Assemblyman ALBERT COUTINHO
District 29 (Essex and Union)
Assemblyman LOUIS D. GREENWALD
District 6 (Camden)
Assemblyman ALEX DECROCE
District 26 (Morris and Passaic)
Assemblywoman ALISON LITTELL MCHOSE
District 24 (Sussex, Hunterdon and Morris)
Extends requirement of wastewater management planning agencies to establish or update wastewater management plans, and extends validity of sewer service areas and wastewater service areas, until three years after enactment.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning wastewater management plans and sewer service area and wastewater service area designations.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to remain committed to preservation of the environment, and further declares that it is the purpose of this act to remove unnecessary obstacles to economic development during the current period of persistent economic hardship.
2. As used in this act:
“Department” means the Department of Environmental Protection.
“Extension period” means the time period beginning on the date of enactment of this act and ending three years after the date of enactment of this act.
“Sewer service area” means the land area identified in an areawide water quality management plan from which wastewater generated is designated to flow to a domestic treatment works or industrial treatment works.
“Wastewater management plan” means a written and graphic description of existing and future wastewater related jurisdictions, wastewater service areas, and selected environmental features and treatment works.
“Wastewater management planning agency” means a governmental unit that has responsibility to prepare, submit, and periodically update a wastewater management plan pursuant to the department’s rules and regulations.
“Wastewater service area” means a sewer service area, a general service area approved for wastewater facilities with planning flows of less than 20,000 gallons per day which discharge to groundwater, and a general service area for wastewater facilities with planning flows of less than 2,000 gallons per day which discharge to groundwater as designated in any wastewater management plan or water quality management plan.
“Water quality management plan” means a plan prepared pursuant to Sections 208 and 303 of the federal Clean Water Act of 1977, Pub.L.95-217, 33 U.S.C. s.1251 et seq., and the “Water Quality Planning Act,” P.L.1977, c.75 (C.58:11A-1 et seq.), and includes Statewide, areawide, and county water quality management plans as defined by the Department of Environmental Protection in the Water Quality Management Planning rules, N.J.A.C.7:15-1.1 et seq.
3. a. Notwithstanding any other law, or rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, to the contrary, the time period within which a wastewater management planning agency shall prepare and submit to the department a wastewater management plan or wastewater management plan update pursuant to the Water Quality Management Planning rules, N.J.A.C.7:15-1.1 et seq., adopted by the department effective July 7, 2008, is extended for the duration of the extension period.
b. All wastewater service area designations, including all sewer service area designations in portions of areawide water quality management plans where no wastewater management plan was previously prepared, in effect at any time during the extension period shall remain in effect until such time as the applicable wastewater management planning agency adopts a new, revised, or updated wastewater management plan, as applicable, and the plan is approved by the department.
c. All wastewater service area designations, including all sewer service area designations in portions of areawide water quality management plans where no wastewater management plan was previously prepared, withdrawn pursuant to the Water Quality Management Planning rules, N.J.A.C.7:15-1.1 et seq., adopted by the department effective July 7, 2008, prior to the date of enactment of this act shall be reinstated and shall be in effect during the extension period.
4. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would extend, for a prescribed “extension period,” the requirement for wastewater management planning agencies to prepare and submit a wastewater management plan or a wastewater management update to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and would maintain during the extension period the validity of wastewater service areas and sewer service areas. The bill defines “extension period” as the time period beginning on the date of enactment of this bill into law and ending three years after the date of enactment.
Under the DEP’s current Water Quality Management Planning rules, N.J.A.C.7:15-1.1 et seq., adopted effective July 7, 2008, wastewater management planning agencies were required to submit a wastewater management plan or a wastewater management plan update to the department by April 7, 2009. This deadline was extended until April 7, 2011 by Administrative Order 2010-03, issued by the DEP Commissioner, dated March 24, 2010. This bill would further extend the deadline until three years after its enactment and would provide that no wastewater service area designations or sewer service area designations be withdrawn during that time. Furthermore, any such designations already withdrawn would be reinstated and would remain effective until three years after enactment.