July 18th, 2012 | Posted by:
On July 17, 2012, Department of Environmental Proptection Comissioner Bob Martin anounced that 21 Counties have updated their sewer maps in order to priovide clear direction on where sewer service and potential development is approprate, while protecting nearly 210,000 acres of environmentally sensitve lands. The NJDEP Alert issued on July 17 summaries the current status:
Counties and municipalities across the state worked with the DEP since January to meet a July 15 deadline set by the Legislature to submit to the DEP either a sewer service area map or full wastewater management plans. These plans had been stalled for several years due to unworkable rules set up by a previous administration that left vulnerable lands unprotected and put counties in a no-win bureaucratic bind. » Read the rest of this entry «
February 27th, 2012 | Posted by:
By Andy Norin, Esq. and Scott Hovanyetz, Esq.
On January 17, 2012, Governor Christie signed into law Senate Bill No. 3156 (S3156), which extends the effective period of existing sewer service areas. This should provide some relief to developers concerned about the possible withdrawal of sewer service areas in places where wastewater management planning agencies have failed to comply with the deadline to submit wastewater management plans (WMPs) to the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The bill also allows for site specific amendments and revisions to WMPs and Water Quality Management Plans pending DEP approval of new WMPs.
Wastewater Management Plans govern where new sanitary sewer lines can be built. For a sewer line to be extended to a particular property, the property must be included within the sewer service area in the WMP. Properties that fall outside the sewer service area can only be served by septic systems. » Read the rest of this entry «
November 8th, 2011 | Posted by:
By Michael A. Smith
On June 29, 2011, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court released its opinion In the Matter of the Adoption of N.J.A.C. 7:15-5.24(b) and N.J.A.C. 7:15-5.25(e), upholding certain key provisions of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Quality Management Planning Rules (WQMP Rules), N.J.A.C. 7:15 et seq. (namely, a provision that prohibits the extension of sanitary sewer lines in environmentally sensitive areas, and a provision that sets a maximum nitrate level for septic system discharge). In so holding, the court rejected a developer’s argument that the WQMP Rules constitute unauthorized land use regulation, in excess of NJDEP’s authority.
Among other things, this ruling provides “teeth” to NJDEP’s pending sewer service area revision process, i.e., NJDEP’s efforts to prohibit the building of new sanitary sewer lines based on the presence of environmentally sensitive features (including threatened and endangered species habitat, Natural Heritage Priority Sites, Category One riparian zones and wetlands). » Read the rest of this entry «
May 3rd, 2010 | Posted by:
By Glenn S. Pantel and Michael A. Smith
On March 24, 2010, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued Administrative Order No. 2010-03 – a measure that extends the deadline for wastewater management planning entities to submit revised wastewater management plans (WMPs), until April 7, 2011. This administrative order also provides property owners with new rights in connection with NJDEP’s wastewater management planning process.
WMPs are legally binding documents that govern where new sanitary sewer lines can be built. For a sewer line to be extended into a property, it must be included within the sewer service area (SSA) in the area wide WMP. Properties that fall outside the SSA are generally required to be served by septic systems. » Read the rest of this entry «
August 10th, 2009 | Posted by:
By Ellen Radow Sadat, Esq.
If you own real property in New Jersey that is not fully developed, Wastewater Management Plans (WMPs) currently being prepared this Fall by county governments (or NJDEP in the case of plans for Bergen, Burlington, Passaic, Union and Warren counties) may adversely impact the value of your property and its development potential. WMPs establish Sewer Service Areas which identify the properties that will be served by wastewater treatment systems. Properties such as corporate campuses, educational campuses, industrial parks, golf courses, residential developments, or vacant land that are currently within a Sewer Service Area could be re-designated to a non-Sewer Service Area, drastically devaluing the property, potentially impacting financing, and effectively eliminating future development options. » Read the rest of this entry «
July 6th, 2009 | Posted by:
One of the most significant obstacles to economic growth and development in New Jersey has gone largely unnoticed and if not properly addressed, could jeopardize commercial, residential and industrial growth, and undermine New Jersey’s hope for future economic stability and vitality. Amendments to the Water Quality Management Planning Rules in 2008 have resulted in an overall shift in how water resource planning is implemented throughout the state. The new rules are designed to shape development patterns in New Jersey through the designation of sewer and nonsewer waste water disposal areas. The serious impact of the rules is only now coming to light with the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) introduction of a proposed, dramatically revised Sewer Service Area Maps. The new maps, currently in draft form, are substantially different than the current maps, removing many undeveloped or partially developed properties from current designations as Sewer Service Areas. The bottom line is that many properties that are not fully developed, such as golf courses, educational campuses, industrial parks and corporate campuses that are currently within a Sewer Service Area would be redesignated to a non-Sewer Service Area, drastically devaluing the property, potentially impacting financing and effectively eliminating future development options. Many of the map changes directly conflict with municipal zoning ordinances, master plans and even approved General Development Plans, removing key components that will have a critical impact on a municipality’s fiscal health and in some cases drive N.J. corporations that have purchased sufficient land for future growth around existing facilities to look to relocate outside of the State.
» Read the rest of this entry «