Praise for Rehoboth Wastewater process

Rehoboth deserves kudos on wastewater


I
n 2002, the City of Rehoboth Beach was required to enter into a consent letter by the Delaware Department of Natural Re­sources and Environmental Control to provide a new system for Rehoboth's treated wastewater disposal which would end dis­charging it into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the Inland Bays and waterways ecosystem. This is an environmentally important objective and now, a decade later, the city has successfully reached the penultimate milestone in doing so.

The report of the state hearing examiner who evaluates the Draft EIS the city prepared (to qualify for state loans to fund the new sys­tem) has just been issued and it gives the draft very high grades. The high marks are for the city's preferred choice of an ocean outfall sys­tem, the open public process that was used, the consideration of alternatives, and quality of the technical analysis. In the hearing officer's clos­ing words, the draft EIS is 'comprehensive and its conclusions are sound.' This means that the EIS now must be put in final form, incorporating some recommended edits and additions. It will get virtually certain approval, will be secure from litigation, and the city can bid the project out and build it, benefit­ing from state financing, and have the new sys­tem in place well before the 2014 deadline.

This decade-long process to a successful conclusion is a credit to very good manage­ment by Mayor Cooper and his team. Many tough choices had to be made along the line and the public was thoroughly involved in a transparent process.

Quietly and competently, the mayor and his team brought the process and the project along year by year, and while there will be a ribbon –cutting a year or so, this report is the docu­ment that says the city got it right. Even though the wastewater pipeline construction is appar­ently coming down my street in Rehoboth, I say this is a job well done.

Thanks.

Guy Martin Rehoboth Beach