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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Call To Action! Tell Your Legislators To Take A Stand Against HB 190 And Protect Our Coastal Communities

"I'm loyal to future generations" - Russell Peterson

CLNCC Call for Action - CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS AND DEMAND THEY STOP HB 190! Future generations are depending on us.

The Coastal Zone Act is the legacy of visionary leadership.

The inherent value of protecting our coastlines from new heavy industry was recognized, and by virtue of this legislation, miles of coastline were kept pristine and available for uses that do not pose the risk of contamination, but do promote economic growth, recreation and tourism.

Peterson had the audacity to challenge the special interests of his time, for the sake of benefiting generations of Delawareans he would never know.

A call for "eternal vigilance" remains ever pressing and is required now.

Those special interests are still here, with the same tired talking points, 40+ years later, waiting and ready for a puppet to do their bidding and undo the protections of the CZA. They found a few. HB 190 has been introduced. The drafting of this legislation was done in darkness, with zero transparency, and is being fast tracked. We cannot allow this to occur. 


Future generations are depending on us!

The Civic League for New Castle County voted  to approve this Resolution at a special meeting held Tuesday, May 30, 2017:




WHEREAS, the Coastal Zone Act determined that the coastal areas of Delaware are the most critical areas for the future recreational and tourism needs of the State, as well as the quality of life for residents of the State for all subsequent generations, and

WHEREAS, the Coastal Zone Act declared the “public policy of the State to control the location, extent, and type of industrial development in Delaware’s coastal areas...to better protect the natural environment of its bay and coastal areas, and safeguard their use primarily for recreation and tourism”1, and

WHEREAS, the CZA specifically cites that “offshore bulk product transfer facilities represent a significant danger of pollution to the coastal zone and generate pressure for the construction of industrial plants in the coastal zone, which construction is declared to be against public policy”1, and

WHEREAS, the coastal zone already permits “heavy industry” in operation June 28, 1971 to remain in operation and permits allowable conforming uses within the coastal zone including but not limited to “garment factories, automobile assembly plants, jewelry and leather goods manufacturing establishments, and on-shore facilities, less than 20 acres in size, consisting of warehouses, equipment repair and maintenance structures, open storage areas, office and communications buildings, helipads, parking space and other service or supply structures required for the transfer of materials and workers in support of off-shore research, exploration and development operations; as long as on-shore facilities do not include tanks farms or storage tanks”1, and

WHEREAS, healthy air, water and land are vital to Delaware’s communities, and pollution is a risk to health, HB 190 places the valuable resource of the Delaware Bayshore at risk to industrial accidents and chemical spills that could foul the estuary and harm our recreational economy, and

WHEREAS, HB 190 potentiates an increased risk of industrial pollution which places the health and welfare of Delawareans at risk by removing the main purposes as written of the Coastal Zone Act, which is the prohibition on new heavy industry and the prohibition on bulk product transfer, and

WHEREAS, HB 190 allows new heavy industry and new bulk product transfer in the Coastal Zone, which presents inherent dangers related to transferring hazardous materials from vessel to vessel or to shore, and by rail, and also attracts further accessory heavy industry to the Coastal Zone, increasing public health and ecosystem risks, and

WHEREAS, all fourteen sites of nonconforming use are in various stages of environmental remediation from previous and ongoing contamination from heavy industry uses, and

WHEREAS, elevated cancer census tracts have been identified by Delaware Division of Public Health near heavy industry and legacy pollution sites2, and

WHEREAS, lung cancer continues to play an enormous role in Delaware’s overall cancer burden3, and Delaware Public Health estimates 46,000 adult Delawareans currently have asthma and as many 72,000 have had asthma at some time during their lives4, and

WHEREAS, Delaware Public Health confirms airborne pollution is a major triggers for asthma symptoms4 HB 190 is anticipated to increase airborne pollution in the coastal zone, and

WHEREAS, Delaware is one of only three states with both a large oil refinery that does not employ inspectors to oversee railroads5 and fuel shipments utilizing these tracks are likely to increase with the passing of HB 190, and

WHEREAS, legislation that significantly alters said purpose and protections of the Coastal Zone Act, such as HB 190, has not been fully vetted by all stakeholders, including but not limited to: fence line communities, conservation groups, environmental groups, business groups, civic groups, sportsmen, regulatory agencies, or other legislators, and

WHEREAS, any changes considered to a law as successful as the Delaware Coastal Zone Act that is credited with protecting our coastal zone and contributing to Delaware’s $3.6 billion tourism industry demands a deliberate, transparent, and inclusive public process to ensure any changes are aligned with the vision of Delawareans and to safeguard against any unintended consequences of changes to the act on our communities,


BE IT RESOLVED by the Civic League for New Castle County that HB 190 be withdrawn.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED before any bill is submitted which intends to modify the Coastal Zone Act or any amendments are proposed to the Coastal Zone Act:

1.      The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) should conduct a study of the environmental and economic benefits of the Coastal Zone Act.

2.      An inclusive and public stakeholder evaluation should precede any proposed changes to the Coastal Zone Act.

1 TITLE 7 Conservation Natural Resources CHAPTER 70. COASTAL ZONE ACT http://delcode.delaware.gov/title7/c070/
2 Five-year Age-adjusted Cancer Incidence Rates by Census Tracts, Delaware, 2001-2005 http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/dpc/files/cancer_cthilow_nc.pdf
3 From 2006–2010, lung cancer accounted for 14.7% of all newly-diagnosed cancer cases
and 30.3% of all cancer deaths in the state.
4 The Burden of Asthma in Delaware. (August 2005) http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/dpc/asthma.html

5 Rail safety questioned as fuel shipments likely to go up. (May 26, 2017)

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