their decision on the inlands bays buffer zone lawsuit.
Specifically, this provision conflicts with Title 25, 309, 312, 313, and many other parts of Title 25 regarding "Property."
In our opinion, the conflicts of the proposed regulation with Title 25 will require a substantive re-write of the reg, a republishing, and a new public hearing with proper advertising.
Richard G. Collins
P.S. The conflicts with Title 25 of State code will also require removing language from issued septic permits that make them "personal" and that require 30 day advance written permission to transfer the permits.
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