WHEREAS, the State of Delaware recognizes the need to regulate the excavation of clay, sand, silt, gravel and rock for the protection of groundwater; and
WHEREAS, the extraction and processing of earth products are a necessary part of the ongoing economic development activity in Delaware, and the nature of this material makes it a vital component of numerous construction trades, however, the actual extraction of the material and subsequent use of the site have the potential of causing serious environmental impairment; and
WHEREAS, Title 7, Delaware Code, provides for the protection of water resources in the State of Delaware.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Three-fifths of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Subchapter II, Chapter 60, Title 7 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto the following new section to read as follows:
§6036. Borrow Pits.
(a) The Secretary shall develop, Implement and enforce, and may amend, modify and repeal, after notice and public hearing, a program to protect the waters of the State from adverse environmental impacts relating to the operation of borrow pits. In addition to any other authority which the Secretary may exercise for the purpose under this Chapter or other Chapters of the Delaware Code, the Secretary may:
(1) Require borrow pit owners/operators to obtain operating permits from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control;
(2) Require reclamation of abandoned pits by owners/operators;
(3) Require borrow pit owners/operators to secure the borrow pit premises from illegal dumping, disposal of wastes or vandalism; and
(4) Adopt, amend, modify, or repeal rules or regulations to effectuate this section.
(5) Fees may be collected or charged for permits to be issued under this section in an amount determined by the issuing authority, which fee shall not exceed the sum of $80 per disturbed acre, per year, per project.
(b) The Secretary may delegate all or part of the program to any County having rules or regulations governing borrow pits which, upon a finding by the Secretary, are at least equivalent to State requirements."
Section 2. Amend §6002, Subchapter II, Chapter 60, Title 7 of the Delaware Code by adding two new subsections (5) and (7) to said section as follows and redesignating the other subsections in said section accordingly:
"(5) 'Borrow pit' means any excavation into the subsurface for the purpose of extraction of earth product; with the exception of excavation for utility or road construction, agricultural or highway drainage, or dredging operations under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
(1) 'Earth products' means any solid material, aggregate, or substance of commercial value, whether consolidated or loose, found in natural deposits on or in the earth, including, but not limited to clay, silt, diatomaceous earth, sand, gravel, stone, metallic ores, shale and soil."