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Lawsuit Filed Against NJ DEP Waiver Rule

This morning, environmental and labor organizations joined in a lawsuit to withdraw a new rule adopted by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Stemming from Governor Christie’s Executive Order #2, which directs every state agency to implement common sense principles, the DEP plans to start accepting waiver applications from people and businesses who believe certain environmental protections are prohibiting a project from advancing. Waivers would be granted only on a case-by-case basis after careful review by technical staff and approval of the DEP Commissioner.

Jeff Tittel, Rick Engler
Dozens of organizations joined in a lawsuit today challenging a DEP waiver rule (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media)

Groups against the rule say it is too vague and will result in more pollution, flooding and sprawl.

Doug O’Malley of Environment New Jersey says the rule gives applicants, mostly large companies and developers, a “get out of jail free” card.

The DEP says the rule is for everyone in New Jersey, from corporations to homeowners.

The DEP’s Larry Ragonese says, “This is an effort to bring common sense to government, to have the average guy cut through the bureaucracy.”

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