Send a letter in support of Ocean Outfall!

                                                                                                            May 3, 2012

Save Our City suggests that readers write to DNREC in support of Rehoboth Beach’s selection of ocean outfall as the preferred method of wastewater disposal.  This is an important step in the approval and construction process the City is going through in order to comply with the legal directive to stop disposing of wastewater in the inland bays.

THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS READ THE LETTERS AND THE BULLET POINTS OFFERED HERE, AND EXPRESS YOUR SUPPORT IN YOUR OWN WORDS.  Letters MUST be submitted by May 10, 2012.

Few of us will read the Environmental Impact Statement, so they are offered as guidelines.  These letters emphasize the critical elements of a letter of support at this time, and can be sent as they are if you do not want to draft your own letter.

Note: Our thanks to Guy Martin for his expert review of the EIS and his help in drafting these letters!

All letters should be sent by email to:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or by US Mail to:

Greg Pope, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Financial Assistance Branch

5 E. Reed St. Suite 200

Dover, DE  19901

In addition, please send a copy of your letter to the Governor’s Office and the Mayor and Commissioners  of Rehoboth Beach:

  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mayor and Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. >

IF YOU WRITE A LETTER IN YOUR OWN WORDS, PLEASE ALSO COPY THE LOCAL NEWSPAPERS.  You can mail a letter to the Cape Gazette at  

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and to the Coast Press by going to their website at 

http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=CUSTOMERSERVICE03

Howard Menaker

Posted by:

Joanne Hess, Recording Secretary

www.saveourcityrehoboth.org

KEY POINTS FOR A LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR OCEAN OUTFALL

  • The City of Rehoboth Beach conducted a thorough process, with significant expert and public participation, to select an alternative discharge point for its treated wastewater.
  • The City made a reasoned and well-documented decision, for multiple reasons, to select ocean outfall as its preferred alternative.
  • The Environmental Impact Study (EIS) draft before DNREC for review confirms the wisdom of the City's choice of ocean outfall.
  • The EIS fully analyzes potential environmental impacts of all alternatives, including the advantages and disadvantages of each. At the end of this thorough analysis, ocean outfall clearly emerges as the superior choice for the City of Rehoboth Beach because of

o   acceptable environmental impacts

o   very significant cost and operational advantages of ocean outfall

  • The EIS says that the preferred alternative is the most "practi­cal solution considering the availability of land and the pro­tection of groundwater and wa­ter quality of the Inland Bays. Al­so, this alternative has the lowest impact on estimated user charges and greatest acceptance by citizens of Rehoboth Beach.”
  • DNREC should strongly approve the EIS and support its conclusions, including the preferred alternative of ocean outfall the City of Rehoboth Beach has selected. The City deserves state approval and funding.

MODEL LETTER FOR COMMENTS ON OCEAN OUTFALL EIS  (long version)

(this has more than some will want to use but parts can be lifted throughout)

RE: Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the City of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Proposed Ocean Outfall for Wastewater

Dear Mr. Pope:

As legally required, the City of Rehoboth Beach conducted a thorough process, with significant expert and public participation, to select an alternative discharge point for its treated wastewater. The City made a reasoned and well-documented decision, for multiple reasons, to select ocean outfall as its preferred alternative. The City has now prepared an environmental impact statement (EIS) in support of that decision. The EIS is required to assess this preferred alternative as well as other alternatives not chosen, and to make that assessment available to the public. It is a part of the process by which the preferred plan is approved, and the City becomes eligible for state funding assistance for this important environmental project.

To prepare the EIS, the City had a strong base in its own record of its initial decision to select ocean outfall as its preferred alternative many months ago, and it also enlisted an expert consultant, the international consulting firm, GHD, to provide technical assistance.

This letter is submitted as part of the public process for commenting on that EIS draft. In summary, the draft EIS confirms in every way the wisdom of the City's choice of ocean outfall, and does so for many reasons. The EIS meets the substantive and procedural standards for a valid EIS supporting a preferred alternative chosen by a municipality. That choice by Rehoboth Beach should be approved, along with state funding.

As required, every reasonable alternative to the ocean outfall approach (six alternatives total, with several sub-alternatives) is fully analyzed in the EIS as to potential environmental impacts including the advantages and disadvantages of each. At the end of this thorough analysis, ocean outfall clearly emerges as the superior choice for the City of Rehoboth Beach at this time and under the specific circumstances in this location. When the clearly acceptable environmental impacts documented by the EIS are combined with the very significant cost and operational advantages of ocean outfall, it becomes clear that the City's initial decision on this approach is strongly confirmed by the EIS.

The environmental impacts of the preferred alternative are fully assessed and it is clear that they present superior results as compared to the alternatives, well within the acceptable range given the environmental objective of moving the wastewater discharge point from its present location in the cause of protecting the inland bays.

The EIS fully covers the impact of alternatives on aquatic plants, fish and wildlife, and concludes, regarding offshore discharge, that fish species associated with the area of discharge are highly mobile and migratory, and all mammals near the project range far beyond the area. Any contaminant potentially present near the far offshore discharge is rapidly diluted to below minimum water quality standards or non-detectable levels.

Ultimately, the draft concludes that ocean outfall is superior, as contrasted with other alternatives such as land application, because the outfall is more feasible and less expensive to build, will cause smaller increases in sewer rates for residents and has minimal environmental impact. Ocean outfall, the EIS concludes, has relatively low operational requirements, requires the least maintenance and, most importantly, does not transport nutrients into the Inland Bays, nor dispose of them near the bays. Ocean outfall is also the most cost-effective solution for the City, since after paying back the state’s loan, the City’s only costs would be operations and maintenance. The EIS says that the preferred alternative is the most "practical solution considering the availability of land and the protection of groundwater and water quality of the Inland Bays. Also, this alternative has the lowest impact on estimated user charges and greatest acceptance by citizens of Rehoboth Beach.”

In conclusion, I recommend that DNREC should strongly approve of the quality and comprehensive nature of this EIS and support its conclusions, including the preferred alternative the City of Rehoboth Beach has selected. This local choice was thoughtful, on the merits, and is now substantively confirmed by the draft EIS. DNREC approval of the EIS and the project is necessary for the City to receive the state funding for the purposes that the project is intended to serve. The City deserves state approval and funding.

Very truly yours,

CC:  Office of the Governor; Mayor and Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach,  Cape Gazette, Coast Press

MODEL LETTER FOR COMMENTS ON OCEAN OUTFALL EIS  (short version)

As legally required, the City of Rehoboth Beach conducted a thorough process, with significant expert and public participation, to select an alternative discharge point for its treated wastewater. The City made a reasoned and well-documented decision, for multiple reasons, to select ocean outfall as its preferred alternative.

This letter is submitted as part of the public process for commenting on the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) draft before you for review. In summary, the draft EIS confirms in every way the wisdom of the City's choice of ocean outfall, and does so for many reasons. The EIS meets the substantive and procedural standards for a valid EIS supporting a preferred alternative chosen by a municipality. That choice by Rehoboth Beach should be approved, along with state funding.

As required, every reasonable alternative to the ocean outfall approach (six alternatives total, with several sub-alternatives) is fully analyzed in the EIS as to potential environmental impacts including the advantages and disadvantages of each. At the end of this thorough analysis, ocean outfall clearly emerges as the superior choice for the City of Rehoboth Beach at this time and under the specific circumstances in this location. When the clearly acceptable environmental impacts documented by the EIS are combined with the very significant cost and operational advantages of ocean outfall, it becomes clear that the City's initial decision on this approach is strongly confirmed by the EIS.

The draft concludes that ocean outfall is superior, as contrasted with other alternatives such as land application, because the outfall has minimal environmental impact, is more feasible and less expensive to build, and will cause smaller increases in sewer rates for residents.  The EIS says that the preferred alternative is the most "practical solution considering the availability of land and the protection of groundwater and water quality of the Inland Bays. Al­so, this alternative has the lowest impact on estimated user charges and greatest acceptance by citizens of Rehoboth Beach.”

In conclusion, I recommend that DNREC should strongly approve of the quality and comprehensive nature of this EIS and support its conclusions, including the preferred alternative of ocean outfall the City of Rehoboth Beach has selected. This local choice was thoughtful, on the merits, and is now substantively confirmed by the draft EIS. DNREC approval of the EIS and the project is necessary for the City to receive the state funding for the purposes that the project is intended to serve. The City deserves state approval and funding.

 

Very truly yours,


CC:  Office of the Governor; Mayor and Commissioners of Rehoboth Beach,  Cape Gazette, Coast Press