Cape Gazette

Outfall: Inflammatory rhetoric misleading

By Robert A. Streimer | Jul 24, 2014

It is amazing to me that we have to debate, yet again, whether the City of Rehoboth Beach wastewater, when fully treated, should be pumped over a mile out into the ocean or pumped to inland fields where it will be spread over the land. Several facts should be made clear again.

It is the same treated wastewater in both cases. It is demonstrably more favorable to the residents and property owners of Rehoboth Beach to have the treated water pumped out into the ocean. It is less expensive. The project will be paid for in 20 years and the city will be in control of its fate and the burden on the citizens.

The inland spreading will be controlled by private contractors, at greater cost, with a proven track record for substantial periodic rate increases. (Ask anyone you know who lives in any of the many communities out routes 24, 9 or 16).

The inflammatory rhetoric about protecting the environment is misleading also. Careful monitoring of the treatment process will ensure the purity of the wastewater. In the unlikely event of a temporary defect, the risk is as great or greater for land spraying than for ocean outfall. The land is not deep; we are surrounded by delicate inland waterways. Traveling west on Route 16, you see the signs about entering the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in Ellendale.

The recent letter from the president of Artesian Resources is laughable. They will sign a contract? For what - five years, 50 years, until they are sold, until a mishap that bankrupts them? Whose problem is it then. Really!
Sadly, DNREC is less than competent for its foot dragging. Not everyone will be pleased with whatever the decision. DNREC continues to live up to its motto, "We're not happy until you're not happy."

It would be great if Governor Markell could get DNREC on the ball so that this is not some political sideshow for the Rehoboth Beach mayoral election. Serious people have worked a long time on this.

Robert A. Streimer
Rehoboth Beach

Comments (5)
Posted by: Gregg W Rosner | Jul 29, 2014 16:50


Unfortunately, DE Administrative Code

5104 Delaware Coastal Management Program Federal Consistency Policies and Procedures

contains many statutory regulations regarding habitat and species that makes the Rehoboth outfall project an illegal one if permitted.

Your hired experts, Sterns and Wheeler did not properly explain this small detail anywhere in the EIS paperwork.

If wondering why DNREC is taking 17 months in delaying, proceed to their website, and locate the above regulations.

PS Governor Markell doesn't like the idea of an ocean outfall in the middle of a state cash cow for tax revenue.






Posted by: Tim McCollum | Jul 30, 2014 07:35

I am against ocean outfall Mr. Rosner. What regulation in the referenced document supports your statement? Regulation will allow ocean outfall.

Posted by: Gregg W Rosner | Jul 30, 2014 08:32 for starters. This law amended in 2004, has not had a precedent setting decision. Former Secretary O'Mara understood this. If ocean outfall passed, it would allow any industry anywhere in the state, to place an outfall pipe in aquatic areas needing special protection. Hen and Chicken shoal is an Essential Fish Habitat, and on the boards for Critical Habitat designation by NMFS for the Atlantic Sturgeon.

Secondly, 5.11 Living Resources section. Habitat value etc. Pick many Benthic resources. Must be explained by DNREC and monitored for changes.

Much legal explanation necessary to permit and subject to judicial oversight and interpretation. Another ten years of meetings and hearings.

Posted by: Tim McCollum | Jul 30, 2014 10:03

I wish that were the case.  Regulation could be challenged by location of the Regulatory Mixing Zone with regard to the Hen and Chickens Shoal location.  Regulation regulates Marinas.

Posted by: Gregg W Rosner | Jul 30, 2014 10:24


Correction noted, thanks. In any case, DNREC has much explaining to do, and even more protection of habitat and species in regard to Federal authorities.

If you wish to comment, please login.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.