Search Site
Menu
Union Beach Sued Over Sewer Authoritys Wind Turbine Plans

January 26, 2011

Union Beach lacks power to rule on turbine, complaint says

By JIM McCONVILLE
APP.COM STAFF WRITER
The two-year battle over the construction of a 380-foot-high wind turbine has taken another twist, with the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority saying the borough lacks the power to rule on approving the project.

The authority’s attorney, Louis E. Granata of Matawan-based Granata, Wernick & Zaccardi, filed a complaint in state Superior Court, Freehold, on Dec. 29. The authority  which wants to build an energy-producing turbine – serves Hazlet, Union Beach, Matawan, Aberdeen, Keyport, Keansburg, Holmdel and Marlboro.

The authority’s civil complaint asks the court to restrain the Planning Board from taking further action that would “delay or interfere with the construction and operation” of the wind turbine.

The authority argues that the board has no jurisdiction over the estimated $7.7 million project, which has been approved by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP issued a construction permit for the project under the state Coastal Area Facility Review Act in June.

That approval, the authority argues, supersedes local government rule.

However, Stuart J. Lieberman, a Princeton-based attorney who concentrates in environmental law and is representing Union Beach, said the authority’s claim that it is no longer beholden to municipal rule is frivolous.

“I am not aware of any regulatory provision that says, if you get a permit or authorization or blessing from the DEP, that you are then exempt from other governmental approval,” Lieberman said.

Lieberman said that while the DEP may have absolute authority in a state wetlands issue, it doesn’t apply to a local land use case.

“It’s a land use issue where they’re (the authority) erecting a structure and they happen to need both DEP and local approval,” Lieberman said. “And they now claim because they got the state approval, they now do not need local approval. That’s new to me.”

The authority’s court complaint comes on the heels of the Planning Board’s Dec. 8 rejection of the authority’s application to redraw its property lines to include a roughly half-acre tract purchased from Jersey Central Power & Light Co., land that the agency acquired for the wind turbine.

The board also ruled that the authority must reapply for a use variance in order for the board to consider whether the agency may add the plot to its property earmarked for the turbine.

The authority purchased the tract from JCP&L in October to ensure that the three rotating blades of the proposed 1.5-megawatt wind turbine will rotate over authority property, agency officials said.

The authority wants to use the half-acre, semi-circular lot to provide more room for the planned turbine’s 118-foot-long blades, as well as to ensure clearance for a 219.5-acre tract known as Conaskonk Point, a property that consists of environmentally sensitive lands, according to the site plan application prepared by T&M Associates of Middletown.

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • New report finds that significant offshore wind capacity exists along the Atlantic coast. https://t.co/EQG8d5VMw2
    3 weeks ago
  • The Murphy Administration plans to spend $200 million on wind port. https://t.co/Se09U5ZHvy
    1 month ago
  • NJDEP aims to simplify permitting process. https://t.co/UTm92DtrAC
    1 month ago
  • U.S. Supreme Court will hear PennEast Pipeline appeal of New Jersey eminent domain dispute. https://t.co/AqqvTw1QD2
    2 months ago

Recent Blog Posts

Environmental remediation timeframes extended again in February 2021 due to COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency, keeping up with deadlines and time frames has been a difficult task for many. The State of New Jersey as well as the New
Read More
Environmental remediation timeframes extended again in February 2021 due to COVID-19

New Jersey Courts Make it Easier for Commercial Landlords to Change the Locks and for Lenders to Foreclose

The COVID pandemic began in March of 2020 and placed many individuals, businesses and mortgage lenders in circumstances which seemingly only ever existed in their wildest dreams. Among those impacted
Read More
New Jersey Courts Make it Easier for Commercial Landlords to Change the Locks and for Lenders to Foreclose

Changes to Phase I Environmental Site Assessment standards may change federal environmental due diligence requirements.

At both the state and federal levels, purchasers of commercial property are required to perform certain environmental investigations in order to shield themselves from liability for contamination found after the
Read More
Changes to Phase I Environmental Site Assessment standards may change federal environmental due diligence requirements.

Appeals Court Critical of Law Firm’s “Scorched Earth” Collected Tactics in Landlord Tenant Case

Law firms hired by landlords in collection actions against tenants can be liable to pay the tenant both statutory penalties and attorneys fees if they use improper collection practices. That’s
Read More
Appeals Court Critical of Law Firm’s “Scorched Earth” Collected Tactics in Landlord Tenant Case

In the media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules

    NJ.com Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form