DEP UNVEILS DRAFT PROPOSED PUBLIC ACCESS RULES
(10/P81) TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection today unveiled draft proposed rules for enhanced public access to the state’s coastal and other tidal waters, suggesting reasonable regulations but also employing additional, common sense measures to enhance public access.
Making the draft proposed rules publicly available for discussion prior to the official public comment period is one component of the DEP’s comprehensive efforts to go above and beyond the normal rulemaking process to ensure the most effective rules that best serve all of the residents of New Jersey.
“We are guided in our efforts by the standards set forth in Gov. Chris Christie’s Executive Order No. 2,’’ said Commissioner Martin, referring to an order that directs state agencies to establish rules based on common sense principles and in consultation with stakeholders.
Throughout development of these rules, the DEP has sought and continues to seek the engagement of the public, elected officials, environmental advocates, property owners and businesses.
“We believe we can significantly enhance public enjoyment and use of the ocean, bays, and other tidal waters by applying common sense principles of governing; by working with local governments, which best understand local circumstances and by eliminating unnecessary burdens on residents, businesses, and government entities,’’ Commissioner Martin said.
The public discussion on the draft rules precedes the normal rulemaking process; it does not replace, shorten, or otherwise change the normal 60-day comment period and any public hearings.
The Department earlier this year undertook its review of the public access rules, in part, because the courts have struck down provisions of existing rules, the Legislature has put a moratorium on implementation of provisions requiring marina access, and the DEP recognized that a more common sense approach to the rules could enhance access.
The New Jersey Shore and riverfront communities annually draw millions of tourists, who walk the boardwalks, enjoy our piers, and eat and drink along our waterways, fish in our waterways and navigate our waters for recreation. The environmental health and public accessibility of the ocean, shore and tidal waterways also are inextricably tied to New Jersey’s economic health. Tourism, mostly tied to Shore communities, is a $38 billion per year industry in New Jersey.
Draft proposed rules: www.state.nj.us/dep/cmp/access/pa_rule_draft_100816.pdf
DEP public access page: www.state.nj.us/dep/cmp/access/
Governor’s Executive Order No. 2: www.state.nj.us/infobank/circular/eocc2.pdf