The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced Feb. 5 that a final report outlining recommendations for the formation and work plan of a regulatory advisory committee for Coastal Zone Conversion Permits is available to the public.

The report — prepared by the nonprofit Consensus Building Institute — contains 13 recommendations for DNREC to consider as the department establishes a regulatory advisory committee to develop regulations for Coastal Zone Conversion Permits. Those recommendations were informed by a series of one-on-one interviews with stakeholders held in October 2017, by two public workshops held November 2017 and by public comments on the draft document made available in December 2017.

The report, available at de.gov/conversionpermits, also contains a list of stakeholders interviewed by CBI, a summary of the public workshops and a compilation of public comments received on the draft report, among other resources.

House Bill 190, the Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act, was signed into law by Gov. Carney in August 2017. The act authorizes DNREC to issue permits for construction and operation of new heavy industry uses within 14 existing sites of heavy industry use within the state’s Coastal Zone. It also authorizes DNREC to issue permits for the bulk transfer of products under certain circumstances. The act requires DNREC to develop and promulgate regulations for the issuance of conversion permits by Oct. 1, 2019.

DNREC will use the recommendations and information contained in the report to guide the formation and work of the regulatory advisory committee. DNREC intends to begin soliciting nominations for committee members in mid-February and is anticipating an initial RAC meeting in April.