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Lewes, Delaware
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April 6, 2012     Cape Gazette
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April 6, 2012
 

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Cape Gazette NEWS FRIDAY, APRIL 6- MONDAY. APRIL 9. 2012 9 Comment on environmental impact statement due by May 10 By Ryan Mavity the most cost-effective solution, next three years, the city debated ryanm@capegazette.cim since after paying back the state's ocean outfall and land applica- loan, the city's only costs would tion, ultimately rejecting the lat- Rehoboth Beach and state off'l- be operations and maintenance, ter because of the high cost of cials are set to unveil the city's Land alSplication, would re- land and the lack Of control the environmental impact statement quire the city to make payments city would have over costs. on Rehoboth's ocean ouffall proj- to Sussex County or a private en- The proposed project would ect. No alarms and no surprises tity well after the loan is paid off, pump treated effluent from the are expected at the 1 p.m., Tues- the statement says. Rehoboth Wastewater Treat- day, April 10 public hearing. The statement also examines ment Plant to the outfall pipe Rip Copithorn of international the outfall's impact on aquatic 6,000 feet off the shores of engineering firm GHD, which plants, fish and wildlife. Deauville Beach. The effluent prepared the statement, said the 'All of the fish species assocb would be pumped through a pip- goal of the meeting is to present ated with the area of concern are ing system that leads down State the full statement to the public highly mobile and migratory, and Road through Grove Park and and gather comments. While it all mammals near the project}ex- under Henlopen Avenue to the contains nothing new, Copithorn tend far beyond the area. Any outfall Site. The city would use a said he hopes the public will re- contaminant potentially present combination of open trench cut- view the statement and ask ques- is rapidly diluted to below mini- ring and directional drilling to tions. The draft environmental mum water quality standards or build the pipe. impact statement, required to re- to nondetectable levels," the The outfall pipe and diffuser ceive state funding for the $30 statement said. would be directionally drilled million project, recommends Lastly, the statement examines along the ocean floor, using the ocean outfall over other alterna- the outfall's impact on sewer parking lot at Deauv'tlle Beach as tives such as land application be- rates. In 2009, the average sewer a staging area. cause the outfall is less expensive rate in Rehoboth was $326 per Copithorn said information to build, will cause smaller in- year. Once the outfall has been now available in the plan that creases in sewer rates for resi- built, the average sewer rate is wasn't previously available is dents and has minimal environ- expected to jump to $635 per modeling data collected in fall mentalimpact, year. The city has slowly been in- 2010 and summer 2011. This The statement describes creasing the wastewater sur- modeling was conducted to ocean outfall as the "most practi- charge since 2008; the average show the best site for the diffuser cal solution considering the surcharge has increased 50 per- availability Of land and the pro- cent over the last four years. tection of groundwater and wa- Rehoboth was put on the path ter quality of the Inland Bays. A1- to ocean outfall back in 2002, so, this alternative has the lowest when the city agreed to a court- impact on estimated user ordered consent order to cease charges and greatest acceptance dumping treated effluent into the by citizens of Rehoboth Beach." Lewes-Rehoboth Canal by Dec. Ocean outfall has relatively 31, 2014. low operational requirements, In 2005, GHD, then known as the statement said, requires the Stearns and Wheler, put together least maintenance and does not a report outlining the city's op- transport nutrients into the In- tions and ultimately recom- land Bays. Ocean outfall is also mended ocean outfall. Over the and to estimatethe rate at which the treated effluent would dilute. The public hearing will feature a brief presentation by the De- partment of Natural Resources and Environmental Control on its role and responsibilities in the project, followed by a brief sum- mary of the statement and then a comment period for the public and interested parties. Copithorn said public com- ment will be received until Thursday, May 10. He said after the comment period, UNREC will take 30 days to collect the comments, and then the city will have 60 days to address all the comments. Copithom said he ex- pects the final statement to be ready by late summer. To view the draft statement, visit www.cityofrehoboth.com. Written comments can be sent to Greg Pope, Department of Nat- ural Resources and Environmen- tal Control, Financial Assistance Branch, 5 E. Reed St. Suite 200, Dover 19901. 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