No Statute Of Limitations For Spill Act Contribution Claims

January 28, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Paul H. Schneider

The general statute of limitations for claims alleging injury to real property is six years.  However, a recent decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that private claims for contribution made pursuant to the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act) are not subject to any statute of limitations. Read more


Supreme Court Reinstates Downzoning Ordinance

January 23, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Steven M. Dalton

Property owners who had successfully challenged a municipal open space ordinance that downzoned their property from one unit per acre to one unit per twenty acres on the purported basis of promoting “smart growth” and protection of environmentally sensitive lands achieved only a short-lived victory.  In the January 22, 2015 decision of Griepenburg v. Ocean Township, the Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division and reinstated a trial court decision upholding the validity of the ordinance. Read more


Town Need Not Address Master Plan Change

January 19, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Paul H. Schneider

A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a municipality is not required to respond to a proposed zoning change recommended by the town’s planning board in a master plan reexamination report.  Under New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL), municipal planning boards are responsible for preparing master plans and reexamining those master plans at least every ten years.  Among other things, the periodic reexamination reports may recommend specific changes to zoning ordinances.  Read more


Safe Dam Act Casts Broad Net

January 6, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Paul H. Schneider

The Safe Dam Act (SDA) requires “[a]n owner or person having control of a … dam,” such as the dams that form artificial lakes and other impoundments throughout New Jersey, to maintain the dam in accordance with current regulatory standards and to implement “any action ordered” by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to correct unsafe conditions.  Many lakes and impoundments were created decades ago for agricultural or commercial purposes but are now enjoyed for recreation or scenic value.  Often the dams do not conform to current engineering standards, and compliance with the SDA can be costly. Read more


Permit Extension Act Signed Into Law

December 29, 2014 | No Comments
Posted by Michael J. Gross

Governor Christie signed the Permit Extension Act into law on Friday, December 26.  The law is applicable State-wide and as noted in our previous updates, continues the effective period of the Permit Extension Act of 2008 for an additional year.  The Act now expires December 31, 2015, with additional tolling of up to six months for certain qualifying approvals.


Coming Soon – “Final” ALJ Decisions

December 23, 2014 | No Comments
Posted by Steven M. Dalton

The Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”) was amended in 2013 to give agencies the authority to order that Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) decisions are deemed to be final with respect to certain categories of administrative cases. For such cases, the ALJ decision will not be subject to further review by the head of the agency. I previously wrote on the topic of finality in the adjudicatory hearing process (ALJ Decision Bill) highlighting the chilling effect that agency-head review of ALJ decisions can have on individual rights in the administrative process. Read more


Permit Extension Act – Legislative Passage

December 19, 2014 | No Comments
Posted by Michael J. Gross

As an update to Monday’s Alert, the Permit Extension Act passed the Assembly 67-0-8 and the Senate 31-5. It is now on the Governor’s desk for signature.

This update is not considered to be legal advice, and is intended for educational purposes only. For more information regarding the Permit Extension Act, please contact Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla’s Environmental Practice Group.


DEP Extends Coastal Rules Without Acting On Substantive Changes

December 19, 2014 | No Comments
Posted by Steven M. Dalton

Coastal Permit Program Rules, the procedural aspects of DEP’s CAFRA, coastal wetland, and Waterfront Development permitting programs, were set to expire December 15, 2014. DEP took action to extend the existing rules without change for a seven-year term, but has yet to act upon the proposed substantive changes to the Coastal regulations published June 2, 2014. The rule proposal, if adopted, will recodify the Coastal Permit Program Rules and Coastal Zone Management Zones and combine them into a single set of regulations, and will implement various substantive amendments to the existing rules. Further action on the pending rule proposal is expected sometime during the first half of calendar year 2015.


Permit Extension Act Update

December 15, 2014 | No Comments
Posted by Michael J. Gross

A one-year extension is now proposed.  It has been approved by both the Assembly and Senate Committees and could be voted on Thursday by the full Senate and Assembly. We will keep you updated on what occurs Thursday. 


“There you go Again”

December 12, 2014 | No Comments
Posted by Steven Corodemus

More tinkering with the Ogden-Rooney process of reviewing conveyance of Green Acres lands.

 There you go again” was one of my favorite Ronald Reagan pearls. It may have been first uttered by the future 40th president at the 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter as the incumbent leveled a repeated attack on his challenger-Reagan.

 Well there go the reformists – again! Please recall that more than a year ago I wrote about a legislative proposal to radically change the Ogden-Rooney process regarding the conveyance of State lands acquired or develop with Greenacres funding. http://www.njenvironmentlaw.com/the-state-house-commissions-60th-anniversary-may-be-dampened-by-new-proposed-legislation/ Read more