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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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Notice of Rule Proposal:
Waiver of Department Rules, N.J.A.C. 7:1B

Take notice that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is proposing to adopt new rules at N.J.A.C. 7:1B to provide a mechanism for the consideration of relaxation of standards in the Department’s existing rules in appropriate circumstances. A statement of the substance of the proposal follows:

It is generally understood that strict compliance with a regulatory provision can, in limited circumstances, lead to unreasonable, unfair and unintended results, which can adversely affect prospective applicants, the public and the environment. When promulgating its rules, the Department cannot anticipate every circumstance or personal hardship that may exist. The standards of each chapter are designed to capture nearly all situations that could come before the Department. However, for those situations not specifically addressed by its rules, the Department believes that it is appropriate to propose a new rule to allow for unanticipated, special and/or unique situations that can arise where strict compliance with a rule causes unwanted and adverse consequences, or prevents a desired environmental benefit.

To qualify for consideration for a waiver under the proposed rule, the Department must first determine that the requirement sought to be waived conflicts with another Department or other State or Federal agency rule, application of the rule in the specific circumstances present would be unduly burdensome (defined to include actual, exceptional hardship), there would be a net environmental benefit achieved through the grant of the waiver, or there is a public emergency that must be addressed.  The rule precludes consideration of waivers of certain standards and requirements, including specific requirements or duties imposed by State statute or under Federal statute or regulation, as well as numeric or narrative standards protective of human health. These limitations are necessary to ensure that waivers remain consistent with the Department’s core missions, as well as to avoid conflicts with other State or Federal statutes, agencies and agreements.

The proposal is scheduled to be published in the New Jersey Register dated March 7, 2011.  A copy of the proposal is available from the DEP website (PDF), as well as from LexisNexis Customer Service at (800) 223-1944 or  Be advised that there may be a fee for obtaining a copy of the proposal from some sources.

A public hearing(s) concerning the proposal is scheduled as follows:

Thursday, April 14, 2011, at 3:00 pm
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Public Hearing Room
401 East State Street
Trenton, NJ 08609

Written comments may be submitted by May 6, 2011 to:

NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Gary J. Brower, Esq.
ATTN: DEP Docket No. 03-11-02
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Office of Legal Affairs, 4th Floor
PO Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

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