The first environmental ordinance of its kind in the state, it was approved unanimously by the council Nov. 2, with the mayor's support.
But Luongo and council members agreed there was one big glitch - a provision that would have allowed the zoning board or planning board to grant a waiver.
A developer needed only ask for an exemption to the audit and it would automatically have been considered.
Luongo said he vetoed the measure because of the waiver provision.
"I would be pleased to support an environmental ordinance," Luongo wrote in a letter to council dated yesterday. "I believe we are in need of such a tool. If the waiver provision is removed, I shall be pleased to support the ordinance and I urge you to strike the waiver provision."
It was only the second time Luongo has used his veto power in five years as mayor.
Council President Robert Berry said he was uncertain what the council's next move will be. It can vote to override the veto within 20 days.
"At this point in time, my opinion is that (eliminating) the waiver provision isn't really doing anything," he said yesterday. "This is really meaningless."
Why? Because under state law, zoning and planning boards have the right to waive any provision of a site plan, he said.
"So basically this is not taking any powers away from the zoning or planning board," he said. "It's more perception than fact."
Berry said the ordinance does need fine-tuning. He said he had intended to strengthen it through an amendment.
But the township's lawyer has said that Berry's proposal, a supplement clarifying the waiver provision, is incompatible with state law.
"Planning and zoning boards traditionally in this town have always had the right to grant waivers. That's a given fact," Luongo said. "What I don't want to see is to have a waiver provision in an ordinance that will be utilized as a weapon against the township."