EPA asks N.J. not to delay water-quality rules

Posted: January 08, 2010

The head of the regional office for the Environmental Protection Agency has asked the New Jersey Legislature not to delay implementation of 2008 water-quality rules that would limit the installation of septic systems and sewer-line expansions.

Judith Enck, the regional administrator, whose agency has awarded $1.6 million to New Jersey to create the new water management plans, sent letters Tuesday to Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. (D., Camden) and Senate President Richard J. Codey (D., Essex) saying any further delay would be "troubling."

A bill to delay implementation until 2011 was pulled from the Assembly agenda yesterday, but both houses could vote on it next week. Assemblyman John F. McKeon (D., Essex), chairman of the environment committee, said he expected it to be listed for consideration Monday. He has joined environmental groups in arguing that the water-quality controls are needed now.

Sponsors have argued that counties need more time to put the rules in place and that the changes could hurt the job market for construction workers.   

 - Chelsea Conaboy

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