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  Municipal Stormwater Regulations
 

In January 2004, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) adopted the new Municipal Stormwater Regulations. The rules were developed in response to federal requirements under the Clean Water Act.

There are two parts to the new regulations: Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans and Stormwater Management Plans. The pollution prevention plans address existing facilities such as roads, public works yards, and office complexes. The stormwater management plans target future major development and set standards for groundwater recharge, runoff quantity controls, and special resource protection areas.

Stormwater runoff has been identified as a leading threat to water quality in Barnegat Bay. Implementation of the new rules will improve the water quality of this important Ocean County resource. However, this program does not come without significant costs which must be borne by Ocean County and the municipalities. In addition, the requirements of some aspects of the program have not always been clear. The County Planning staff and the PMK Consulting Group participated in a series of roundtables and workshops designed to assist municipal officials in understanding and complying with the new regulations.

In response to the new requirements, Ocean County appropriated $187,000 in 2004 to assist municipalities in complying with the new regulations. The County retained the PMK Consulting Group to assess the public facilities of each participating municipality, recommend corrective measures to bring the facilities into compliance, and prepare the required Pollution Prevention Plans. The County also appropriated an additional $183,500 in funding to them to assist in the implementation phase and the review of municipal stormwater plans.

On April 1, 2005, the implementation phase of this five-year program went into effect. During this Phase II, municipalities were required to adopt both a Municipal Stormwater Management Plan and a Stormwater Control Ordinance within a year of this effective date - April 2006. The NJDEP provided model ordinances for both the management plans and ordinance for municipalities to use as a template for the construction of their own for adoption. The Pinelands Commission also developed its own model ordinance for those municipalities within its jurisdiction in October 2005, but revisions to it were published in July 2006. In view of these revisions, the ordinance due date for municipalities subject to Pineland’s jurisdiction was changed to January 19, 2007.

The County Planning Board is the official review agency for these plans and ordinances and has 60 days to review the complete package containing the adopted plan and ordinance. NJDEP provided a checklist both to assist municipalities and aid the Counties in their review. Once the County has made a determination if the plan meets all the requirements, the municipality has 180 days to rectify the plan or ordinance based on County comments and resubmit. Even though items such as Mitigation and Stream Corridor Plans are optional, the County, through the review process, has encouraged municipalities to include these in their Plan.

 

Ocean County Utilities Authority
     
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Ocean County Planning Board
129 Hooper Ave.
PO Box 2191
Toms River, NJ 08754-2191

 

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