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Andrew B. Robins uses his wide range of environmental law experience to counsel clients in regulatory compliance, cost recovery litigation, redevelopment, brownfields, transaction negotiation and risk analysis.

DEP Commissioner announced that the Department is moving forward with proposing rules relating to inland flood areas. Earlier this year, DEP had prepared to issue new flood area rules on an “Emergency” basis. The rule concepts put forward by DEP would dramatically expand areas identified as Flood Hazard Areas, and further limit activities in those areas. After significant uproar from municipalities, counties, other state agencies and the development community, the “Emergency Rule” concept was pulled back.

Continue Reading DEP to Move Forward Towards Releasing a New “Inland Flood Protection Rule”

Sources in Trenton report that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will announce on Monday a delay in publishing the “emergency rule” that was the subject of our June 3 Alert. After feedback from a number of impacted stakeholders, including municipalities, DEP is expected to announce a pause in the publication of the “emergency rule” to allow for more stakeholder input, issue FAQs and release a schedule of stakeholder meetings.

Continue Reading Update: DEP to Delay Publication of “Emergency Rule” on Flood Hazard and Stormwater Regulations

Anyone with a pending or planned project that involves either an area near a non-tidal river or stream or a project that is subject to DEP’s stormwater rules will likely need to reassess the scope of the project if approvals are pending.

The “emergency rule” is the first salvo of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s Protection Against Climate Threat (PACT) regulatory initiative. DEP will be side-stepping the normal rule making requirements and adopting changes to rules covering Fluvial (river system) Flood Hazard Areas (FHAs) and Stormwater Rules.

Continue Reading DEP to Adopt “Emergency Rule” Mid-June That Will Require Many Projects to Be Redesigned or Abandoned

On Saturday May 2, 2020, New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy issued Executive Order (EO) 136 providing for sweeping extensions of many statutory deadlines required under environmental laws and regulations administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP or Department) and suspending timeframes for certain NJDEP permit decisions and reporting. The extensions and suspensions are retroactive to March 9, 2020. Specifically, EO-136 includes the following:

Continue Reading Governor Murphy Issues Extensions of NJDEP Timeframes and Deadlines

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has proposed substantive changes to the remediation standards administered under New Jersey’s Site Remediation Program (SRP). The 273-page rule proposal includes 84 pages of commentary and 26 pages of rule amendments, and the remainder consisting of technical detail and charts. If adopted, it will have a significant and far-reaching effect on the remediation of contaminated sites in New Jersey so the regulated community should carefully assess those ramifications and take advantage of the opportunity to offer comments and other input to the DEP.

Continue Reading NJDEP Proposes Significant Revisions to Cleanup Standards With Controversial New Requirements

On January 27, 2020, Governor Murphy unveiled a series of broad regulatory proposals seeking to establish a “clean energy future” framework in the Garden State. The sweeping changes − billed as first-in-the-nation “comprehensive and aggressive suite of climate change regulations” − are laid out in three separate, but interrelated administration documents:

  • A newly updated New Jersey Energy Master Plan from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
  • Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 100
  • NJDEP Commissioner McCabe’s Administrative Order 2020-01

These new energy and climate change requirements would dramatically impact land use, development, utilities, energy consumption, and numerous other areas of everyday life.

Continue Reading The Winds of Change: Governor Murphy Launches Sweeping Regulatory Reforms to Promote Clean Air and Fight Climate Change

Wednesday (August 1), New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver held a press conferences in Newark and Atlantic City announcing six new lawsuits filed by the State of New Jersey seeking Natural Resource Damages and cost recovery for sites in Newark, Woodbridge, Atlantic City and Warren County. The suits are the beginning of an expected program of aggressive enforcement for contaminated sites.

Continue Reading New Jersey Announces Six New NRD/Cost Recovery Suits

The Appellate Division recently held equitable relief is available under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”), N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11, et seq., for the investigation of contamination before relative responsibility for remediation is established.

The New Jersey Appellate Court, in Matejek v. Watson (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., Mar. 3, 2017), upheld a judgment obligating five condominium owners to participate in and equally share the cost of investigating the cause of contamination without first requiring proof that property owners contributed to the contamination.

Continue Reading Appellate Decision Upholds Requiring Contribution for Spill Act Investigations Prior to Adjudicating Ultimate Responsibility

Previously issued Response Action Outcomes (“RAOs”)  and No Further Action (“NFA”) letters (collectively known as “Final Remediation Documents” or “FRDs”) do not waive the requirement for a new RAO when there is a new triggering event under the Industrial Site Recovery Act (“ISRA”), N.J.S.A. 13:1K-6 to -14.

Continue Reading Don’t Live in the Past: Property Owners Can’t Use Prior Final Remediation Documents To Avoid New Response Action Outcomes

I.  In General

It seems unlikely that the New Jersey Legislature will further extend the “Extension Period” of the Permit Extension Act (the “Act”) beyond December 31st of this year. Therefore, property owners and developers, with approvals which the Act extends, need to determine when these approvals or their periods of protection expire and what they can do to further extend these approvals.

Continue Reading Duration and Extensions of Permits and Approvals Extended by the New Jersey Permit Extension Act