Sunday, February 21, 2016

Do not go gentle into that DEEP good night: Raised Bill #141: Part I

I joined the Attorney General’s Office in October 1987 and surfed the wave that brought the Commissioner of DEP into the world of superior court appeals of municipal wetlands agency decisions with the major 1987 amendments to the wetlands act.  I helped write the model regulations at the beginning (late 1980s) and for the most recent edition in 2006.  I represented the Commissioner’s interest of uniform development of the state wetlands act in about 200 wetlands appeals over my 18+ years in the Attorney General’s Office.  And so, it is with such melancholic regret that I write about DEEP’s proposed bill to remove DEEP authority to enforce the wetlands act in some of its last remaining supervisory roles.

We certainly know that DEEP has had to do more and more with less and less – and that was before the budgetary crisis that became apparent in 2015 and is ongoing.  DEEP proposes to make it official (doing less) by Raised Bill #141.

The raised bill can be found here or by pasting in: Environment Committee will hold a public hearing on the bill (and 14 other bills) Wednesday, February 23, 2016 beginning at noon.

In the next few posts I will break the bill into the ghastly (removing DEEP authority), the quizzical (what did they mean by that?) and the syntactical (innocuous substitution of words).


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