Environmental Concerns in Commercial Development

An Overview of the State Environmental Permits Required in New Jersey

If you are a builder or developer seeking to initiate a project in New Jersey, one of your principal concerns should be environmental compliance. This blog post provides an overview of some of the more common environmental issues that may impact your potential development.

New Jersey Environmental Permits for Commercial Development

The state of New Jersey mandates that developers obtain permits if certain environmental conditions are applicable. These include:

  • The development of property in freshwater wetlands — Before any property can be developed, New Jersey law requires that the owner verify whether wetlands are present, and identify where the wetlands borders are. If there are wetlands on or within a buffer area around the project, the owner or developer will have to obtain a permit to build.
  • Projects that might increase the likelihood or intensity of flooding — The New Jersey Flood Hazard Control Act includes rigid standards for commercial developers with projects that have the potential to increase flow into rivers or streams. If an area has been designated as a flood hazard area, a commercial developer must obtain a permit.
  • Developments in coastal areas — The Wetlands Act of 1970 mandated the mapping of all coastal wetlands. A permit is required for any activity in areas delineated as coastal wetlands. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has delegated regulatory authority over New Jersey wetlands to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Projects in zones or areas designated as tidelands — A tideland is any property currently or formerly within the mean high tide of a natural waterway, including a bay, lake, river, stream or creek. In New Jersey, tidelands are the property of the state, and their use is overseen by the Tidelands Resource Council. To use tidelands, you must get written permission for the Tidelands Resource Council, and must pay a fee.
  • Projects in the Highlands Region in New Jersey — The Highlands Region includes portions of Warrren, Morris, Hunterdon, Passaic, Bergen, Somerset and Sussex counties. If you plan a development in the Highlands Region, you may be required to obtain either an approval or an exemption from the rules governing certain types of projects.

Contact the Law Office of Del Duca Lewis

At the law office of Del Duca Lewis, we offer five decades of commercial real estate and business law experience to clients across southern New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area. As a testament to our knowledge, skill, experience and effectiveness, attorney Damien Del Duca has been named a New Jersey Super Lawyer. To schedule an appointment, contact our office online or call us at 856-427-4200.