CHAPTER 67

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 119

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 60, TITLE 7, OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A SOURCE WATER PROTECTION PROGRAM.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

WHEREAS, sixty percent of the residents of the State of Delaware rely on ground water and forty percent rely on surface water as their sole sources of drinking water; and

WHEREAS, certain public drinking water supplies exceed maximum contaminant levels for various chemical constituents; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress has mandated the assessment of drinking water supplies through the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress has encouraged the protection of drinking water supplies through the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments of 1996; and

WHEREAS, the United States Environmental Protection Agency granted approval of the State of Delaware’s Wellhead Protection Plan on July 31, 1990 and the State of Delaware Source Water Assessment Plan on October 27, 1999; and

WHEREAS, the State of Delaware is required to complete the delineation of source water assessment areas and an assessment of their susceptibility to contamination for all public water supplies by April 2003; and

WHEREAS, the State of Delaware will have completed mapping the areas of ground water recharge potential within the state by 2001; and

WHEREAS, the protection of existing and proposed sources of water for public consumption is critical to protection of public health and the environment and continued economic prosperity.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §6002, Chapter 60, Title 7, Delaware Code by adding new definitions as follows:

"(63) ‘Delineation’ shall mean the process of defining and/or mapping a boundary that approximates the areas that contribute water to a particular water source used as a public water supply.

(64) ‘Public Drinking Water System’ shall mean a community, non-community, or non-transient non-community water system, which provides piped water to the public for human consumption. The system must have at least 15 service connections or regularly serve at least 25 individuals daily for at least 60 days.

(65) ‘Source Water’ shall mean any aquifer or surface water body from which water is taken either periodically or continuously by a public drinking water system for drinking or food processing purposes.

(66) ‘Source Water Assessment Area’ shall mean the delineated area which contributes water to a public water supply system. This is called a wellhead protection area for a well and a watershed or basin for a surface water intake. A Source Water Assessment Area shall constitute a critical area as defined under Chapter 92, Title 29 of the Delaware Code.

(67) ‘Source Water Assessment Plan’ shall mean the October 1999 U.S. EPA approved plan for evaluating the sources of public drinking water in Delaware for their vulnerability and susceptibility to contamination.

(68)‘Source Water Assessment’ shall mean the identification and evaluation of the sources of water within the state that are used by public drinking water systems in an effort to determine the susceptibility of those sources to contamination.

(69) ‘Wellhead Protection Area’ shall mean the surface and subsurface area surrounding a water well, or wellfield supplying a public water system through which contaminants are likely to reach such well, or wellfield. A Wellhead Protection Area shall constitute a critical area as defined under Chapter 92, Title 29 of the Delaware Code.

(70) ‘Wellhead Protection Plan’ shall mean the March 1990 U.S. EPA approved plan for protecting the quality of drinking water derived from public water supply wells in Delaware.

(71) ‘Excellent Ground-Water Recharge Potential Area’ shall mean any area where soils and sedimentary deposits of the most coarse grained nature have the best ability to transmit water vertically through the unsaturated zone to the water table as mapped by the methods described in the Delaware Geological Survey Open File Report No. 34, "Methodology For Mapping Ground-Water Recharge Areas in Delaware’s Coastal Plain" (August 1991), and as depicted on a series of maps prepared by the Delaware Geological Survey. An Excellent Ground-Water Recharge Potential Area shall constitute a critical area as defined under Chapter 92, Title 29 of the Delaware Code."

(72) 'Source Water Protection Citizens Technical Advisory Committee' shall mean a group to advise the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control including, but not limited to, representatives of the following organizations or municipalities: DNREC, Department of Health and Social Services, Department of Agriculture, the Delaware Nature Society, the Delaware Public Health Association, the American Association of Retired Persons, the United States Geological Survey, the Christina River Conservancy, the Water Resources Agency of the University of Delaware, the Council of Farm Organizations, the Delaware Rural Water Association, the League of Women Voters, the Friends of Herring Creek, the Civic League of New Castle County, the Delaware Geological Survey, the Committee of 100, the City of Dover, the City of Lewes, the New Castle County Department of Land Use, Kent County Levy Court, Sussex County Council, the League of Local Governments, the Sussex County Association of Towns, the Homebuilders Association of Delaware, the Commercial Industrial Realty Council, public water suppliers and the Delaware Association of Professional Engineers."

Section 2. Amend Chapter 60, Title 7, Delaware Code by redesignating existing Subchapters VI, and VII as Subchapters VII and VIII and by adding a new subchapter to read as follows:

"Subchapter VI. Source Water Protection

§6081. Reporting on Source Water Protection

(a) The Secretary shall prepare, periodically, a report to the Governor and General Assembly, beginning in 2003, of the potential threats, including contaminants currently not regulated, to public drinking water systems. The report shall identify actions that the Secretary proposes to control these threats.

(b) The Secretary shall periodically prepare a report to the respective counties and municipalities, beginning in 2003, that denotes the availability of source water assessments completed by the Department. The Secretary shall also report on the status of the Ground-Water Recharge Potential mapping project.

§6082. Adoption of Source Water Assessment, Wellhead Protection, and Excellent Ground-Water Recharge Potential Areas by Counties and Municipalities

(a) By December 31, 2004, the Department shall develop a guidance manual, in conjunction with and with the substantial concurrence of the Source Water Protection Citizens Technical Advisory Committee, for desirable land uses within source water assessment areas that promote the long-term protection of public drinking water supplies, consistent with “Shaping Delaware’s Future: Managing Growth in 21st Century Delaware, Strategies for State Policies and Spending” (December 1999)

(b) The counties and municipalities with populations of 2,000 persons or more, with the assistance of the Department, shall adopt as part of the update and implementation of the 2007 Comprehensive Land Use Plans, the overlay maps delineating, as critical areas, source water assessment, wellhead protection, and excellent ground-water recharge potential areas. Furthermore, the counties and municipalities shall adopt, by December 31, 2007, regulations governing the use of land within those critical areas designed to protect those critical areas from activities and substances that may harm water quality and subtract from overall water quantity.

(c) Municipalities with populations of less than 2,000 persons, with the assistance of the Department, may adopt by ordinance, the overlay maps delineating, as critical areas, source water assessment, wellhead protection, and excellent ground-water recharge potential areas. Furthermore, the ordinance shall include regulations governing the use of land within those critical areas designed to protect those critical areas from activities and substances that may harm water quality and subtract from overall water quantity. Counties and municipalities of more than 2,000 persons that have previously adopted ordinances that include the Department’s overlay maps and regulations that protect public water supplies and are consistent with minimum standards identified in the guidance manual shall be exempt from the provisions of this subsection.

(d) The Department shall make source water assessment areas available to the public as they are completed, with all systems to be completed by 2003.

(e) The Department may, when based on sound science and factual information, revise and update the overlay maps of source water assessment areas.

(f) Counties and municipalities with populations of 2,000 persons or more shall update their overlay maps in accordance with changes made by the Department with respect to source water assessment, wellhead protection, and excellent ground-water recharge potential areas.

(g) Municipalities with populations of less than 2,000 persons may update their overlay maps in accordance with changes made by the Department with respect to source water assessment, wellhead protection, and excellent ground-water recharge potential areas.

§6083. Adoption of Source Water Assessment, Wellhead Protection and Excellent Ground-Water Recharge Potential Areas by the Governor’s Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues.

The Department shall make source water assessment, wellhead protection, and excellent ground-water recharge potential area delineations available for maps developed as part of "Shaping Delaware’s Future: Managing Growth in 21st Century Delaware, Strategies for State Policies and Spending" (December 1999).

§6084. Source Water Protection Citizen and Technical Advisory Committee.

The Secretary shall consult a citizen and technical advisory committee, as established by the Delaware Source Water Assessment Plan, on matters related to the implementation of the Source Water Assessment Plan and the requirements of this statute."

 

Approved June 27, 2001