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 «

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 «

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 «

New DEP Sewer Service Area Maps Spell Disaster for Planning, Economic Growth and Development

July 6th, 2009 | Posted by: Christopher DeGrezia 1| comments:

Sewer Service Area 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 «

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