SENATE ECONOMIC GROWTH COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE, No. 317

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  JUly 14, 2016

 

      The Senate Economic Growth Committee reports favorably and with committee amendments Senate Bill No. 317.

      As amended and reported, this bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, to develop and implement an aquaculture permitting review program (program) to provide for the coordinated review of any aquaculture project.  The program is to provide for a coordinated permit application for any permit, approval, or authorization required for an aquaculture project.  The program is to consolidate the review process for the coordinated permit application.  The coordinated permit application is to include any permit, approval, or other authorization required for an aquaculture project and include, as applicable, a permit, license, approval, or authorization required pursuant to the "New Jersey Aquaculture Development Act," R.S.12:3-1 et seq. (concerning riparian grants and leases), R.S.12:5-1 et seq. (concerning waterfront development), the "Pesticide Control Act of 1971," "The Wetlands Act of 1970," the "Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act," the "Coastal Area Facility Review Act," the "Water Supply Management Act," the "Water Pollution Control Act," "The Realty Improvement Sewerage and Facilities Act (1954)," the "Water Quality Planning Act," the "Safe Drinking Water Act," or the "Flood Hazard Area Control Act," and any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to these statutes.

      The committee amended the bill to provide that the bill does not authorize a change in environmental or regulatory policy, standards, or requirements of the statutes subject to the program, nor is the program to reduce or diminish any opportunities for public review and comment or public hearings currently required by those statutes, any rules or regulations adopted pursuant thereto, or any programs established pursuant thereto.  The amendments also provide that the permit application is to be a coordinated permit rather than a joint permit.

      This bill was pre-filed for introduction in the 2016-2017 session pending technical review.  As reported, the bill includes the changes required by technical review, which has been performed.