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It is Still Not a Shore Thing: Environmental Improvement and Industrial Uses of Delaware’s Coastal Zone
Delaware Lawyer (1999)
  • James R. May
  • Wendy L. Myers
This article discusses first-time regulations designed to implement Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act (CZA). Propelled by then Delaware Governor Russell Peterson, Delaware enacted the CZA in 1972 to much acclaim to curb industrialization of Delaware’s coast. The coast of Delaware is home to migratory birds, and is in fact the scene of the largest bird migration pattern in the U.S. The coast is also vital to the tourism industry. The purpose of this article is to discuss two of the CZA's major aspects. Section I examines uses that are prohibited within the coastal zone, namely, new "heavy industry," "bulk product transfer facilities," and other new "nonconforming uses." Section II discusses the process used to determine whether to issue a permit for other uses, such as "manufacturing uses," and extensions or expansions to existing non-conforming uses. Section II then explains the method employed for ensuring that a permitted project will result in net environmental improvement in the coastal zone. Section III analyzes the Regulations' most important aspects The goal of the approved permit applications are general environmental improvement in the coastal zone, and those plans which fall short of reaching that goal and have a negative impact on the coastal zone are required to also submit an “offset” plan. While these regulations have been largely beneficial, there are also several deficiencies, including whether “heavy industry” applies to generators and whether the regulations’ allowance of the offset projects outside of the coastal zone is legal.
  • environmental law,
  • coastal zone,
  • delaware
Publication Date
Spring 1999
Citation Information
James R. May and Wendy L. Myers. "It is Still Not a Shore Thing: Environmental Improvement and Industrial Uses of Delaware’s Coastal Zone" Delaware Lawyer (1999)
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