SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE, No. 183

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  MARCH 17, 2014

 

      The Senate Environment and Energy Committee favorably reports Senate Bill No. 183 with committee amendments.

      This bill amends P.L.1992, c.148 (C.13:19-16.1), the law concerning the use of monies in the Shore Protection Fund, to specify that projects must be consistent with the new priority system and criteria to be developed pursuant to the bill in order to be eligible for monies from the Shore Protection Fund. 

      In addition, this bill, as amended, amends P.L.1997, c.384 (C.13:19-16.2), the law that requires the Commissioner of Environmental Protection to develop a priority system and criteria therefor for ranking shore protection projects.  Under the bill, all shore protection projects that include a structural component would be required to also include appropriate non-structural components, such as dune creation or enhancement elements and local dune protection ordinances.  Also, the bill as amended, requires that all shore protection projects include public access to the waterfront.  The bill would also provide that priority be given to projects for the acquisition of hazard-prone property for which the department has denied an application for certain land use permits, and projects involving non-structural shore protection solutions over structural solutions.  The bill directs the commissioner to adopt the priority ranking system pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act.”

      The bill also requires the commissioner to conduct, or cause to be conducted, a cost-benefit analysis for each project on the shore protection project priority list and demonstrate that each project provide a net financial benefit to the State.  Lastly, the bill requires the shore protection project priority list to be posted on the department's website and directs the commissioner to annually hold a public hearing to receive public input on the priority system and project priority list.

      The committee amendments add the requirement that all shore protection projects include public access to the waterfront, rather than simply giving priority to projects that include a public access component.  

      This bill was prefiled for introduction in the 2014-2015 session pending technical review.  As reported, the bill includes the changes required by technical review, which has been performed.