This courtesy copy of the Act incorporates all of the amendments listed below. The official version of the Act consists of the 2004 Act and the five separate amendments set forth at the links below.
Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act (pdf)
Highlands Act of 2004: P.L. 2004, c.120 (pdf)
There are a number of Administrative Codes (Rules) that relate to implementation of the Highlands Act. The Highlands Council works in collaboration with other state agencies to ensure coordination of activities and programs affecting the Highlands.
Subject: Adopt Rules Limiting or Prohibiting Development in Certain Wildfire Hazard Areas; Mandating Retrofit of State-of-the-Art Fire Prevention Practices on Existing Development in Certain Wildfire Hazard Areas; and Requiring Monitoring and Reporting of Emissions of Air Pollutants from Wildfires and Prescribed Burns
Petitioner: Bill Wolfe
Petition Recevied: 3/9/22, Petition Document (pdf)
Register Publication: 4/18/22, Notice of Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking (pdf)
Notice of Action: 5/3/22, Notice of Action on Petition for Rulemaking (pdf)
The Highlands Act includes 17 exemptions from the provisions of Act and Regional Master Plan. In addition, the DEP Highlands Rules include 4 waivers that allow some degree of deviation from the enhanced environmental standards of the Act.
Full text of the exemptions can be found in the Highlands Act at C.13:20-28. Full text of the waivers can be found in the DEP Highlands Rules at 7:38-6.4. The fourth waiver, 7:38-6.9 Waiver for the construction of a 100 percent affordable housing development, was added to Highlands Rules during the 2005 re-adoption with amendments. Full text of the waiver can be found in the New Jersey Register, Volume 37, Issue 24, December 19, 2005.
In 2012, a Memorandum of Understanding provided authority to Highlands municipalities to issue 7 of the most common exemptions following completion of a training and certification program with the Highlands Council.