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Section: Additional provisions concerning expedited permit mechanisms.

Statute: 13:1D-146

10. a. In addition to the provisions of subsection c. of section 5, subsection c. of section 7 and subsection c. of section 9 of P.L.2004, c.89 (C.13:1D-145, C.27:1E-2 and C.52:27D-10.6), expedited permit mechanisms, such as a permits-by-rule, general permits, and certification by professionals qualified and registered in accordance with subsection e. of section 5, subsection e. of section 7 or subsection e. of section 9 of P.L.2004, c.89 (C.13:1D-145, C.27:1-2 or C.52:27D-10.6), as appropriate, shall be made available in the smart growth areas as determined appropriate by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, the Commissioner of Transportation, or the Commissioner of Community Affairs, as appropriate, after consultation with the Smart Growth Ombudsman. b. The following permits or approvals in smart growth areas shall be by permit-by-rule upon certification of compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements by a professional qualified and registered in accordance with subsection e. of section 5 of P.L.2004, c.89 (C.13:1D-145): (1) treatment works approvals pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1977, c.74 (C.58:10A-6) for sewer lines, pumping stations, force mains or service connections in sewer service areas; (2) water quality management plan amendments adopted pursuant to the "Water Quality Planning Act," P.L.1977, c.75 (C.58:11A-1 et seq.) for new or expanded sewer service areas associated with an existing wastewater treatment facility; (3) water main extension permits pursuant to the "Safe Drinking Water Act," P.L.1977, c.224 (C.58:12A-1 et seq.) where a public water system has available, uncommitted resources; (4) well drilling permits pursuant to section 10 of P.L.1947, c.377 (C.58:4A-14); and (5) the following general permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection for activities in the waterfront development area designated pursuant to R.S.12:5-3 and in accordance with rules and regulations in effect on June 14, 2004: (a) the landfall of utilities including cable, including electric, television and fiber optics, telecommunication, petroleum, natural gas, water and sanitary sewer lines constructed in tidal water bodies authorized pursuant to R.S.12:5-1 et seq. or the "Flood Hazard Area Control Act," P.L.1962, c.19 (C.58:16A-50 et seq.); (b) minor maintenance dredging in man-made lagoons; and (c) the voluntary reconstruction of a non-damaged legally constructed, currently habitable residential or commercial development landward of the existing footprint of development. c. The Director of the Division of Smart Growth established in the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to subsection a. of section 5 of P.L.2004, c.89 (C.13:1D-145) shall take action on the following wetlands general permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules adopted under the authority of the "Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act," P.L.1987, c.156 (C.13:9B-1 et seq.) and in effect on June 14, 2004, provided the application includes an effective letter of interpretation issued by the department pursuant to section 8 of P.L.1987, c.156 (C.13:9B-8), in smart growth areas within 45 days upon certification of compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements by a professional qualified and registered in accordance with subsection e. of section 5 of P.L.2004, c.89 (C.13:1D-145): (1) regulated activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, or State open waters, necessary for the construction or maintenance of an underground utility line provided that any permanent above-ground disturbance of wetlands, transition area, or State open waters shall be no greater than one acre; (2) a regulated activity in a freshwater wetland, transition area, or State open water, if the freshwater wetland or State open water is not part of a surface water tributary system discharging into an inland lake or pond, or a river or stream, and provided the activity shall disturb no more than one-half acre of a freshwater wetland, transition area, or State open water up to one-half acre; (3) minor road crossings, including attendant features such as shoulders, sidewalks and embankments, provided that the total area of disturbance shall not exceed one-quarter acre of freshwater wetland, transition area, and State open water, without regard to the distance or length of road, to access developable uplands; (4) regulated activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, or State open waters, necessary to stabilize the bank of a water body in order to reduce or prevent erosion through bioengineering methods; (5) regulated activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, or State open waters, necessary for the construction of an above ground utility line; (6) the disturbance of certain degraded freshwater wetlands, transition areas, or State open waters necessary for redevelopment of an area previously significantly disturbed by industrial or commercial activities provided that the disturbance shall not exceed one-tenth acre of freshwater wetlands and one-quarter acre total disturbance including transition areas; (7) regulated activities in freshwater wetlands or transition areas, necessary for the construction of additions or appurtenant improvements to residential dwellings lawfully existing prior to July 1, 1988, provided that the improvements or additions require less than a cumulative surface area of 750 square feet of fill or disturbance and shall not result in new alterations to a freshwater wetland outside of the 750 square foot area; (8) regulated activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas and State open waters necessary for surveying and investigative activities, including: soil borings dug by machine; hand dug soil borings larger than three feet in diameter or depth; cutting of vegetation by machine for a survey line; cutting of vegetation by hand for a survey line; and digging of exploratory pits and other temporary activities necessary for a geotechnical or archaeological investigation; and (9) regulated activities in freshwater wetlands and transition areas necessary for the repair or modification of a malfunctioning individual subsurface sewage disposal system provided that the activity shall disturb no more than one-quarter acre of freshwater wetlands or transition areas combined. d. The Director of the Division of Smart Growth established in the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to subsection a. of section 5 of P.L.2004, c.89 (C.13:1D-145) shall take action on minor stream encroachment permits for an encroachment project that does not require hydrologic or hydraulic review; does not require review of any stormwater detention basin; does not increase potential for erosion or sedimentation in stream and does not require substantial channel modification or relocation; and does not need to be reviewed for the zero percent or 20 percent net fill limitations other than that associated with a single family dwelling, in smart growth areas within 30 days upon certification of compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements by a professional qualified and registered in accordance with subsection e. of section 5 of P.L.2004, c.89 (C.13:1D-145). e. The following Highway Occupancy permits or approvals in smart growth areas shall be by permit-by-rule upon certification of compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements by a professional qualified and registered in accordance with subsection e. of section 7 of P.L.2004, c.89 (C.27:1E-2): (1) drainage; (2) utility openings; and (3) utility poles (new and relocation). f. Notwithstanding the provisions of P.L.1987, c.156 (C.13:9B-1 et seq.), or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, to the contrary, an activity conducted under the authority of a general permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to section 23 of P.L.1987, c.156 (C.13:9B-23) may occur in a vernal habitat located within a smart growth area or in a transition area adjacent to a vernal habitat located within a smart growth area. g. A copy of the application for a general permit or a notice of the permit by rule provided pursuant to this section shall be submitted to the ombudsman and to the clerk of the municipality and the clerk of the county in which the proposed project is located. h. Nothing in this section shall be construed or implemented in such a way as to modify any requirement of law that is necessary to retain federal delegation to, or assumption by, the State of the authority to implement a federal law or program. L.2004,c.89,s.10.

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