Gov. Chris Christie has signed a bill delaying some pollution reduction rules, a move immediately decried by environmentalists who claim it will worsen the state's water quality.

At issue are sewer service designations, or areas of the state approved to someday have sewer service.

Currently, county governments can protect land from large-scale development by removing it from approved sewer service areas.

Development of homes, stores and parking lots causes more dirty storm water and sewage overflows to run into waterways.

The bill signed Tuesday keeps sewer service approvals in place for two years. It also prohibits governments from protecting land already eligible for development by removing it from the areas approved for sewer service.

The sewer boundaries are important because they determine where large-scale development can take place.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)