NJDEP Green Infrastructure Regs to Affect Land Development
Executive Order 100
In 2020, New Jersey Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 100, a sweeping Energy Master Plan to protect against the threat of climate change. This plan was developed partially in response to a 2019 report “New Jersey’s Rising Seas and Changing Coastal Storms”, prepared by Rutgers University for the Department of Environmental Protection. Part of this plan requires the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to develop new regulations integrating climate change considerations regarding sea level rise into its regulatory and permitting programs.
Developers need to be prepared to change tactics prior to March 2, 2021 as the latest round of stormwater management regulations becomes operative. This translates to how upcoming guidelines for stormwater management and land use permitting will relate to development as initial steps are taken within the regulations to address climate change impacts.
In order to comply with the latest regulations, developers must be prepared to see a different site design process and resulting site designs. There will be more geotechnical soil investigations performed at the onset of projects. There will be less large stormwater basins, and more smaller stormwater basins. The basins themselves will be considered green infrastructure, meaning they will be infiltrating or filtering runoff, or storing runoff for reuse. According to the NJ Developers Green Infrastructure Guide 2.0, “…the key takeaway is this decentralized stormwater management approach under the new rules would increase the developable area of the lot and could provide an additional building to the project.”
Executive Order 100 is one small step toward more in-depth, ever-evolving guidelines slated for the future of development in New Jersey. That’s why it’s important to get ahead of the curve now so you can navigate the ins and outs of the new regulations from the experts. Local ordinances are still being revised so while some grandfathering options in the regulations for existing projects might be available—the final word will be governed locally. Keep in mind that complete application packages must be submitted prior to March 2, 2021 to be grandfathered-in under the current regulations.
For more information, please contact Steve Gomba, PE, Certified Floodplain Manager in our Hamilton office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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