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DNREC Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus and DNREC

Throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the health and safety of our employees, visitors and volunteers has been paramount. Due to the unique and unprecedented challenges associated with the pandemic, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has developed temporary policies and modified or suspended existing policies, in accordance with rapidly evolving guidance from state and federal health agencies. At the same time, we value innovation and continue to implement new and improved best practices to promote high quality experiences for our customers and employees.

For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

Face Coverings and Masks

While Governor John Carney has removed Delaware’s mask mandate, his order continues to require face coverings in state-owned buildings and facilities, including the Richardson and Robbins Building in Dover and our other office locations. A face mask or face covering must be worn at all times while in a conference room or shared work space in state offices.

Fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most outdoor spaces, including our Delaware State Parks and wildlife areas, except in certain crowded settings. All employees and visitors to state parks, wildlife areas and reserves, must bring a face covering or mask with them.

Those who are not fully vaccinated, including children not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, should continue to wear masks when they’re around others outside their immediate household, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.

Physical Distancing

DNREC offices are open, but building occupancy will be kept to a minimum by staggering both employee and visitor times in offices or using alternative daily schedules to limit in-person interactions. Employees and visitors must follow posted signage and/or marks on floors indicating where to stand to increase distance between individuals in lines or moving through our offices.

Some staff who can conduct their work remotely may be working remotely for the foreseeable future. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact for a prolonged period of time. We remain available by email and phone as resources to the public, contractors and consultants.

Additionally, some office staff may be reassigned to field inspections and site visits as needed in low-risk areas where individual contact may be limited.

Meetings and Events

Meetings continue to be held in whole or part using available collaboration tools (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, Microsoft Teams, etc.). In-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of state and federal orders and assuming people can still maintain physical distancing requirements.

All DNREC public hearings will continue to be virtual hearings until further notice. DNREC hearings will continue to be as transparent and accessible to the public as possible, given public health concerns. This approach will ensure that the public continues to hear all details about the subjects of all DNREC hearings.

There will continue to be verbatim transcripts prepared by a court reporter. DNREC will continue to post all exhibits entered into the hearing record on hearing-specific web pages. The public will be able to submit comments about the subject of each hearing verbally, via email, using an online form, or through regular mail. (Please note, written comments are accepted before or after the hearing.)

Each hearing record will remain open for at least 15 days following each hearing date. This will ensure that everyone wanting to offer comment for inclusion into the hearing record will be able to do so. For details about an upcoming public hearing, please visit the webpage dedicated to that hearing.

Online Services

DNREC offers online options for many of its licenses and permits, reporting requirements, and passes related to outdoor recreation.

The Division of Water has expanded online submission of applications and payments.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers licenses, permits, registrations, stamps and conservation access passes online.

Submittals (permit applications, monitoring reports etc.) should be made online or via email. Make payments online, where possible, or by check via mail. Find information on specific permitting and licensing programs on their web pages.

Submittals and payments can be dropped off at the DNREC Visitor Center in Dover or at most satellite offices. DNREC will hold dropped-off materials for at least 24-hours before sorting and processing.

Any walk-in customers should call ahead and schedule an appointment before coming to a DNREC Office. Contact information is available on the main website and on Division-specific web pages.

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