Last week, environmental officials in Delaware asked the state’s Supreme Court to overturn an earlier ruling that declared storm water and sediment control regulations adopted over the past two years invalid.
The judge on the original case ruled that the regulations require the use of around 2,000 pages of technical documents that were not available to the public under the state's Administrative Procedures Act, according to the Clay Center Dispatch. State officials argued that the technical documents were “advisory” and not necessary for compliance.
On Friday, the Supreme Court upheld the original decision, leading the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to put interim storm water regulations in place, according to Delaware Online. The interim regulations essentially are the invalidated 2014 regulations.
The prosecutor in the case highlighted the state's Transportation Department regulations, which included techincal documents as part of the regulations, and called the storm water technical documents a regulatory "bible" on how to acheive compliance. The plaintiffs in this case, which included landowners, developers and contractors, were seeking transparency and input in the regulations that have a direct impact on their lives and businesses, and greater oversight of the DNREC's actions. They claim the opportunity for public input could have clarified some of the regulations and streamlined some processes that they believe were overly complicated.
How much input do you think the public should have on storm water regulations? Let us know in the comments, or email us at [email protected].