Legal challenge filed over N.J.’s new coastal management regulations

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Environmental groups charge that state Department of Environmental Protection's Coastal Zone Management Act rules allow too many buildings to be in the path of future storms.

February 22, 2016
Legal challenge filed over N.J.’s new coastal management regulations

Photo: Jazz Guy/Creative Commons.

Environmental groups in New Jersey have filed a legal challenge to new state regulations that they say make it easier to build in flood-prone areas. The groups, including Environment New Jersey, Save Barnegat Bay and local residents, charge that state Department of Environmental Protection's Coastal Zone Management Act rules, enacted after Superstorm Sandy, allow too many buildings to be in the path of future storms.
 
The state DEP said the groups' challenge lacks merit and that the Act's provisions "are both environmentally responsible and conducive to sound and safe coastal development," the Associated Press reported. The DEP said the rules were meant to streamline regulations while implementing environmental safeguards as New Jersey rebuilt after the 2012 storm.

The DEP rules make it easier to build or expand marinas with restaurants, and to erect piers along with attractions on them. They also make it easier to build waterfront homes, including duplex or two-family houses, which include minor dredging projects.

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