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a. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall review filed applications for Highlands permitting reviews, including any information presented at public hearings or during a comment period, or submitted during the application review period.
Except as otherwise provided by subsection b. of this section, a Highlands permitting review approval may be issued only upon a finding that the proposed major Highlands development:
(1) would have a de minimis impact on water resources and would not cause or contribute to a significant degradation of surface or ground waters. In making this determination, the commissioner shall consider the extent of any impacts on water resources resulting from the proposed major Highlands development, including, but not limited to, the regenerative capacity of aquifers or other surface or ground water supplies, increases in stormwater generated, increases in impervious surface, increases in stormwater pollutant loading, changes in land use, and changes in vegetative cover;
(2) would cause minimal feasible interference with the natural functioning of animal, plant, and other natural resources at the site and within the surrounding area, and minimal feasible individual and cumulative adverse impacts to the environment both onsite and offsite of the major Highlands development;
(3) will result in minimum feasible alteration or impairment of the aquatic ecosystem including existing contour, vegetation, fish and wildlife resources, and aquatic circulation of a freshwater wetland;
(4) will not jeopardize the continued existence of species listed pursuant to “The Endangered and Nongame Species Conservation Act,” P.L.1973, c. 309 (C.23:2A-1 et seq.) or the “Endangered Plant Species List Act,” P.L.1989, c. 56 (C.13:1B-15.151 et seq.), or which appear on the federal endangered or threatened species list, and will not result in the likelihood of the destruction or adverse modification of habitat for any rare, threatened, or endangered species of animal or plant;
(5) is located or constructed so as to neither endanger human life or property nor otherwise impair the public health, safety, and welfare;
(6) would result in minimal practicable degradation of unique or irreplaceable land types, historical or archeological areas, and existing public scenic attributes at the site and within the surrounding area; and
(7) meets all other applicable department standards, rules, and regulations and State laws.
b. A Highlands permitting review approval may be issued to a major Highlands development granted a waiver pursuant to the provisions of subsection b. of section 35 of this act notwithstanding the inability to make the finding required pursuant to subsection a. of this section.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - New Jersey Statutes Title 13. Conservation and Development Parks and Reservations 13 § 20-34 - last updated February 19, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nj/title-13-conservation-and-development-parks-and-reservations/nj-st-sect-13-20-34/
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