New Water Quality Rules

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has proposed new Water Quality and Watershed Management Rules which will, when adopted, have some impact upon development within the State. Significant aspects of the proposed Rules include that the Rules will: (1) address non-point source pollution, i.e. pollution from widespread sources such as roads, lawns and farms that washes into waterways after storms; (2) encourage growth/development in areas already designated for sewer service; and (3) establish pollution load limits for bodies of water as required by the Federal Clean Water Act.
Subchapter 6 of the proposed Rules should be of particular interest to developers within the State. Currently, non-sewer service areas, or areas not designated for sewer service, are considered to be approved for septic systems in connection with developments of up to 49 units and do not have to perform any water resource analysis. Under the new Rules, any proposed new discharge to groundwater in excess of 2,000 gallons per day for commercial establishments, and residential developments of six or more units in non-sewer service areas will be required to perform an analysis of the environmental impact of the proposed septic systems, as well as non-point source pollution and other water resource impacts from the overall development. The stated purpose behind the new Rules is to assure that development will not degrade the State’s water resources.

Linda M. Herlihy is an Associate
at WJ&L, LLP who practices in the
Land Use and Real Estate areas.

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