The Rehoboth Beach Wastewater Ocean Outfall project Is Up For Public Comment


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Northstar Vision off Rehoboth beach checking sea bed depths for Rehoboth Beach Wastewater Outfall project  … photo by Dean Donovan

Now the reality begins for Rehoboth Beach.  They have to get approval for federal permits to start the Rehoboth Beach Wastewater Outfall project.  These permits are required and if not approved, will put a halt to the Rehoboth Beach Wastewater Outfall project.  For those of you that do not know, Rehoboth beach wants to pump their waste water offshore with an outfall pipe.  They have the money (loan) approved and the state approval, but now they need federal approval.  There are many groups fighting this project, and Surfrider has been fighting since day one.  Everyone knows my feelings on the issue, but in case you don’t.  No outfall pipe in the ocean any where, ever, we can do better than that.  Rehoboth Beach needs to send that water inland for land application.  Which could have been finished by now had they gone that route.  Instead water is still being dumped into the Rehoboth-Lewes canal.  Recently Rehoboth was cited for dumping solids into the canal where the outfall pipe is currently located, not an isolated incident either.  You won’t even see that happen in the ocean.  People say we are a water rich state and that is true, but we don’t need to just dump those riches into the ocean.  We also don’t need to pollute the water we already use.  The technology is there to make our waste water much cleaner, but in the mean time lets keep it from being dumped into the ocean.  You all remember the swim advisories at the beaches after heavy rains that were attributed to “bird droppings”.  People are much larger than birds.

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Dark slurry waste water flowing into the Lewes Canal headed towards Lewes … photo from DNREC

You have the chance to say no to the Rehoboth Beach Wastewater Outfall project, and the federal government has to listen to you.  “The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the activity’s probable impact including its cumulative impacts on the public interest. The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the work must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the work will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use, navigation, shore erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs and welfare of the people.  A Department of the Army permit will be granted unless the District Engineer determines that it would be contrary to the public interest. “   

     If enough people don’t want the Rehoboth Beach Wastewater Outfall project , then it will not be allowed to happen, but you have to tell these folks that.  All it takes is enough letters written saying, NO.  That is all you have to do.  There were over three hundred thousand fishing licenses sold in Delaware last year.  I haven’t met one fishermen that thinks this Outfall pipe is a good idea.  I would make a form letter for you to email, but that won’t work, they want mailed in written original comments.  How long do you spend sitting by the water fishing? take a fraction of that time and help keep the outfall out of your ocean.  You don’t have to be a resident of Delaware, this concerns everyone who enjoys fishing the mid-Atlantic.  All you need to write is …. no outfall in the ocean etc., that’s where I fish etc … and why you don’t want it there.

It can be simple short and sweet, but has to be original.  The full public notice is linked below.

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Comments on the proposed work should be submitted, in writing, within 30 days to …

District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Philadelphia District, Wanamaker Building

100 Penn Square East 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107-3390

Or you can comment electronically to …


Thank You

Rich King

Below is the public notice with details and diagrams.

Rehoboth Beach Wastewater Outfall project Public Notice

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