NJDEP Proposes to Amend Freshwater Wetland Protection Act Rules
On September 4, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection ("NJDEP") issued a proposal to readopt and amend its rules regulating development in and around freshwater wetlands. Proposed revisions include a requirement that all activities performed under a general permit be "minimized," meaning that NJDEP will evaluate whether proposed activity must take place in wetlands at all, regardless of whether the activity satisfies the general permit. Certain general permits would also require applicants to submit detailed mitigation proposals as part of their applications. In general, the proposal would make it more difficult and time-consuming to obtain a freshwater wetlands permit. NJDEP must finalize its proposal or request an extension from the Governor's office by January 30, 2008. Once the proposal is finalized, NJDEP will continue to process existing administratively complete applications for activity in freshwater wetlands under the old regulations, but all administratively incomplete and new applications will have to comply with the revised regulations.