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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2005

Contact: Erin Phalon
(609) 984-1795

DEP FINES DEVELOPER, ENGINEER, AND CONSULTANT FOR
FALSIFYING FRESHWATER WETLAND APPLICATION

(05/73) TRENTON -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined a developer and two land use professionals a total of $738,000 for falsifying information in a freshwater wetland permit application for the proposed 155-unit Twin Brooks Village adult community in Tinton Falls. The applicants withheld information in an effort to develop wetland areas protected under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act.

"This penalty sends a clear signal to land use professionals willing to submit false or misleading information to DEP: you will be punished," said Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "In too many cases, lawbreaking consultants have used false submittals to conceal risks and to skirt the requirements of the law."

Gregory S. Blash & Associates, Air, Land And Sea Environmental Management Services, Inc. and Twin Brooks Village, LLC., in November 2004 jointly submitted an application for a letter of interpretation and freshwater wetland transition area waiver.

The application failed to identify approximately 107,000 square feet of obvious freshwater wetlands, freshwater wetland transition areas, and State open waters on the site of the proposed development. The permit application proposed the construction of parking lots, roads and condominiums within protected natural resource areas such as a 5,000 square foot pond and extensive freshwater wetlands.

DEP on February 17 issued a notice of violation to each respondent for failing to identify in the application all features which would be relevant to determining compliance with the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act. The applicant, Twin Brook Village, LLC, withdrew the application for the development on March 23, 2005. The respondents may request a hearing to appeal DEP's penalty assesment within 20 days.

In a related enforcement action, DEP fined the project's surveyor, John P. Houwen of B&B Hi-Tech Solutions, Inc., $41,000 for failing to identify pertinent on-site freshwater wetlands and State open waters.

 

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