Andrew B. Robins
May 04, 2020
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:
NJDEP’s “90-day” review period for
Waterfront Development, CAFRA and Flood Hazard Area (stream encroachment)
permit applications is tolled and extended.
Registration deadlines under the new
“Dirty Dirt” law are extended.
“All timeframes governing the Department’s
provision of public notice, review and decisions on permits and other
approvals,” including those which would deem applications approved without
conditions are paused.
The timeframe for NJDEP approval of
certain asset sales of sanitary landfills is extended.
Reporting deadlines for municipalities
regarding recycling tonnage are extended by 60 days; and
Extended the August 1 deadline for
semi-annual reporting for entities that collect electronic “e-waste.”
Under the terms of EO 136, the NJDEP Commissioner is required to
issue an Administrative Order by May 7, 2020 to implement the extensions. NJDEP is also authorized to “establish
earlier timeframes for review and decisions on specific permit applications,
with appropriate public notice, if DEP determines that an earlier decision is
in the public interest or ... to maintain appropriate sequencing of federal
90-day Permit Review Stayed. Under N.J.S.A. 13:1D-32, NJDEP is
required to make a determinations on applications for permits under the
Waterfront Development Act, N.J.S.A. 13:9A-1 et seq, the Wetlands Act of 1970
(the Coastal Wetlands Act), N.J.S.A. 13:9A-1 et seq., the
Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA), N.J.S.A. 13:19-1 et seq.,
and the Flood Hazard Area Control Act, N.J.S.A.
58:16A-50 et seq. EO-136
extends the timeframe for completeness reviews and permit decisions until 60
days after the end of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declared under
EO-103. Hence, all pending application
will essentially be held in abeyance absent a finding that the permit decision
is needed “in the public interest.” DEP is also required to continue reviews of
permit applications “to the maximum extent practicable.”
NJDEP’s review of county or municipal projects to clear debris
from streams under N.J.S.A. 58:16A-67 has also been extended.
Review of Treatment Works Approvals (TWA) for sewer connection
permits and other “90-day permits” were not addressed, nor was any relaxation
of those addressed down the regulatory food chain for local and county entities
involved in approval processes.
“Dirty Dirt” registration deadline extended. The deadline for registrations required under
the recent “Dirty Dirt” legislation, N.J.S.A. 13:1E-127.1 et seq., has been
extended until 60 days after the end of the COVID-19 emergency declaration.
Recycling Reporting deadlines extended. Deadlines for annual reporting by
municipalities of recycling tonnage under N.J.S.A. 13:1E-99.16.e. and
the next semi-annual reporting for facilities accepting e-wastes required under
N.J.S.A. 13:1E-99.105c, have been extended for sixty (60) days to July
1, 2020 and August 1, 2020 respectively.
Approval of Sanitary Landfill Asset Transfers. The timeframe for DEP to act on certain
proposed asset transfers for Sanitary Landfills under N.J.S.A. 48:3-7 has been
extended for a period of sixty days after the end of the COVID-19 emergency
Our environmental team is here to assist you and advise as to
how Executive Order 136 and other EO’s and administrative actions impact you.
Click here to read EO 136: https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-136.pdf
Click here to read the
Governor’s press statement on EO 136: https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200502d.shtml
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