Saturday, November 28, 2015

Final hearing Monday on contentious NJDEP water rules

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's  rules on where sewers can be extended will change under a proposal by Gov. Chris Christie’s administration, but environmentalists claim that will result in sprawl, overdevelopment and flooding.
Bob Jordan reports for the Asbury Park Press that:
Areas newly approved for sewer service typically become targets for business and housing development. The Christie administration wants to repeal and rewrite the Water Quality Management Planning rules, with an eye on nudging the state out of its economic slump.
The final of three public hearings will be hosted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in Trenton Monday at 10 a.m.
DEP officials say the goal is to eliminate “red tape’’ and spur “appropriate economic growth,’’ while maintaining high standards of environmental protection.
The Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel on Friday said the change if allowed to go forward “threatens our most important forested and environmentally sensitive lands, especially in the Highlands and Pinelands.’’
"This rule is not only a rollback of environmental protections and not based on science, but a complete giveaway to land speculators and developers,’’ Tittel said.

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