DEP COMMISSIONER REAFFIRMS VALIDITY OF NEW JERSEY HIGHLANDS
(06/41) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection
Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today appeared before members of the
New Jersey Highlands Council to make clear that regulations adopted
last year to protect the environmentally sensitive Highlands region
remain in effect.
"The DEP is committed to preserving our wealth of precious
natural resources in the Highlands. To that end, we will take formal
action on final environmental regulatory standards in the coming
months. Until then, the existing Highlands rules are still valid,"
Commissioner Jackson said. "To dispel misinformation and to
avoid any possible misunderstandings, we are working to let the
public know that these interim rules are still in effect, and our
communications efforts include correspondence to New Jersey's mayors."
The interim rules are effective until November 2006.
First adopted in May 2005, the interim Highlands rules established
regulatory standards for implementing the landmark Highlands Water
Protection and Planning Act, including permit review for major Highlands
development, septic systems, historic and archaeological resources
and unique and irreplaceable resources.
The rules' expiration date, originally set for May 2006, was automatically
extended last December when the DEP proposed to readopt the interim
rules, as allowed under the state's Administrative Procedure Act,
after consulting with the Highlands Council, the State Planning
Commission, and the Departments of Community Affairs, Transportation,
For more information on the DEP's Highlands rules, visit www.nj.gov/dep/highlands.