Compliance Assistance and Enforcement

Staff with the DNREC Division of Water’s Compliance and Enforcement Program review data submitted by permit holders and provide oversight to ensure facilities stay in compliance with their permits. They provide compliance assistance and recommend best practices for permittees.

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Colleen Slater

The Program, part of the division’s Resource Protection Section, covers several state and federal regulatory programs that protect Delaware’s water resources.

State law (7 Del. Code Chapter 60) grants the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control the authority to require, issue and enforce the conditions of permits for activities that affect Delaware’s natural resources. For those permits related to water resources, the Division of Water oversees permitting programs for the Secretary.

Inspections and Monitoring

Compliance and Enforcement Program staff conduct surveillance and monitoring programs that include site inspections, effluent sampling, completing reports and data entry.

Staff analyze and review data from their inspections to determine compliance of regulated entities across the state. They are guided by state laws and regulations and oversight from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Voluntary Compliance

Voluntary Compliance, through warnings, notices and other communication, is an important part of the Compliance Enforcement Program. Division staff provide regular educational assistance to industry professionals, through technical seminars and other outreach.


If a facility is not in compliance with permit requirements, the department has various enforcement tools. These range from verbal warnings to different types of enforcement orders, including potential penalties. Each type of enforcement action can be used to document violations, manage a return to compliance, or levy penalties, if needed.

Public Information

The Delaware Environmental Navigator (DEN) is a user-friendly tool that provides access to information about permitted facilities, enforcement actions and environmental monitoring.

Enforcement Orders are published on the Secretary’s Orders page of the DNREC website.