New Jersey Permit Extension Act - The Last Act?

January 6, 2015
Bruce S. Katcher

Governor Christie signed into law the latest (and most likely last) extension of the deadlines in New Jersey’s Permit Extension Act (PEA) on December 26, 2014.  The PEA was first enacted in 2008 to toll the running of the expiration dates of a very wide range of local, county and state construction-related permits and approvals because of the economic downturn that began that year and its devastating impact on project development.  The latest extension now extends the tolling date to December 31, 2015 for the term of any permit or approval covered by the PEA, with no extension to run more than 6 months past that date.  This mean that the term of any permit or other approval covered by the PEA that would have expired during the period starting January 1, 2007, is now tolled until December 31, 2015 but will expire no later than June 30, 2016 (i.e., permits that had more than six months to run when their term was tolled, get no more than six additional months beyond the end of 2015).

A variety of governmental permits and approvals are covered by the PEA, including many land use approvals (e.g., wetlands letters of interpretation, waterfront development and CAFRA permits, flood hazard permits where work has commenced), water supply, water quality management and others.   Permits for land within certain designated “environmentally sensitive areas” are not covered nor are permits issued under federally delegated programs (e.g., NJPDES permits, most freshwater wetland permits, RCRA permits, new source review permits, etc.).  Other specialized exemptions from PEA coverage apply in the Pinelands, the Meadowlands, the Highlands and elsewhere.

Because it is unlikely that the PEA will be extended again, any appropriate actions should be taken to evaluate and  preserve all rights under existing permits and approvals that were extended by the PEA.  For questions on specific permits, please contact Bruce Katcher at bkatcher@mankogold.com or 484-430-2320