Environmental groups go to court over waiver rule

TRENTON – Environmental groups are fighting the Department of Environmental Protection waiver rule in court.

Twenty-eight organizations – including the Sierra Club, American Littoral Society, Environment New Jersey, N.J. Audubon Society, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, and Save Barnegat Bay – petitioned state Supreme Court to block the Christie administration rule that allows developers to apply for waivers from rules that might be considered unduly burdensome.

The filing, on Earth Day, was made after an earlier court ruling that deferred to DEP on such matters.

“Challenging the waiver rule is even more important given the impacts of Hurricane Sandy,” said N.J. Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel.  

“Waiving and rolling back environmental standards only make flood and storm damage worse.  We are taking on the waiver rule so we can have a more resilient and sustainable future.”

 

DEP spokesman Larry Ragonese said said that there would be no response to the filing other than that the courts already have approved the waiver rule. “It provides benefits to New Jersey and to the environment to help reduce red tape and to make government kind of fit with common sense,’’ he said.

 

Environmental groups go to court over waiver rule