Delaware’s congressional delegation has formally stated its objection to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to proceed with the deepening of the Delaware River without required permits.


Delaware’s congressional delegation has formally stated its objection to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to proceed with the deepening of the Delaware River without required permits.

In a Nov. 10 letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistantsecretary of the Corps, the contingent urged her to reconsider.

Bypassing a congressional directive that requires the Corps to obtain appropriate permits from Delaware, the Corps intends to commence a $300 million project as early as next month to deepen the Delaware River shipping channel – a project that has not yet received environmental clearance from the state.

U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) and U.S. Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) cite the 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Conference report, which states: “None of the funds provided for this project are to be used in the state of Delaware during fiscal year 2010 for any construction activities. ... The Corps is urged to work with the state of Delaware on any ... permits necessary for project construction.”

In 2001, the Corps submitted an application for a subaqueous lands permit on its original project to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). In July, DNREC denied the permit without prejudice, concerned that the impact of the project on our state was not known because the project had changed significantly since the original request.