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July 20, 2004     Cape Gazette
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[INSIDE: "The Price of Liberty Eternal Vigilance" / Delaware's Cape Region Tuesday, July 20 -Thursday, July 22, 2004 www.capegazette.com Volume 12 No, 15 EPA investigating Lewes sewer plant City could face hefty fines for violations By Andrew Keegan Lewes Board of Public Works (BPW) President Gary Stabley announced, July 15, that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating the maintenance and operation of the city's wastewater treat- ment plant. Stabley read a prepared statement at the board's monthly meeting and said BPW will make no further comment on the mat- ter due to ongoing negotiations with EPA. The recent passage of a $39.5 million bond referendum for capital improvement proj- ects, including the wastewater treatment facility, compelled BPW to make the inves- tigation public. As part of the bond bill process, BPW and the city are required to list all liabilities. Given that EPA may impose financial penalties as a result of its investigation, the board has listed the fines as potential liability. "EPA has commenced an investigation surrounding the operation and maintenance of the plant, including the effluent dis- charge levels," Stabley read. "In connec- tion. with this investigation, the EPA has issued two administrative orders over the past several months outlining alleged items of noncompliance by the board of its dis- charge permit and suggesting remedies necessary to come into compliance. The board and city disagree with some Of the EPA's legal interpretations and the board has responded and entered into negotia- tions with EPA. In addition, the city has joined the board in those negotiations in an attempt to bring to fruition the remedies for the issues identified by EPA." Continued on page 8 Repeat DUI offender kills trooper Cpl. Christopher Shea dies in head-on crash By Kerry Kester A young trooper was tragically killed by a repetitive drunk-driving offender July 18. Philip Healy, 41, of Wilmington was flee- ing from a crash he caused at the Route 16 and Route 1 intersection, heading north- bound in the southbound lane, when he drove head-on into the path of a patrol car. Cpl. Christopher Shea was reentering SUssex County from Kent County, when at 2:06 a.m. his patrol car met Healy's 1991 Toyota Corolla. "We believe, through wit- ness information, that only one headlight was operating on the Toyota," sMd Cpl. Jeff Oldham, state police spokesman. Healy was pronounced dead at the scene. Shea was transported to Milford Memorial Hospital, where he died at 2:54 a.m. : Continued on page 4 Emotions ran deel as Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. I Aaron Chaffinch explains the events of the tragic death of Cpl. Christopher Shea of Troop 7, who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver on Route 1 in the early morning hours of July 18. Shown with Chaffinch during a July 19 press conference is Director of Public Information Lt. Joe Dan Cook photo Aviola, left. Lt. Ralph Davis, assistant director of train- ing at the Delaware State Police Training Academy, remembers Shea as "very well liked" by his entire class. "He was willing to help out any one at any time. Christopher's recruiting class was brought back to the academy today so counseling could be offered by victim I services and the clergy," said Davis. approval of major subdivisions of 50 or fewer lots without holding a public hearing. The second proposed ordinance would limit residential uses in newly zoned busi- ness (B-l) and commercial (C-l) zoning districts to four units per acre. The Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission will hold public hearings on the ordinances at 7 p.m., July 22, at the county council chambers in Georgetown. The first is the more contentious of the ordinances. The proposed changecame out of county council, which wanted to handle the backlog of subdivisions the planners have on their agenda. Agricultural-residen- tial (AR-1) subdivisions do not require county council approval, but the current ordinance requires each subdivision to have a public hearing before the planning commission. "We're still doing public hearings from last year," said Assistant Planning Director Shane Abbott. "Last year we had 56 major subdivision applications, and we've had 27 or 28 application this year." Abbott sail] each application will still be Continued on page 4 One would give power to stafff to OK subdivisions By Karl Chalabala A storm is brewing around two new changes to Sussex County's zoning code. The first proposed zoning ordinance would allow the planning and zoning staff New zoning ordinances come before planners [INSIDE: "The Price of Liberty Eternal Vigilance" / Delaware's Cape Region Tuesday, July 20 -Thursday, July 22, 2004 www.capegazette.com Volume 12 No, 15 EPA investigating Lewes sewer plant City could face hefty fines for violations By Andrew Keegan Lewes Board of Public Works (BPW) President Gary Stabley announced, July 15, that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is investigating the maintenance and operation of the city's wastewater treat- ment plant. Stabley read a prepared statement at the board's monthly meeting and said BPW will make no further comment on the mat- ter due to ongoing negotiations with EPA. The recent passage of a $39.5 million bond referendum for capital improvement proj- ects, including the wastewater treatment facility, compelled BPW to make the inves- tigation public. As part of the bond bill process, BPW and the city are required to list all liabilities. Given that EPA may impose financial penalties as a result of its investigation, the board has listed the fines as potential liability. "EPA has commenced an investigation surrounding the operation and maintenance of the plant, including the effluent dis- charge levels," Stabley read. "In connec- tion. with this investigation, the EPA has issued two administrative orders over the past several months outlining alleged items of noncompliance by the board of its dis- charge permit and suggesting remedies necessary to come into compliance. The board and city disagree with some Of the EPA's legal interpretations and the board has responded and entered into negotia- tions with EPA. In addition, the city has joined the board in those negotiations in an attempt to bring to fruition the remedies for the issues identified by EPA." Continued on page 8 Repeat DUI offender kills trooper Cpl. Christopher Shea dies in head-on crash By Kerry Kester A young trooper was tragically killed by a repetitive drunk-driving offender July 18. Philip Healy, 41, of Wilmington was flee- ing from a crash he caused at the Route 16 and Route 1 intersection, heading north- bound in the southbound lane, when he drove head-on into the path of a patrol car. Cpl. Christopher Shea was reentering SUssex County from Kent County, when at 2:06 a.m. his patrol car met Healy's 1991 Toyota Corolla. "We believe, through wit- ness information, that only one headlight was operating on the Toyota," sMd Cpl. Jeff Oldham, state police spokesman. Healy was pronounced dead at the scene. Shea was transported to Milford Memorial Hospital, where he died at 2:54 a.m. : Continued on page 4 Emotions ran deel as Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. I Aaron Chaffinch explains the events of the tragic death of Cpl. Christopher Shea of Troop 7, who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver on Route 1 in the early morning hours of July 18. Shown with Chaffinch during a July 19 press conference is Director of Public Information Lt. Joe Dan Cook photo Aviola, left. Lt. Ralph Davis, assistant director of train- ing at the Delaware State Police Training Academy, remembers Shea as "very well liked" by his entire class. "He was willing to help out any one at any time. Christopher's recruiting class was brought back to the academy today so counseling could be offered by victim I services and the clergy," said Davis. approval of major subdivisions of 50 or fewer lots without holding a public hearing. The second proposed ordinance would limit residential uses in newly zoned busi- ness (B-l) and commercial (C-l) zoning districts to four units per acre. The Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission will hold public hearings on the ordinances at 7 p.m., July 22, at the county council chambers in Georgetown. The first is the more contentious of the ordinances. The proposed changecame out of county council, which wanted to handle the backlog of subdivisions the planners have on their agenda. Agricultural-residen- tial (AR-1) subdivisions do not require county council approval, but the current ordinance requires each subdivision to have a public hearing before the planning commission. "We're still doing public hearings from last year," said Assistant Planning Director Shane Abbott. "Last year we had 56 major subdivision applications, and we've had 27 or 28 application this year." Abbott sail] each application will still be Continued on page 4 One would give power to stafff to OK subdivisions By Karl Chalabala A storm is brewing around two new changes to Sussex County's zoning code. The first proposed zoning ordinance would allow the planning and zoning staff New zoning ordinances come before planners