Statewide Sewer Mapping Compliance Takes a Step Forward

July 18th, 2012 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

nj_dep_logoOn 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 «

Governor Christie Signs New Law To Extend Effective Period for Existing Sewer Service Area

February 27th, 2012 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

34By 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.

BACKGROUND

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 «

Appellate Division Ruling Reinforces Key Provisions of NJDEP’s Water Quality Management Planning Rules

November 8th, 2011 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

DSC_0133By 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 «

Legislation Permits Renewable Energy Facilities on Preserved Farmland

July 28th, 2010 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

Agricultural PictureBy Joseph J. Whitney, Esq.

On January 16, 2010, the New Jersey legislature adopted a bundle of laws to promote renewable energy development in New Jersey.  Among the laws adopted was an amendment to the Agricultural Retention and Development Act (the “Act”) to permit the installation and operation of biomass, solar or wind energy generation facilities on preserved farmland.  A preserved farmland is a farm in which the landowner has conveyed a development easement to the State Agricultural Development Committee (“SADC”) or other governmental instrumentality, such as a county, or to a private not-for-profit entity, such as a land trust.  By conveying a development easement to the SADC or such other entity, the landowner covenants that the preserved farm will only be used for agricultural purposes.  This restriction runs with the land and is binding on all future owners of the property. » Read the rest of this entry «

NJDEP Administrative Order Preserves Sewer Service Areas Until April 7, 2011, and Addresses the Sewer Service Area Revision Process

May 3rd, 2010 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

2009-02-17 Transfer 426By 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.

Background

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 «

Site Remediation Reform Act: How Will the Act Impact the Use of Alternate Remediation Standards (ARS)?

November 11th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

DSC_0371Although the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) gives Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) substantial authority once the exclusive purview of NJDEP, not all of the functions held by NJDEP case managers under the pre-SRRA process for remediation will be transferred to the LSRP.  Such is the case with Alternate Remediation Standards (ARS).  An ARS is a remediation standard developed for use at a given site based on site-specific conditions and risks that is often less restrictive than adopted standards.  One of the laws modified by SRRA continues to allow the use of ARS in lieu of the established minimum soil remediation standards for residential or non-residential use.  » Read the rest of this entry «

Site Remediation Reform Act: Will the New Permit Program for Operation, Maintenance and Inspection of Engineering and Institutional Controls be Different from NJDEP’s Current Biennial Certification Program?

October 30th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Site Remediation Reform Act - Biennial CertificationCurrently, NJDEP requires a biennial certification for engineering and institutional controls.  Every two years, a certification must be prepared, signed and submitted to NJDEP reporting on the monitoring, inspection and maintenance for caps, covers, fences, signs, Classification Exception Areas (CEAs), deed notices and other engineering and institutional controls implemented as part of the remediation of a contaminated site.  Under the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), NJDEP will now be implementing a new permit program for this purpose.  NJDEP is wrestling with the best way to move forward with the transition of these requirements into a permit program. » Read the rest of this entry «

DEP Proposes Rule Changes to Facilitate Wind Turbine and Solar Panels in Appropriate Coastal Areas.

October 30th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

2009-02-17-transfer-1170The Department of Environmental Protection is proposing amendments to the Coastal Permit Program rules, N.J.A.C. 7:7, which contain the coastal general permits and the permits-by-rule.  Under this proposal, the Department is proposing a new permit-by-rule and two new coastal general permits for the construction of wind turbines on land; a new permit-by-rule for the construction of solar panels; and is describing the situations in which construction of a wind turbine or solar panel does not require a coastal permit. The Department is also proposing amendments to the Coastal Zone Management rules, N.J.A.C. 7:7E, to facilitate the construction of wind turbines in the coastal zone in appropriate locations. » Read the rest of this entry «

Draft DEP Guidance Calls For Local Zoning Approval for Cleanups that Could Delay or Block Remediation or Development Projects?

October 22nd, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

DEP Guidance - Need for Local Zoning ApprovalBy Ellen Radow Sadat, Esq.  &  Joseph Schmidt, Esq. 

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (”DEP”) is taking another weapon out of its abundant arsenal, which may make it harder to implement reasonable remedial actions and delay cleanups.  Under draft guidance, titled “Requirements for Remedial Actions Rendering Properties Unusable,” issued on October 5, 2009, DEP plans to implement a seemingly innocuous provision of the Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”): » Read the rest of this entry «

Site Remediation Reform Act: How Does the Act Impact NJDEP’s Natural Resource Damage Program?

October 20th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Site Remediation Reform Act - Natural Resource DamageThere are two significant provisions in the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) that will impact how NJDEP pursues its claims for Natural Resource Damages (NRD). The first is a fairly obvious change to existing law (the Statute of Limitations) setting deadlines for the state to bring a claim for NRD.  The second, and more significant provision, stems from a subtle reference nestled amid NJDEP’s newly defined powers of direct remedial oversight.  » Read the rest of this entry «

World Health Organization Lowers Recommended Action Level For Indoor Radon Gas from 4.0 to 2.7

October 13th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 0| comments:

Radon LevelBased on recent studies on indoor radon and lung cancer, the World Health Organization is recommending that homeowners remediate radon levels that exceed 2.7 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).  WHO’s prior threshold  — and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current recommended action level –  is 4.0 pCi/L.   According to WHO, radon is the second cause of lung cancer in the general population, after smoking, and epidemiological studies have provided convincing evidence of an association between indoor radon exposure and lung cancer, even at the relatively low radon levels commonly found in residential buildings.   » Read the rest of this entry «

Development Rights Restricted by New Sewer Service Area Maps, But Help May Be On It’s Way

August 10th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 3| comments:

Sewer Service Area 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 «

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