NJDEP Proposes Regulatory Changes to Facilitate the Development of Renewable Energy in Coastal Areas of the State

December 8, 2009
by BRETT SLENSKY
Client Alert Newsletter December 2009

On September 8, 2009, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") issued proposed amendments to the Coastal Permit Program Rules, ("CPPR”), the Coastal Zone Management Rules, ("CZMR"), and the Flood Hazard Area Control Act Rules, ("FHACA"), intended to facilitate the development of renewable energy generation capacity in certain coastal areas of New Jersey.

The proposed amendments to the CPPR include: (1) carve-outs from permitting requirements under the Coastal Area Facility Review Act and the Waterfront Development Law for certain wind turbines constructed on or structurally attached to existing buildings and for certain solar panel installations; (2) a new Permit-by-Rule ("PBR") for the construction of certain wind turbines that are less than 200 feet in height and have cumulative rotor swept area of no greater than 2,000 square feet; (3) two new coastal general permits for certain other wind turbines constructed on land; and (4) a new PBR for the installation of solar panels in certain designated areas at a single family home or duplex lot.

The proposed amendments to the CZMR include: (1) an amendment to the existing special area rule for Atlantic City that would allow the construction of certain wind turbines on the City’s ocean piers; (2) changes to the existing energy facility siting requirements and standards for certain wind and solar energy facilities; and (3) provisions that would allow the construction of up to five offshore wind turbines in the ocean waters between Seaside Park and Stone Harbor. Finally, the proposed amendments to the FHACA include a new PBR for the construction of certain wind turbines on land.