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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #109

Governor Christine Todd Whitman

WHEREAS, clean and plentiful water is essential to the ecological, economic and social well-being of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey's water resources provide drinking water for residents of the State as well as habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey's water resources have been impacted by the fact that the State is both an industrial leader and the most densely populated State in the nation, and that these impacts will only become more acute as the population of the State grows by a projected 1 million people over the next 20 years; and

WHEREAS, over the past three decades, New Jersey has experienced unprecedented development and sprawl, which has resulted in decreases in open lands, wetlands, farmland and other areas that previously served a variety of beneficial environmental functions, including the protection and restoration of the State's water resources; and which, if not properly managed, pose a threat to the preservation and integrity of the water resources of the State by both increasing the volume of stormwater runoff that alters the stream hydrology and degrading the water quality; and

WHEREAS, during 1999, New Jersey experienced significant drought and flood events that caused severe personal and economic hardship to many residents of the State which, to some degree, were exacerbated by the increasing demands placed on the environment by the extent of development which has occurred; and

WHEREAS, it is likely that the State's vulnerability to similar events in the future will be increased unless development is properly managed; and

WHEREAS, land use decisions should consider and minimize any water resource or other environmental impacts and maximize the economic and social benefits to the State, its municipalities and its residents; and

WHEREAS, sound water resource management should include a holistic and comprehensive analysis of water resource issues within the various watersheds of the State, with the express purpose of restoration, maintenance and preservation of the quality of the waters of the State; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey has determined to implement water resource planning on a watershed basis; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is authorized to protect the waters of the State through statutory and regulatory authority, including the Water Pollution Control Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10A-1 et seq., the Water Quality Planning Act, N.J.S.A. 58:11A-1 et seq., and the Water Supply Management Act, N.J.S.A. 58:1A-1 et seq., as well as the Department's general powers, set forth at N.J.S.A. 13:1D-1 et seq., and regulations the Department has promulgated pursuant to each of those statutes; and

WHEREAS, the Department may, under existing authority, require an alternatives analysis, including an evaluation of critical economic, social, environmental and institutional factors, before making a final decision on an application for approval of a wastewater management plan or an amendment thereto, and, where applicable and consistent with its existing authority, an application for approval of a water quality management plan or an amendment thereto; and

WHEREAS, there is an immediate need to take strong, decisive action to conduct water resource planning on a watershed basis to promote smart growth in a manner that accounts for further secondary and cumulative impacts of such growth.

NOW, THEREFORE, I CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. Until such time that the Water Quality Management Planning rules, currently set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:15, are repealed and replaced, the Department of Environmental Protection shall determine, consistent with its existing authority, including N.J.A.C. 7:15-5.18, what, if any, alternatives analyses must be conducted prior to the Department's making a final decision on an application for approval of a wastewater management plan or amendment thereto and, where applicable and consistent with its existing authority, an application for approval of a water quality management plan or amendment thereto, including, but not limited to, an evaluation of depletive and consumptive water use, detailed land use, environmental build-out and pollutant loading.

2. For any pending applications as to which the Department has published notice for public comment prior to the date of this Executive Order, the Department shall require alternatives analyses only in those cases in which it determines that a significant water resource issue exists that must be addressed prior to the Department's making a final decision on the application.

3. Within 120 days of this Executive Order, the Department shall meet with each applicant who has submitted an application to determine whether any alternatives analyses will be necessary for the Department to render a final decision on the application, and, if so, what those analyses will be.

4. The Department shall issue a final decision within 120 days of the submission of an application, once the Department deems the application complete.

5. This Order shall take immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal,
this 11th dayof January in the Year
of Our Lord, Two Thousand, and
of the Independence of the United
States, the Two Hundred and Twenty- Fourth.

/s/ Christine Todd Whitman
Governor

Attest:

/s/ Richard S. Mroz
Chief Counsel to the Governor

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