TRENTON – As a result of the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin has signed an Administrative Order allowing approvals of DEP permit requirements for in-kind repairs or replacement of critical public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, bulkheads and culverts.
“Our entire state sustained unimaginable destruction as a result of Hurricane Sandy,” Commissioner Martin said. “Restoring basic public infrastructure will be a critical first step toward the recovery of our cities and towns. For emergency repairs, we cannot let bureaucracy get in the way. Red tape should not and will not hold up this vital work.
“We want our communities towns to go and do needed repairs and replacements without worrying about the permit process. Once the emergency work is done, they can follow up later with needed paperwork.”
Cities and towns will have six months to provide needed documentation of storm damage for retroactive DEP approval for public infrastructures projects. That documentation is key to getting federal reimbursement for the emergency work.
“It will be very important for governments to follow this process because the Federal Emergency Management Agency requires proof that state environmental approvals were obtained before releasing disaster aid,” Commissioner Martin said.
Commissioner Martin also reminded municipalities and private property owners that they do not need any DEP approval to move sand from roadways, streets, private properties and structures back onto beaches. Movement of sand once on beaches is permissible under each municipality’s beach maintenance permit. The DEP, however, advises that these activities should only take place if it is safe to do so.
For a copy of the Administrative Order, visit: http://www.nj.gov/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/docs/ao20121105.pdf
For more information and resources, visit the DEP’s Hurricane Sandy resources website at www.nj.gov/dep/special/hurricane-sandy/