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 «

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