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Delaware Coastal Zone Act Program



The Coastal Zone Act (CZA) Program regulates new and existing manufacturing and heavy industrial activities in Delaware’s Coastal Zone, which generally runs the length of the state along the Delaware River, the Delaware Bay, the Inland Bays and the Atlantic Ocean.

Use the online Coastal Zone Map to see if your proposed activity is located within the Coastal Zone.

Various activities and facilities remain prohibited within the Coastal Zone, such as oil refineries, paper mills, incinerators, steel manufacturing plants, and liquefied natural gas terminals.

Early coordination is key in an efficient permitting process. Contact the CZA Program as needed for guidance and consultation. We recommend engaging with the DNREC Regulatory Advisory Service to learn about other environmental authorizations that may be required for your project.

Note: The regulatory timeline of a review does not begin until an application is deemed administratively complete by the DNREC Secretary.

Applications and Forms

Coastal Zone Act applications and forms are available as WORD files (.docx). Please right-click and save-as to download these documents.

Submit a Request for Status Decision if you are not sure whether a proposed activity would require a permit, is exempt from permitting, or is prohibited. A status decision is not required before submitting a Coastal Zone Permit application. (Status Decision Request Form)

A Standard Coastal Zone Permit is necessary for any new or expanded manufacturing activity that would have an impact on the environment, economy, neighboring land uses, and other factors. (Standard Coastal Zone Permit Form)

A Coastal Zone Conversion Permit is necessary for any additional or alternative heavy industry activity proposed within the 14 grandfathered sites of nonconforming uses. (Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Form)

The Regulations Governing Delaware’s Coastal Zone allow the Secretary of DNREC to establish permit fees for Coastal Zone Conversion Permits.

The Act does not prevent the redevelopment or reuse of these sites by activities that are not classified as heavy industry and, therefore, do not need a conversion permit.

Submit a Modification Form if you would like to modify a substantive term of a permit for an existing activity that does not constitute an expansion of operations. (Modification Form)




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