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
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.