Chapter 29 (New)
P.L. 1997, CHAPTER 261, approved October 10, 1997
Senate, No. 1776 (Third Reprint)
An Act concerning watershed preservation, protection and management, 3[and]3 providing for the expenditure of monies dedicated pursuant to Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6, subparagraph (a) of the New Jersey Constitution 3, and making an appropriation3.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Watershed Protection and Management Act of 1997."
2. The Legislature finds and declares that, on November 5, 1996, the voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution dedicating the equivalent of 4 percent of the revenues annually generated by the Corporation Business Tax for financing the costs of hazardous discharge site remediation, upgrading hazardous underground storage tanks, and water quality 3point and nonpoint source3 pollution monitoring, 3[watershed based] watershed-based3 water resource planning and management, and nonpoint source pollution prevention projects; and that, of the 4 percent dedicated for these purposes, a minimum of one-sixth, or a minimum of $5,000,000, whichever is less, is annually dedicated for the purposes of water quality point and nonpoint source 3pollution3 monitoring, 3[watershed based] watershed-based3 water resource planning and management and nonpoint source pollution prevention projects.
The Legislature further finds and declares that the Department of Environmental Protection currently administers the State’s water quality planning, monitoring, permitting and enforcement programs; that the department has recently begun to change its long-standing, permit-based approach to water resource protection and water pollution control to that of a watershed-based planning approach; that such an approach would greatly increase the overall efficiency and precision with which pollution control measures could be applied; and that the federal Clean Water Act establishes policy guidelines requiring states to clean up polluted waters and protect waters that meet water quality standards.
The Legislature further finds and declares that the 33 Fiscal Year 319973 funding levels must be increased in future years to enable the department to meet the requirements of the 3[Federal] federal3 Clean Water Act; and that the constitutionally dedicated and appropriated additional monies, when used to fund a watershed-based approach to water resource management and pollution control, will greatly assist the State in protecting waters that meet water quality standards and in attaining and complying with federal water quality standards.
The Legislature therefore determines that it is in the public interest and consistent with the intent of Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6, subparagraph (a) of the New Jersey Constitution 3[,]3 to provide statutory guidance to the department for the use of the dedicated monies; that the dedicated monies should be used to support an expansion of department efforts in the area of water resource management; and that the State should adopt a watershed-based approach to most effectively and efficiently comply with federal guidelines.
3. As used in this act:
"Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection; "Federal Act" means the federal "Clean Water Act" (33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq.);
"Total maximum daily load" 1[or "TMDL"]1 means the sum of individual point and nonpoint sources of pollution, other sources such as tributaries or adjacent segments, and allocations to a reserve or margin of safety for an individual pollutant 2or as defined in subsequent 3rules and3 regulations of the department2;
"Watershed" means a geographic area within which water, sediments, and dissolved materials drain to a particular receiving waterbody;
"Watershed management activity" means activities or projects undertaken by the department 1, the Pinelands Commission 3[created] established3 pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1979, c.111 3[(C.13:18A-1 et seq.),1] (C.13:18A-4),3 or a watershed management group to improve the condition or prevent further degradation of a watershed, and may include, but need not be limited to, public meetings to discuss and exchange information on watershed issues, the establishment and operation of a stakeholders advisory group or groups dedicated to preserving and protecting a watershed, the monitoring, water quality modeling or assessment of the condition of a watershed, the development of policy goals to reduce the amount of pollutants discharged into a watershed, the development of projects designed to enhance or restore a watershed, the development, in consultation with the department, of a watershed management plan, or the reassessment of a watershed to determine whether the policy goals or the objectives of 3[the] a3 watershed management plan have been attained;
"Watershed management area" means a geographic area in the State, as designated by the department, within which may be found one or more watersheds;
"Watershed management group" means a group 3[that represents] recognized by the department as the entity representing3 the various interests within one or more watersheds located in a watershed management area 2[that] 3[, which group2 is]3 2[established] 3[recognized2 by the department 2as an entity] and3 whose purpose is2 to improve the condition or prevent further degradation of a watershed or watersheds 2[, and shall]. A watershed management group 3[may2] shall3 include 3, but need not be limited to,3 local and county government officials 3[1, officials of regional planning agencies,1 and representatives] , a representative of water purveyors, a representative of wastewater utilities or authorities, a representative3 of the business 3community, a representative of the development community,3 and 3a representative of the3 environmental community 3; except that a watershed management group need not include all such officials or representatives if any such officials or representatives decline or are unable to participate in the watershed management group as may be determined by the department in accordance with guidelines or rules and regulations adopted by the department. Where a regional planning agency has been created for all or part of the watershed management area to be represented by the watershed management group, an official of that regional planning agency shall be included in the watershed management group3 ; and
"Watershed management plan" means a plan developed by the department 1[or] ,1 3[a watershed management group 1, or the Pinelands Commission1 ,] or by the Pinelands Commission or a watershed management group3 in consultation with the department, designed to improve the condition or prevent further degradation of a watershed or watersheds, and shall include 2consideration of groundwater quality and quantity, 3consideration of3 water supply quality and quantity,2 a determination of the 3[2need for2]3 total maximum daily load amount of pollutants that can be discharged into the watershed or watersheds targeted by the plan, 1[and]1 the implementation of water 3[quality based] quality-based3 effluent limits 1for point sources, and regulatory and best management practices to control 3[non-point] nonpoint3 sources of pollution1.
4. The "Watershed Management Fund," hereinafter referred to as the "fund," is hereby established as a nonlapsing, revolving fund in the Department of Environmental Protection. The fund shall be 3[annually]3 credited 3annually3 with all monies appropriated pursuant to the requirements of Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6, subparagraph (a) of the New Jersey Constitution. Any interest that accrues on monies in the fund shall be credited to the fund.
5. Monies in the fund shall be used only for the following purposes:
a. The development and adoption of a priority list of water quality limited waterbodies pursuant to the requirements of section 303(d)(1)(A) of the Federal Act (33 U.S.C. §1313);
b. The monitoring and assessment of all State waters pursuant to the requirements of section 305(b) of the Federal Act (33 U.S.C. §1315);
c. The 1[development and]1 delineation of watershed management areas 1and stream segments1;
d. The identification of potential causes of the use impairment or water quality standard violations related to waterbodies on the priority list required pursuant to sections 303(d)(1)(A) and 305(b) of the Federal Act by means of assessment of reliable data, including, but not necessarily limited to, 1identification of 2[all]2 1 point sources, nonpoint sources, habitat degradation, and hydrologic changes. This identification shall include a broad-based intensive survey monitoring program that shall supplement the existing chemical, biological and toxics-in-biota monitoring networks, and that shall intensively sample watersheds or segments of watersheds on a periodic basis and establish a detailed watershed-wide assessment process. The number of monitoring sites within a watershed shall be determined by existing water quality, land uses, known and potential pollution sources, and the amount of available historical data. The supplemental survey monitoring program, shall be designed to provide:
(1) a detailed profile of water quality over specified time periods;
(2) an identification and detailed profile of both point and nonpoint pollution sources;
(3) a quantification of 1pollutant loadings and1 pollution impacts on receiving waters from both point and nonpoint sources; and
(4) water quality modeling based upon amounts of point and nonpoint sources of pollution and land use;
e. The development of total maximum daily loads and water quality-based effluent limitations for water quality limited waterbodies, as required pursuant to section 303(d)(1)(C) of the Federal Act, and any 3rules or3 regulations adopted pursuant thereto;
f. The development and presentation of data on the department's Geographic Information System (GIS);
g. The development and adoption of pollution prevention best management practices to control point and nonpoint sources of pollution;
h. The characterization of land use and land cover in each watershed;
i. The development and adoption of a watershed management plan; 1[and]1
j. 1The development and planning by the department of a watershed management program and the 2[intergration] integration2 of the department's 3rules and3 regulations with 3[this] the3 program; 3and3
k.1 The development and implementation of a 1[local]1 watershed protection 2loan and2 grant program, as described pursuant to section 6 of this act.
6. 2a. (1)2 The department shall establish a 2loan and2 grant program to assist 1[local]1 watershed management groups 3in the funding of watershed management activities3. A watershed management group may apply to the department for a 2loan or2 grant pursuant to this 3[section] subsection3 on forms prescribed by the department. The application shall state the objectives of the group, including the watershed management activities proposed and for which 2loan or2 grant monies are requested.
2(2) A 3watershed management group may, pursuant to guidance provided or rules or regulations adopted by the department, distribute all or part of the loan or grant to another person who is to perform a watershed management activity for which the loan or grant was provided. If the watershed management group distributes the loan or grant to a3 person who has a NJPDES permit to discharge pollutants into the waters of the State pursuant to P.L.1977, c.74 (C.58:10A-1 et seq.), 3[may receive a loan or grant as a watershed management group as provided in this subsection only if that person provides at least a 50 percent match to that loan or grant.] the distribution shall be conditioned upon the permittee providing a match of one dollar for every dollar provided by the loan or grant.3 The match may be made either as a monetary payment or as an in-kind contribution. Any person who has a NJPDES permit and who accepts a loan or grant pursuant to this subsection shall agree not to use any of the loan or grant monies for the purpose of complying with NJPDES permit requirements.2
3b.3 The department shall establish guidelines for the development of 1[a local]1 watershed management 1[plan] plans by watershed management groups1. The department shall provide guidance and technical assistance to watershed management groups seeking assistance in the development of a watershed management plan1 3[and] or3 in the 3development and3 implementation of watershed management activities1.
7. a. Any monies appropriated to the department pursuant to Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6, subparagraph (a) of the New Jersey Constitution, and deposited in the fund, shall be used to support the purposes 1[required pursuant to] 3[enumerated] set forth3 in1 section 5 of this act to the extent that 3[such] those3 purposes constitute activities in addition to those undertaken by the department in 3[fiscal year] Fiscal Year3 1997.
b. Monies shall be appropriated to the department pursuant to Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6, subparagraph (a) of the New Jersey Constitution, deposited in the fund 3,3 and allocated for the following purposes:
(1) 2[For the first three years immediately following the effective date of this act,] From the monies appropriated in 3[fiscal year] Fiscal Year3 1997 pursuant to section 8 of this act,2 100 percent of the monies shall be used 1[to support the costs of watershed management program development and planning, regulatory integration, and] 3[for1] by the department to support3 the purposes established in subsections a. through 1[i.] j.1 of section 5 of this act; 2[and]2
(2) 2[Commencing three years from the effective date of this act, 50] From the monies appropriated in 3[fiscal year] Fiscal Year3 1998, not more than 352 percent of the monies 2[shall] may2 be used to support the purposes identified in subsection 1[j.] k.1 of section 5 of this act and 2[50 percent] the remainder2 of the monies shall be used 3by the department3 to support the purposes established in subsections a. through 3[i.] j.3 of section 5 of this act 2; and
(3) From the monies appropriated in 3[fiscal year] Fiscal Year3 1999 and every year thereafter, not more than 50 percent of the monies may be used to support the purposes identified in subsection k. of section 5 of this act and the remainder of the monies shall be used 3by the department3 to support the purposes established in subsections a. through 3[i.] j.3 of section 5 of this act.
c. The department may not expend any monies that 3[is] are3 or may be appropriated by the Legislature for the purposes identified in subsection k. of section 5 of this act until the department submits a list of proposed loan or grant recipients to the Legislature, and the Legislature, by the passage of a concurrent resolution, approves that list. The Legislature may approve all or part of that list and only those persons listed in the 3approved3 concurrent resolution may receive a watershed protection loan or grant from the department. The concurrent resolution may limit or specify the amount of any loan or grant and may establish any other condition of receiving the loan or grant. The list of proposed recipients submitted to the Legislature by the department shall specify the name of the proposed recipient, the amount of the loan or grant to be awarded, the intended purpose of the loan or grant, the watershed or watersheds involved, and any other information relevant to the award of the loan or grant.
d. The department may not expend any monies in 3[fiscal year] Fiscal Year3 1999 and thereafter 3[,]3 that 3[is] are3 or may be appropriated by the Legislature for the purposes identified in subsection k. of section 5 of this act 3[,]3 until the department has adopted rules and regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), 3[governing] concerning the development and implementation of watershed management activities by watershed management groups and3 the submission and review of loan and grant applications.
e. Any transfer of 3appropriated3 funds 3between purposes3 authorized by this section shall require the approval of the Joint Budget Oversight Committee or its successor2 3. No such transfer of funds shall be approved by the committee or its successor if the transfer would cause exceedance of the funding percentage allocation limitations set forth in subsection b. of this section. Any transfer of funds from an approved loan or grant recipient to another approved loan or grant recipient shall also require the approval of the committee or its successor.3
8. There is appropriated 2[to the Watershed Management Fund]2 from the General Fund, pursuant to the requirements of Article VIII, Section II, paragraph 6, subparagraph (a) of the New Jersey Constitution, 2to the Department of Environmental Protection,2 the sum of 2[$2,500,000] $4,900,000 for deposit into the Watershed Management Fund 3[created] established3 pursuant to section 4 of this act2.
9. This act shall take effect immediately.
The "Watershed Protection and Management Act of 1997"; appropriates $4.9 million in constitutionally dedicated Corporation Business Tax revenues for that purpose.