Delaware Coastal Zone Act Program

The Coastal Zone Act Program regulates existing heavy industrial activities, as well as new and existing manufacturing activities in Delaware’s Coastal Zone. Certain new activities, such as the bulk transfer of raw materials, are not allowed in the Coastal Zone, which runs the length of the state.

Secretary’s Order No. 2019-OTS-0044 sets fees for coastal zone conversion permits required under the Coastal Zone Act, effective January 1, 2020.

Conversion permit application: $15,000
Conversion permit modification: $5,000
Annual fee: $1,500

Public comments on the fees will be accepted through December 31, 2019. Email comments to

The 2017 Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act amended the Coastal Zone Act to allow the reuse of 14 existing sites of heavy industry use within Delaware’s Coastal Zone. On August 26, 2019, following a joint public hearing by DNREC and the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board, the Board approved amendments to the Regulations Governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone (7 DE Admin. Code 101) to reflect that change. DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin signed Secretary’s Order No. 2019-CCE-0035 to formally promulgate the regulations.

An application for a Coastal Zone Permit is necessary for any new or expanded manufacturing activity that will have an impact on the environment, the economy, the aesthetics or neighboring land uses. A Coastal Zone Status Decision can help determine whether a proposed activity is considered heavy industry, or to determine if the proposed activity is exempt from having to obtain a Coastal Zone Permit.

If a project requires other permits from DNREC, the Coastal Zone permit generally takes precedence, although related permit applications may be processed concurrently.


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