The National Association of Counties, a trade group for the country’s county and city governments, released a report last week that recommended Delaware counties be re-examined for their compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and how much of that can be attributed to climate change.
The state’s climate change policy, meanwhile, has been at the forefront of the state’s debate, with many lawmakers seeking to limit the state from adopting policies that would hurt its climate.
“The current climate of Delaware is causing us to do things that are not in our best interest,” Del.
Matt Kibbe (D-Worcester) said of the region’s climate.
“[Climate change] is one of those things that we have to deal with in Delaware.
And so we need to understand it.”
Kibby, who chairs the state House Natural Resources Committee, said climate change is a “public health issue” and said “there are no easy answers” for the state to tackle the issue.
“It is not just a Delaware problem,” he said.
“You have to look at the whole picture.”
In recent months, the Delaware Water Resources Authority has been working with a nonprofit called the Delaware River Watershed Restoration Alliance (DRWA), which includes environmental groups like the Delaware Coastal Commission and the Delaware Environmental Council, to figure out how to better address climate change impacts.
In the latest iteration of the plan, DRWA proposed setting up a Climate Management Program in which the agency would have to develop and implement climate change plans to deal the effects of climate change, the group said.
The program would also look at how much the DEW can spend on mitigation efforts to address the effects and how to mitigate those effects.
The DRWA said in a statement that the plan would help ensure that Delaware “is prepared for climate change and adapts to the impacts of climate.”
DEW also said that the goal of the program is to provide for “a safe, sustainable, and prosperous future for Delaware.”
The state has spent millions of dollars to help fund the plan.
But the group says the plan is “not enough.”
It also says that DEW should spend more on climate mitigation efforts and develop a plan to better understand the effects that climate change will have on Delaware.
The plan would also include ways to better manage water resources, such as reducing surface runoff, and to better integrate local water resources into DEW’s water resources management.
The groups plan comes in the wake of a report released last month by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which said that while the DEWs climate change plan was “more of a wish list than a reality,” the report’s findings are based on a flawed analysis that found the plan was ineffective.
NRDC director and former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy called the report “a flawed analysis” that is “based on the flawed science” that has been “repeatedly and systematically discredited.”
The report found that “the state’s ability to manage water quality, and the ability to mitigate climate change’s impacts on Delaware, is severely limited,” according to a summary.
“Delaware can and should address its climate problem by improving the planning, management, and monitoring of its natural resources,” the NRDC said.
NRD’s report said the plan could also address water quality concerns because it would focus on “conserving water resources in the state.”
It noted that in the past decade, “the Delaware River has experienced a dramatic decrease in sediment discharge from the Delaware, but it has also experienced a massive increase in sediment release from the Upper River.”
“While the Upper has seen the greatest sediment discharge, the Upper and Delaware are experiencing similar volumes of sediment release,” NRDC wrote.
“Additionally, in addition to the increased discharge from sediment sources, there are also additional changes in sediment transport and transport of nutrients into Delaware.
These changes in transport and nutrient distribution are causing sedimentation in the Delaware and Upper River basin.”
It said that in Delaware, sedimentation is increasing in the Upper (mainly Lake Erie) and Lower (mostly Lake Erie and Delaware) streams and also in the Marcellus and Ohio rivers.
The NRDC also said the Delaware’s climate problem is a result of “a combination of the high level of surface water use, the lack of effective and affordable regulation, and a lack of planning.”