The Delaware Supreme Court recently granted the Delaware chapter of the Sierra Club the right to file an amicus curiae brief in support of an appeal by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) in the case of Sussex County v. the State of Delaware, DNREC.
The Delaware Superior Court found in favor of Sussex County and several private landowners in March, ruling that DNREC’s regulations instituting land buffers and zoning restrictions in the Inland Bays watershed constituted zoning. DNREC appealed the Superior Court’s ruling to the Delaware Supreme Court, and on May 17th, Associate Professor Ken Kristl
, the Director of Widener Law’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic
, filed a motion on behalf of the Sierra Club for leave to file as an amicus curiae in support of DNREC’s position.
“The clinic is actively involved in trying to ensure that the environmental laws are able to provide the most protection that they can,” said Professor Kristl.
The motion to file cited the Sierra Club’s longstanding commitment to the protection of Delaware’s natural environment and its knowledge of the regulatory process that led to the issuance of the PCS regulations. On June 13th, the Delaware Supreme Court granted the motion to allow the brief.
“We believe that the Superior Court made a mistake,” Kristl said. “The implications of the decision could undermine other environmental regulations. We wanted to make sure that the Supreme Court considers that when they decide whether or not to overturn the decision.”