08.03.2012Author: William F. Harrison, Esq. and Nicki Leitner The Waiver Rule, adopted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), took effect on August 1, 2012. Applications for waivers are now being accepted by DEP. In March of 2012, DEP adopted the Waiver Rule in direct response to Governor Chris Christie's Executive Order No. 2 encouraging State agencies to implement "Common Sense Principles" to energize and encourage a competitive economy in order to benefit businesses and ordinary citizens. The Waiver Rule allows DEP to grant exemptions from strict compliance with its environmental regulations when the applicant can demonstrate that one or more of the following are present:
- The waiver is necessary to respond to a declared public emergency;
- Conflicting rules (between Federal and State agencies or between State agencies) adversely impact a project or prevent the project from proceeding;
- Net environmental benefit would be achieved; or
- Undue hardship is being imposed by the rule requirement(s).