On December 5, 2022, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) published its official proposal for the Inland Flood Protection Rules. These new rules apply to Stormwater Management and the Flood Hazard Area Control Act. NJDEP will be holding a virtual public hearing concerning these rules on January 11, 2023 at 1:00pm via Microsoft Teams.
The proposed amendments to the stormwater rules would incorporate current precipitation and climate data to aid New Jersey communities in preparing themselves for the most serious public safety risks caused by climate change: increased frequency and intensity of storms and severe flooding events, especially in flood-prone areas. The current stormwater rules – which were adopted in 2004 – used out-of-date data from 1999 when they were written, and did not take into account climate change.
The effects of climate change can be seen throughout New Jersey. Floods occur regularly, and notable storms such as Tropical Storms Ida and Sandy, and Hurricane Irene. These storms disproportionately affect low-income and underserved communities which are most at risk for inappropriate development. We have urged Governor Murphy to pass these rules under the Emergency Procedures Act due to the overwhelming need for new stormwater management and flood hazard rules that would benefit and protect everyone living and working in New Jersey from damages and deaths caused by recent severe storm events. However, Governor Murphy blocked NJDEP from passing the rules due to lobbying by the development industry.
It is critical that these rules are passed with the maximum protections possible for those of us who live and work in New Jersey, NOT the developers. Please attend the virtual session and let NJDEP know that you support the new rules, that municipal governments must adopt these rules and deny developments in flood hazard areas.