08.10.2012Author: William F. Harrison, Esq. and Emmy Acevedo* View the article (pdf) On January 17, 2012, a new law (P.L. 2011, c. 203) (the "Law") took effect modifying the State Wastewater Management Planning Process. The goal of the Law is to provide greater predictability to property owners, investors, and developers while protecting the State's significant environmental delicate resources from the impacts of further development. Although the Law did not change the substance of the existing Department of Environmental Protection ("DEP") rules, it required County Wastewater Management Planning Agencies ("WMP Agencies") to submit, at a minimum, the portion of their updated County-wide Wastewater Management Plans ("WMP") dealing with the delineation of the updated "Future Wastewater Service Area" boundaries to the DEP by July 15, 2012. Sixteen of the twenty-one counties in the State met the deadline for submitting SSA Maps or full WMPs to the DEP. Access to sanitary sewer service is critical for economic growth and development. WMPs determine where new sanitary sewer lines can be built in the county. A property must be included within the sewer service area ("SSA") in the WMP in order for development on the property to be served by sewers. Those properties outside the SSA can only be served by septic systems. A property's location outside the SSA will significantly limit the amount of development that can occur on the property. If you have questions about SSA maps, or if you would like assistance requesting changes, please contact William F. Harrison, Esq. in the Commercial Real Estate, Redevelopment and Environmental Law Practice Group. *Emmy Acevedo is a summer associate with Genova Burns.