Environment

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An oyster restoration project in the Little Choptank River is being cut back by about one fourth or a 118 acres of the original goal.

It will mean a reduction of around 19.5 million oysters which would filter over 1 billion liters of water per day.

The decision comes after boats ran aground on another oyster sanctuary and the rebuilding of some of the man-made reefs.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the environmentalists have hailed these projects which are part of a federal-state agreement for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

cleanenergycouncil.org

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state panel formed to study the potential environmental and economic development benefits to Delaware from offshore wind energy development is getting down to work.

A key issue for the group, meeting for the first time on Friday, is the costs and benefits for electric utility customers in Delaware.

The working group is chaired by Bruce Burcat, a former Public Service Commission official who currently serves as executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition.

creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials have begun the process for developing regulations for new industry in Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone.

A new law enacted this year establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites within the zone, including abandoned brownfields.

State environmental secretary Shawn Garvin signed a notice last week starting the regulatory development process to implement permitting for land use conversion within the coastal zone.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Republicans in the House are moving to cut as much as $1 dollar for every $6 dollars that are now slated to help restore the Chesapeake Bay

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte has also authored a measure that would keep the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing the cleanup plan.

The legislation has been approved along party lines but Eastern Shore Republican Andy Harris and 12 other Republicans voted against his amendment.

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - The federal government is giving Virginia nearly $2.7 million to help manage its coastline.

The Daily Press in Newport News reports that the money will help reduce flooding and pollution while improving fisheries and wildlife habitats.

The funding is being award by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And it will be matched by state and local governments.

The money is being distributed through the state's Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, a network of state and local agencies.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Chemical company DuPont has agreed to pay nearly $400 million to settle environmental lawsuits ahead of its planned merger with the Dow Chemical Co.

The Delaware-based company agreed last week to pay more than $50 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the federal government and the State of Virginia over the release of mercury from a former facility in Waynesboro, Virginia.

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Governor John Carney signed measure that amends Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act that would allow development of 14 former and current heavy industrial sites.

Carney called the law a win-win opportunity for the First State that would make for a cleaner environment as well as provide additional jobs to Delaware’s economy.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that it has been praised by business groups but has been condemned by environmentalists.

All but one of the industrial sites are located in New Castle County.

Don Rush

The Nanticoke River has received a grade of C+ from an environmental group.

This is down from the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance report in 2015.

WBOC reports that the downgrade is probably due to localized rain fall during the summer and fall of 2016.

In addition, samples at the Transquaking River showed high bacteria levels than in the past indicating human activity including septic tank or other sewage leakage.  

Over 40 citizen scientists participated in the monitoring taking samples and measurements every other week from late March through early November.  

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A proposal to open Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The bill cleared a House committee Wednesday despite complaints from environmental groups and other opponents about the lack of public input.

The bill establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites, including abandoned and polluted brownfields.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Several environmental groups are suing the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality over part of the permitting process for two proposed natural gas pipelines.

The Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, Bold Alliance and Preserve Craig Inc. filed suit this week in Richmond Circuit Court. They're challenging an approval DEQ granted in April that allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct the broader of two types of water quality reviews for the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines.

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