NJDEP Proposes New Environmental Justice Rules
On June 6, 2022, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection published its draft regulations which implement the State’s landmark Environmental Justice Law, N.J.S.A. 13:1D-157, et seq.
The rule proposal can be found here [https://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/proposal-20220606a.pdf]
Previous blogs discussing this topic can be found here:
In short, these new regulations set forth the method by which overburdened communities are defined, including environmental and public health stressors. The regulations also set forth the additional requirements for permit applications, including renewals, for facilities located in overburdened communities. The new regulations also establish the requirements for public participation that all applicants must now undertake. Finally, the regulations also flesh out the “compelling public interest” exception to the Environmental Justice Law. As proposed, this exception would be extremely narrow, and only facilities whose purpose would serve an essential environmental, health, or safety need of the host community for which there is no reasonable alternative siting location available would qualify for the exception. This exception is notable in that it excludes solely economic factors to justify a facility’s permit.
These environmental justice regulations are not yet finalized and DEP is currently soliciting public comment. Interested parties may submit written comments about the rule proposal to DEP. Written comments are due by September 4, 2022. Written comments may be submitted electronically at www.nj.gov/dep/rules/comments.
DEP will hold 4 public hearings regarding this rule proposal on the following dates and times:
- Monday, July 11, 2022, first from 3-5 PM and then from 6-7PM at the DEP’s Public Hearing Room, 401 E. State Street, Trenton.
- Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at 6:30PM at the Ray and Jon Kroc Corps Community Multi-Purpose Room; 1865 Harrison Ave., Camden, NJ 08105.
- Wednesday, July 27, 2022, at 6 PM at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Campus Center Atrium, First Floor 150 Bleeker Street, Newark, NJ 07102.
- Thursday, July 28, 2022, at 6 PM, virtually, through the Department’s video conferencing software.
Finally, DEP has released a beta version of the Environmental Justice Mapping, Assessment and Protection (EJMAP) tool. This tool shows where overburdened communities are located in New Jersey, where existing facilities subject to the requirements of the Environmental Justice Law are located, and which existing environmental and public health stressors impact each overburdened community.
As the regulations implementing the Environmental Justice Law begin to come into focus, it is important to begin to examine your facility, your future expansion plans, or your plans for a future development of a facility in order to determine how the Environmental Justice Law and its regulations may impact you. To discuss New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Law and how it may affect you, please contact Parker McCay’s environmental department.
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