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The following represent some of the more common statutes and rules relied upon by New Jersey environmental lawyers.
The Spill Act. This is essentially our State’s Superfund law. It regulates discharged hazardous substances, authorizes private lawsuits when discharges have taken place, and even creates a fund of last resport for certain spill victims. It is the most used environmental statute in New Jersey.
Water Pollution Control Act. This law is our State version of the Clean Water Act. It requires permits for surface and groundwater discharges, regulates storm water discharges, and provides relief for unpermitted discharges.
The Highlands Act and Pinelands Act and CAFRA. Though each different in material ways, these laws regulate development in various parts of New Jersey. Some limitations are minor, others can preclude development altogether.
Freshwater and Coastal Wetlands laws. These laws taken together regulate many wetlands found in New Jersey. There is both state and federal regulation of some wetlands. Wetlands may have significant environmental benefits. When they are present they can affect how much property may be developed or disturbed. There may also be penalties and other enforcement actions, including potential criminal enforcement in the case of certain wetlands violations.
LSRP and state site remediation laws. In New Jersey many environmental cleanups are overseen by professional called LSRPs. A cleanup is deemed completed when an LSRP issues a “RAO,” or remedial action outcome. This used to be known as a NFA, or no further action letter.
Flood Hazard Rules. Regulate construction in areas prone to flooding. These regulations may limit development.
CERCLA. This is the federal Superfund statute and it generally applies to significantly contaminated properties in this State.
Brownfield laws. A series of laws that apply to the cleaning and redevelopment of contaminated properties. They affect levels of required cleanups and sometimes provide protection from liability and funding.
Tidelands laws. These laws affect current or previously tidally flowed properties in New Jersey. If the State asserts an interest, the claim needs to be addressed through the Tidelands Council.
Site Remediation Reform Act. Changed how contaminated properties are cleaned in New Jersey through the creation of the LSRP program.
Storm water Rules. Control storm water in development applications. Can be tough to satisfy and are often a problem when over development is proposed.
Beach Access and Public Trust Doctrine. Rules and laws affecting public access to waterfront areas in the State.