About Us

Founded in 1962, the Civic League For New Castle County is an organization comprised of community civic associations, umbrella civic groups, good government groups, businesses, and interested individuals. The League provides a forum for education about, discussion of, and action on issues relating to the impact of government on the quality of life in New Castle County

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Civic League For New Castle County Meeting - Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board Review - Set For 7PM Tuesday In Christiana

Date: Tuesday, February 20th , 2018  
Time:   7:00 - 9:00 p.m. 
Location: Christiana Presbyterian Church
15 North Old Baltimore Pike
Christiana, DE 19702

Upcoming Meetings of Note
WILMAPCO and DELDOT Transportation Public Workshop
Monday, February 26, 2018, 4-7 pm
Newark Free Library, 750 Library Avenue, Newark, Delaware 19711 
Delaware United Public Meeting and Legislators' Forum
Sunday, February 25, 2018, 2:30-5pm
UUFN, 420 Willa Road, Newark, DE 19711 
NCC Department of Land Use Community Open House 
March 1, 2018 from 5-7 pm in the James H. Gilliam Multipurpose Room located at 67 Reads Way in New Castle, at which time the Department will present:
• A general overview about updating the NCC 2012 Comprehensive Plan  
• Updates to the Unified Development Code: Part II (Process and Site Design)
• A follow-up discussion regarding transportation capacity 
• A general overview about updating the NCC 2012 Comprehensive Plan 
• Updates to the Unified Development Code: Part II (Process and Site Design) 
• A follow-up discussion regarding transportation capacity  
*Please note: This event is open to the public but space is limited. If you plan on attending, please register via Eventbrite by February 27, 2018 by clicking here: https://tinyurl.com/yaszkjox  

County Civic Umbrella Group Meeting Report 
County Executive Meyer held a Quarterly Civic Umbrella Meeting on Monday, January 22nd with many CLNCC members attending. The public benefits from meeting as one group and hearing concerns brought by all constituents. 
Mr. Meyer is still considering names for Planning Board Chair as that position remains open and the Board is two members short. 
One bright note: after calling attention to the Department of Land Use current practice of bringing plans forward to the Planning Board without a traffic impact study, DLU GM Rich Hall agreed to revisit the change made in the code under Paul Clark that allows this unfair practice. Citizens pointed out that the Supreme Court ruling on Barley Mill Plaza speaks directly to this mischief. 
There are several controversial development applications in play that absolutely require a TIS to be
included in deliberations. 

DNREC consultant stumbles on legal details in its Draft CZCPA Process Recommendations Report 
By Vic Singer 
The Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, CZCPA, was enacted as HB 190 last June by the General Assembly to modify Delaware's renowned Coastal Zone Act by enabling previously forbidden heavy industry activities on fourteen designated sites within the Coastal Zone. DNREC is required to prepare new regulations to guide the new activities. DNREC engaged the Consensus Building Institute, CBI, to recommend, initially, how to organize a Regulatory Advisory Committee, RAC, to support development of the new regulations. 
CBI undertook individual private interviews with people selected by CBI or DNREC to gather suggestions. After a public outcry objecting to the conduct of public business in private meetings with people with wallet-based interests, CBI conducted further private interviews with others who asked for the opportunity, and DNREC hastily held two public meetings with constrained agendas. 
On December 22, CBI released a draft "Process Recommendation Report" and asked for written comments
by January 19, 2018. Vic Singer submitted comments, repeated below between lines of ~~~~, supplementing his verbal and written comments during an interview some months earlier at Buena Vista with a CBI employee, without repeating them.
CBI's thirteen recommendations implicitly reflect the notion that DNREC's Secretary holds exclusive
authority to establish how to revise Delaware's Coastal Zone Regulation to reflect no less than the newly
legislated requirements of the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act (CZCPA) -- HB 190 enacted in the 2017
session of the General Assembly. In an introductory "Background" statement, the DNREC Secretary's role
is to be aided and abetted by a Regulatory Advisory Committee -- RAC -- that DNREC is to lead. The
charge for the RAC is to "support its [ i.e., DNREC's ] development of new regulations."
Recommendation #1 urges the RAC to deal only with features reflecting the CZCPA, and not with other provisions needful of attention. Recommendations #2 thru #6 urge the DNREC Secretary to categorize RAC membership, establish membership qualification and/or disqualification criteria, to allow or disallow the RAC to form subcommittees whenever it so chooses, Recommendation #7 and #8 urge the DNREC
Secretary and/or the RAC to TRY to reach out to the larger community.
Recommendation #9 urges the DNREC Secretary to give direction to the RAC to draft "detailed prescriptive guidance" for DNREC's staff to prepare actual regulations, which the RAC might -- or might not -- be allowed to review and critique. Recommendations #10 thru #13 involve RAC's work plan, work schedule and procedures, all under DNREC control. 
Clearly, CBI judges that the DNREC Secretary and the Department he heads are totally in control. Whether or not that's consistent with the legislative intent deserves careful attention to the words enacted by the General Assembly. 
The CZCPA was written as an addition to Delaware's Coastal Zone Act, CZA, to enable some previously
prohibited activities and to preserve other prohibitions. That is reflected in the engrossed version of the
CZA available on the internet at http://test.delcode.delaware.gov/title7/c070/index.html.
Except for changes to accommodate newly permissible activities, the provisions of 7 Del. C. Section 7005
"Administration of this chapter" are preserved as they were prior to HB 190. Under Subsection 7005(b), the DNREC Secretary is authorized to issue regulations which do not have the force of law unless approved by the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board, CZICB. And under Subsection 7005(c) the DNREC Secretary is required to develop and propose a comprehensive plan and guidelines for conversion permits which become binding regulations upon adoption by the CZICB after public hearing. And under Subsection 7005(d), DNREC and all other agencies of state government must assist the CZICB in developing policies and procedures and must provide all information that the CZICB may require.
Broadly interpreted, the General Assembly gave to the CZICB the authority to alter any part of or the entirety of any comprehensive plan or regulation proposed by DNREC and/or its Secretary at any time that the CZICB chooses to do so. 
Yet the thirteen CBI recommendations do not mention any role for the CZICB in any part of the process for developing regulatory controls over newly authorized activities in the Coastal Zone. The thirteen CBI recommendations presuppose that the RAC will be totally controlled by DNREC and/or its Secretary, that effectively the RAC will be a puppet on the Secretary's strings. But the legislative intent according to the words of the CZA and the CZCPA enacted by the General Assembly is that for the Coastal Zone, DNREC and/or its Secretary are to be totally controlled by the CZICB, effectively puppets on CZICB's strings. 
Clearly, CBI knows that its clients are the DNREC Secretary and DNREC, and that the clients want to be in
total control despite what the law says. Indeed, recent history mutely demonstrates that the CZICB's overwhelming desire is to go along to get along, i.e., to be a puppet on DNREC's string. A notable recent demonstration of that, is the CZICB's refusal to hear an appeal on a CZ permit on the premise that the appellant didn't qualify for "standing" even though Section 7 Del. C. 7007(b) gives standing to "any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Secretary" and the Section 7 Del. C. 7002(h) definition of "person" as "any individual or group of individuals . . . or any other legal entity."
Since the CZICB would appear to be puppets on DNREC's or its Secretary's string, seeking CZICB's approval for proceeding according to the CBI recommendations might seem a mere formality. Exploring whether or not the CZICB would need to hold a public hearing before endorsing the CBI recommendations is an issue better explored at the outset than at the end of the process. 
CBI needs to add to its final recommendation report an epilogue that it gives at least lip service to the statutory authority of the CZICB along with an explanation for why that wasn't recognized in its draft report. CBI needs to demonstrate that it has read AND UNDERSTOOD both the CZCPA and the CZA in order to make its work product worthy of respect. 
*Vic transmitted his comments electronically at 1:09 pm Jan 19, and DNREC acknowledged receipt at 2:22 pm. Coincidentally, at 1:22 pm on Jan 19, 13 minutes after Vic's electronic transmission, the Delaware Superior Court "EFiled" its disposition of the Appeal from the CZICB's denial of standing in the case that Vic cited to demonstrate that the CZICB is a puppet on DNREC's or its Secretary's string. The court's disposition: after citing the CZA provision on standing, remand to the CZICB for re consideration.
Read Bill Dunn's Delaware Voice article HERE and HERE - Let Community Experts into Coastal Zone Act  Process

Send us your storiesWhat is important to you? Do you have an issue in your community that needs to be addressed? We want to hear from you, our loyal members. Let us know how we can help!

CLNCC Contact Info: 
President Jordyn Pusey President@CivicLeagueforNCC.Org (302) 388-1101 
Vice President Bill Dunn bill_done@msn.com (302) 994-9334  
Vice President Nancy Willing nancyvwilling@yahoo.com (302) 294-1939 
Treasurer Scot Sauer treasurer@civicleagueforncc.org (302) 996-9075 
Secretary Barry Shotwell cnb.shotwell@yahoo.com (302) 584-2242

Friday, January 12, 2018

CLNCC Monthly Meeting Set For 7PM Tuesday, January 16th In Christiana

Civic League For New Castle County Meeting 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018  

7 - 9 p.m. 

Christiana Presbyterian Church, 
15 North Old Baltimore Pike
Christiana, DE 19702

- General Membership Meeting 

Click here to view
CLNCC County Comments

Click here to 

Become a CLNCC Member

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Petition DNREC To Regulate Sandblasting of Surfaces Containing Lead or Other Toxic Metals on Outdoor Structures in Delaware

Civic League Board member Sara Bucic is currently circulating a petition which follows up on the Civic League for New Castle County's resolution from April 2017 regarding the Sandblasting of Surfaces Containing Lead or Other Toxic Metals on Outdoor Structures in DelawareIf you haven't yet signed it, please consider signing it HERE.

Read more about Lead Hazards in Delaware in Sarah Bucic's News Journal Op-Eds from April, The lead exemption loophole that DNREC must fix and September Lead paint sandblasting on water towers remains an environmental hazard. 

In this petition, citizens are urging Secretary Garvin to follow through with promised regulatory reform from his October response ~ DNREC chief: We're taking action on lead paint sandblasting

First, I thank Sarah Bucic, RN, for her vigilance in advocating for the environment and public health and safety from potential toxic lead contamination as a result of dry abrasive blasting of lead-based paint from water towers.
After documenting that lead paint chips fell near her home, Ms. Bucic brought the issue to my attention when I became DNREC secretary earlier this year and to the public’s attention in a recent News Journal “Delaware Voice” op-ed. 
Lead is a neurotoxin, which means exposure to high levels of it, either through inhalation or ingestion, can cause damage to the brain and kidneys. As nurse Bucic reminds us, lead exposure for children is of particular concern, since even at lower levels of exposure, lead can permanently affect a child’s mental and physical growth.
Historically, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s regulations exempted dry abrasive blasting and painting of water towers. 
But this past spring, the department took steps to clarify our expectation for containment of lead during dry abrasive blasting by water tank owners. We moved to reach agreement with the tank owners on steps that they would take immediately on a voluntary basis.
DNREC developed and vetted with the industry an approach of “principles and commitments” to properly manage blasting activities to ensure no lead or other materials would enter the environment – and that, should a release occur, a prepared response plan would be implemented. The approach included an expectation for a public notification to nearby residents 30 days prior to the activity.
More recently, DNREC has embarked on developing a general permit spearheaded by the Division of Air Quality to include the measures identified in the “principles and commitments” as well as further strengthening the public participation process and DNREC oversight. The general permit will provide clear direction on what is required if you are engaged in dry abrasive blasting of water towers.
The department intends to begin developing the permit process this month and to revise the regulation that currently provides an exemption for dry-abrasive blasting activities by mid-2018. DNREC considers these actions to be appropriate and responsible, given what has long been known about the dangers of lead in the environment and the harm it can cause.
The department also recognizes there are still many challenges as we continue to protect our public health and our environment, and we know that it will take all of our collective efforts to meet those challenges.
The largest source of potential lead exposure is in homes constructed before 1978. To learn more about lead abatement strategies, please visit www.LeadSafeDelaware.org or call the Public Health Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (302) 744-4546, ext. 4.
Shawn M. Garvin is secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

And read Green Delaware’s action alert on the sandblasting petition ~ Sign on to anti-lead-poisoning petition/letter
Back to lead poisoning.  There is no safe level of lead exposure.  It dumbs us down..........In September we urged support for an effort lead by Sarah Bucic, calling on the Delaware DNREC to establish stronger regulations.  See Protect Delawareans from lead poisoning and her op-ed in the Wilmington News Journal.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Coastal Zone Act changes need more public input

A Delaware Voice Op-Ed by Jordyn Pusey, President Civic League for New Castle County

Coastal Zone Act changes need more public input: Delaware Voice

In June of this year, the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act (HB 190) was introduced before the General Assembly. Many groups, including the Civic League for New Castle County, had bemoaned the lack of outreach to civic groups, environmental groups, and especially “fenceline” communities that will be most affected by any changes to the Coastal Zone Act regulations.
The appearance of this legislation, the process behind its formulation, and the speed in which it went from introduction to approval seemed to cater to special interests and industry insiders, at the expense of a fully transparent and public process. At that time, groups were assured by the bill’s sponsors and other proponents that the public would have the opportunity for input during the promulgation of regulations.
When the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Shawn M. Garvin signed the Start Action Notice for the regulatory process in late September, he was quoted as saying that “DNREC is committed to developing the regulations governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act Conversion Permit in a transparent manner that facilitates and encourages public input and involvement” and that “in order to ensure a wide representation, the Regulatory Advisory Committee will be composed of stakeholders including regulated parties, large and small businesses, organized labor, communities, conservation and environmental organizations, regional and local government, and other affected persons.”
The Critical Needs Assessment notes that “DNREC shall begin the Public Workshop process no later than October 1, 2017” and that failure to meet certain deadlines would “have political consequences and likely erode the public trust.”
By some twist of logic, the promised public workshops morphed into “confidential, stakeholder interviews” with a third party: the Consensus Building Institute. These interviews were conducted with 25 different individuals and groups identified by DNREC as “stakeholders” and took place towards the end of October.
Not one member of a community or civic group was initially invited to participate. DNREC did eventually invite the Civic League to participate, and despite our deep concerns over the opaque process, we agreed. We strongly encouraged that finding consensus must be an inclusive, open process for all stakeholders.  
Where does that leave fenceline communities? They are not being truly included in the public process, and are consigned to live with the environmental and health implications of legacy pollution and potential new heavy industrial pollution.
It is troubling that community leaders and residents have not been deemed valuable enough by a state agency to share their experiences, goals, and concerns about changes to the Coastal Zone Act and how those changes will directly impact their communities.
DNREC scheduled two "public workshops" this week. While we encouraged people to attend so that their voices were heard, holding two “public workshops” on short notice is wholly insufficient.
Public workshops are not public hearings. They are not necessarily part of any formal record. Giving two weeks notice of workshops held the week after Thanksgiving does not allow for the public to engage on a meaningful level about regulations that can potentially impact their lives in very serious ways.
If our leaders truly value a public, transparent process, then DNREC needs to immediately change course and call for at least four public hearings prior to the formation of the Regulatory Advisory Committee. Residents from neighboring communities should ultimately serve on the RAC. These workshops should be held in the areas of Claymont, Southbridge, the Route 9 Corridor, and Delaware City. They should be held at a convenient time, so that working citizens can attend, and in locations that are accessible to public transit and pedestrians.
Public trust is eroding steadily. Claims of valuing transparency and open government mean nothing if actions do not match words. Please call your legislators to request this process be as open and inclusive as possible. We must start valuing the opinions of all of our citizens and making the necessary accommodations to reach out and bring groups together for the benefit of all. It’s never too late to do the right thing. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Coastal Zone Regulations Workshops: 6-8PM November 29th In Wilmington; November 30th In Delaware City

TWO DNREC workshops have been set for Coastal Zone Regulations - public information meetings:
6 - 8  p.m. Wednesday, November 29th At the Kingswood Community Center, 2300 Bowers St., Wilmington, DE 19802.
6 - 8 p.m. Thursday, November 30th In Delaware City at the Fire Hall, 815 5th St, Delaware City, DE 19706.
From the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar:
This workshop will provide the public with an opportunity to hear a brief presentation about Coastal Zone Conversion Permits and to provide input to DNREC about the development of regulations for Conversion Permits.
DNREC Contact info for questions: 
Brittany Klecan, 302-735-3480 email brittany.klecan@state.de.us

Click on the links below for more information -
DNREC: Coastal Zone Conversion Permits
Start Action Notice 2017-17 
The Delaware Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act (81 Del. Laws, c. 120) 
The Delaware Coastal Zone Act (7 Del.C. Chapter 70) 
Regulations Governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone (7 DE Admin Code 101) 
Remediation Status Baseline Report on Existing Heavy Industry Use Sites 
Signed CBI/DNREC Professional Services Contract
Questions and answers about the stakeholder interview process 
A Map of the Delaware Coastal Zone 
The Coastal Zone Act Program

Sunday, November 12, 2017

CLNCC Monthly Meeting Set For 7PM Tuesday, November 21st In Christiana

CLNCC Meeting
Date: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 
Time:   7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Christiana Presbyterian Church
15 North Old Baltimore Pike
Christiana, DE 19702 
  •  John Morgan, DelCOG advocacy efforts 
  •  Civic League Participation in Coastal Zone Modification “Stakeholder Interview” 
  •  Change Campaign with Network DE on including impacted communities in the stakeholder process Update on Lead Paint Sandblasting Regulations- Sign On Letter, Sarah Bucic 
  •  Update on Boxwood Plant- Environmental Issues and Site Plans 
  • - County LOS Presentation Takeaways 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Updated: Civic League for New Castle County Monthly Meeting - 7PM Tuesday In Christiana

Update: Tonight's event is closed to the general public
This meeting was reported in error in the October News Letter as open to all --- Boxwood Road GM Plant Update Representatives from Harvey, Hanna and Associates will be unveiling their plan for the former GM facility on Monday, October 23, 2017 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at: Minquas Fire Hall 21 N. James Street Newport, DE 19804
Monthly Meeting
Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Christiana Presbyterian Church.
15 North Old Baltimore Pike Christiana, DE 19702
Read the October Newsletter (PDF HERE:)
  • DNREC has announced the initiation of process to develop regulations for Coastal Zone Conversion Permits
  • Serious concerns raised over TIS for Delaware National
  • Changes to Traditional Neighborhood Housing Proposed 17-094