March 9, 2012
RE: DEP Waiver Rule Adopted
Yesterday in Trenton, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin announced that his Department has adopted a new rule that gives the DEP flexibility to modify compliance with rules in certain limited circumstances, provided that the waivers will not compromise protections for the environment or public health. The waiver rule is somewhat similar to the municipal zoning variance process, allowing some leeway to existing rules in certain, limited circumstances.
Requests for waivers will be accepted beginning August 1, 2012.
There is no automatic right to a waiver. Waivers will be granted only on a case-by-case basis after review by technical staff and approval of the Commissioner. A waiver cannot violate State or Federal statute or Federal regulation.
To apply for a waiver, a requester must demonstrate that at least one of the following four criteria is met:
1. Public Emergency -- There is a public emergency that has been formally declared.
2. Conflicting Rules -- Conflicting rules (between federal and state agencies, or between
state agencies) are adversely impacting a project or activity from proceeding
3. Net Environmental Benefit -- A net environmental benefit would be achieved.
4. Undue Hardship -- Undue hardship is being imposed by the rule requirement(s).
Information about the waiver rule, including Governor Christie's EO 2 and the adopted rule text, is available at www.nj.gov/dep/waiverrule.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.