The Department of Resources and Environmental Control looking to state lawmakers to fund a host of projects in the coming year.
DNREC is seeking a more than one and a half million dollar funding increase to pay for various projects it has planned.
Among them is implementing the Delaware Climate Action Plan, which addresses reducing greenhouse gases, as well as achieving Gov. John Carney’s goal of planting a tree for every Delwarean.
In its Joint Finance Committee meeting Tuesday, DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin says the tree planting initiative helps connect people more with the world around them.
“The more people that are outside, the much easier it is for me to do my job in protecting the air and the water and the land," said Garvin. "And the more people that are fishing and the more people that are walking the trails get a much greater appreciation for all of that.”
Garvin is asking for a little over a quarter of a million to implement the climate action plan, and bring on two staff members to help with the project.
Members of the Joint Finance Committee applauded Garvin for his leadership through COVID-19, including ensuring state parks remained open for people to safely enjoy the outdoors.
Garvin also pointed to work to identify and treat emerging hazardous substances, such as chemicals discovered in the town of Blades’ water a few years ago.
“This is both a short term and a long term investment and allows us to quickly react if and when we have an incident. It also allows us to invest in looking at how we might avoid whatever that next incident might be,” Garvin said.
Garvin says the nearly $400,000 dollars would go towards a testing strategy for these dangerous substances, as well as a mobile emergency carbon vessel, such as the one in Blades, that could be quickly installed in a community to filter potentially hazardous drinking water.
The department also wants to take its permitting system into the cloud, saying it would allow DNREC to more efficiently guide people through the permitting process and avoid time lost handling paperwork.
Roman Battaglia a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.