WHEREAS, the Natural Resources Defense Council has recognized Delaware beaches with the highest national ranking for beach water quality as the state ranked 1st out of 30 states for the cleanest water quality overall; and
WHEREAS, Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach have received individualized honors by receiving the highest possible rating, 5 stars, by the Natural Resources Defense Council for perfect swimming water quality; and
WHEREAS, the Delaware Tourism office states that one in nine workers in the state owes his or her job to tourism; and
WHEREAS, the Delaware tourism industry is the 4th largest private employer in the state, accounting for 42,750 jobs; and
WHEREAS, in 2016, tourism contributed $3 billion to Delaware’s gross domestic product, and the industry generated $470 million in taxes and fees for state and local government; and
WHEREAS, without tourism, each Delaware household would pay an additional $1,434 in taxes; and
WHEREAS, a large percentage of our tourism in Delaware is directly related to our beaches and coastal regions, therefore, it is of utmost importance that we take steps to keep our beaches and coastal regions pristine and protect the industry that they create within our state.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend § 7003, Title 7 of the Delaware Code by making deletions as shown by strikethrough and insertions as shown by underline as follows:
§ 7003. Uses absolutely prohibited in the coastal zone.
(a) Except as provided by § 7014 of this title, heavy industry uses of any kind not in operation on June 28, 1971, are prohibited in the coastal zone and no permits may be issued therefor. In addition, offshore gas, liquid or solid bulk product transfer facilities which are not in operation on June 28, 1971, are prohibited in the coastal zone, and no permit may be issued therefor, except as provided in § 7014 of this title. The prohibitions in this section shall not apply to public sewage treatment or recycling plants. An incinerator is neither "public sewage treatment'' nor a "recycling plant'' for the purpose of this chapter.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of any law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, offshore drilling for oil and natural gas shall be prohibited in the coastal zone and any other State waters and no permit may be issued for or in connection with the development or operation of any facility or infrastructure associated with offshore drilling for oil or natural gas, whether proposed for within or outside of Delaware’s territorial waters.
Approved September 20, 2018