NJ DEP to Ease Permit Process for River Desnagging

Post-Irene Project Assessments - Molly Ann's BrookImage by USACEpublicaffairs via FlickrPoint #8 on Christie's 15 Point Flood Plan is to work to expedite permits, through a simplified process, to desnag and clear rivers.

Arguably, this change comes quite late for towns like Pequannock, which struggled with continued requests for elaboration by the NJ DEP to obtain desnagging permits prior to Hurricane Irene.  It has been noted that delays on the state side of the process prevented Pequannock from even beginning desnagging ahead of the record flooding in August.

Current progress from the report issued by the Passaic River Flood Committee is as follows:

March 11, 2011
• The DEP Land Use Rule team taking lead.
June 1, 2011
• DEP rules are being reviewed for potential revisions
• DEP Office of Engineering and Construction will assist municipalities with the application process on projects within the scope of the grant in recommendation number 5.
June 28, 2011
• A meeting was held with the municipalities to provide local elected officials the opportunity to meet with DEP Land Use Regulation to discuss the expedited permit process

Also note that the permitting process was so complex previously that this also appeared as item #5 (Desnagging and Deshoaling) on Christie's 15 Point Plan, as if, forced to deal with their own permit process for point #5, they decided to make easing the permit process a priority for point #8.  Not a strong argument for big government, but that's just one man's perspective.

Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock EnvironmentalHistoric District, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

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