On March 8, 2012, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) adopted the long awaited “Waiver Rule”, allowing the agency to grant waivers of DEP rules in certain circumstances. The Waiver Rule was first proposed on March 7, 2011 in response to an executive order from Governor Chris Christie which directed all State agencies to follow “Common Sense Principles” and adopt rules to allow for waivers from strict compliance with agency regulations. In the rule proposal, the DEP recognized that, in certain circumstances, “strict compliance with a rule or provision of a rule can lead to an unreasonable, unfair or unintended result, which can adversely affect a prospective applicant, the public and/or the environment.” On the other hand, the DEP emphasized that it does not intend the Waiver Rule to be used “repeatedly or for multiple persons such that use of a waiver would become a way to routinely avoid compliance with” a rule.

Source: Environment & Energy Alert
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