[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 765

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BOB SMITH

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

Senator  CHRISTOPHER "KIP" BATEMAN

District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires, after study, DEP to adopt total maximum daily loads for Barnegat Bay ecosystem, and requires DEP to adopt nutrient standards for NJ marine waters.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on February 4, 2016, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning the water quality of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem, and supplementing P.L.1977, c.74 (C.58:10A-1 et seq.).

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Within one year after the effective date of this act, the Department of Environmental Protection shall conduct a study and prepare a report that evaluates the water quality of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem to determine whether the bay is impaired as described pursuant to section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. s.1313.  The study shall examine whether the waters of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem meet State water quality standards, and shall focus on the impairments caused by phosphorus, nitrogen and excessive sediment.  The study shall also evaluate whether there are declining trends in the water quality of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem.  The department shall evaluate the efficacy of (1) controls on point sources that discharge into the bay and its tributaries, and (2) practices and programs that control nonpoint source pollution in the watershed.  The department shall also make recommendations for any Legislative action that may be necessary to restore the water quality of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem.

     The study and report shall be transmitted, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature, and the chairs of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, or their successors.

 

     2.    If the Department of Environmental Protection, pursuant to section 1 of this act, finds that Barnegat Bay is an impaired waterbody, the department shall, within two years after the effective date of this act, develop total maximum daily loads for the Barnegat Bay ecosystem.

     Any total maximum daily load developed pursuant to this section shall include (1) an implementation plan describing demonstrable reduction measures, and (2) a schedule with annual benchmarks to ensure implementation of the total maximum daily load in a timely manner.

 

     3.    a.  Nothing in this act shall delay, or be construed to delay, the implementation of existing or new best management practices to reduce sediments and nutrients from point sources and nonpoint sources affecting the Barnegat Bay ecosystem.  The Department of Environmental Protection shall use existing mechanisms to the maximum extent practicable to reduce sediments and nutrients during the study and the development of the total maximum daily loads pursuant to this act.

     b.    In carrying out its responsibilities pursuant to this act, the Department of Environmental Protection shall use or consider all relevant and available information, including publicly-submitted, peer-reviewed information, and draw upon all existing State and federally funded studies of the Barnegat Bay ecosystem.

 

     4.    The department shall adopt, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), and within 180 days after the effective date of this act, 1numeric and narrative1 nutrient standards for the marine waters of the State.

 

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately.