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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2010

Contact: Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795

CUTTING OF RED TAPE WILL MAKE DEP MORE CONSUMER FRIENDLY
WITHOUT COMPROMISING ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

(10/P25) TRENTON -Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin welcomed today’s release of the Red Tape Review Group’s findings and recommendations as a refreshing change in the way state government operates and pledged to continue working to implement reforms that will make the agency more attentive to the needs of the people of New Jersey without compromising environmental protection.

The DEP fully supports the report’s recommendation and can achieve greater efficiencies by changing its culture, adopting common sense principals of rule making, and by bringing technologies, especially information technologies, into the 21st century, Commissioner Martin said. By improving the regulatory process, the DEP will be able to more promptly consider and act on permit requests, speed up investigations and better enforce the state’s environmental rules.

“When I accepted Governor Chris Christie’s challenge to serve as DEP Commissioner, I realized right away that the agency needed to change the way it thinks and operates,” said Commissioner Martin, who served on the Red Tape committee. “The DEP was often too locked into its own regulatory processes to be able to see the big picture, to truly work for and with the people we serve. Too often good projects were hampered by slow DEP decision making and onerous and overlapping rules. This bipartisan effort led by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno is a huge step in the right direction. Today we start bringing common sense and the people back into the equation of how we approach our mission - and we will do this without compromising environmental protections the people of New Jersey demand and deserve.”

Of a dozen DEP rule proposals that were put on hold by the Red Tape review process, only two will expire. One, adoption of a perchlorate standard for drinking water, was allowed to expire because the federal Environmental Protection Agency is working on a national standard. The other is a technical rule on how wetlands are delineated.

The DEP is committed to making changes to existing rules that were not part of the frozen rules, developing a list of program changes that will provide more flexibility and help applicants comply at lesser cost. The DEP has also begun a stakeholder meeting process to review major programs such as Water Quality Management Plans, Public Access rules, the Highlands program, and coastal rules.

The DEP will be working to develop a set of metrics to help it meet its goals and gauge success.

For a copy of the Red Tape Review Group report, visit: http://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/552010/pdf/20100419_rtr_final_report.pdf

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Last Updated: April 19, 2010