University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

News Journal: Chatter rises on Coastal Zone Act, but no changes yet

Debate over the Delaware City refinery revealed problems with the state’s Coastal Zone Act, but there’s little chance of changes to the landmark conservation law despite complaints from supporters and critics alike who agree that it’s flawed.

Delaware enacted the law in 1971 to block attempts to build a second refinery along the lower Delaware River, a move certain to bring in other new heavy industries. The measure banned all new heavy industries from a 275,000 acre buffer along the river, Delaware Bay, Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, but regulations to manage the law were not approved until the late 1990s and remain incomplete.