In one of the few victories scored recently by New Jersey environmental interests, the state Legislature has passed a measure putting the brakes on a controversial NJDEP rule
that critics claim would roll back stream protections and increase flooding.
NJ Spotlight's environmental writer Tom Johnson reports:
By a 45-28-2 vote largely along partisan lines, the Assembly gave final
approval to a resolution (SCR-180), saying that the massive rule
revision proposed by the state Department of Environmental Protection last June
is inconsistent with legislative intent of current laws.
The measure, approved without debate during the last day of the
current session, marks the use of a legislative tool that allows lawmakers to prevent the executive branch from
adopting regulations it opposes. Only one Republican, outgoing
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Monmouth), sided with Democrats in voting
for the resolution.
Much of the state’s environmental community strongly opposed the 936-page rule,
calling it a rollback of some of New Jersey’s most important protections
dealing with pristine streams. But the DEP and various business interests
touted the rule as streamlining a burdensome regulatory process that hinders
The DEP has 30 days to respond to the resolution by changing the rules,
withdrawing them, or going forward with the original proposal. If the agency
goes forward with the rule, the Legislature can void the proposal by both
houses adopting a resolution.
In the video clip above, New
Jersey Nightly News anchor Mary Alice Williams asks NJ Sierra Club Director Jeff
Tittel why his group and others believe the resolution is necessary.
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Labels: DEP, Department of Environmental Protection, flood hazard, flooding, floods, legislature, New Jersey, NJ, NJDEP