Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, December 2004

Save NJ Reveals Legislative Outline to Repeal Fast Track Law

According to the Save New Jersey Coalition, legislation is required to address the fatal and fundamental flaws in the “Fast Track” law, signed by NJ Governor James McGreevey earlier this year.  The basic elements of Save NJ Coalition’s legislative outline that is required to amend this law are:

  • Categorically exclude all federally funded, delegated, or affected programs.
  • Eliminate automatic approvals and provide flexibility for complex reviews.
  • Assure meaningful public participation and municipal input.
  • Prohibit “pay-to-play”, include strict ethical standards for private consultants, and restrict their role to reviewing as opposed to approving permits.
  • Restore the legal presumption of validity of DEP decisions.
  • Maintain current environmental protections and standards in growth areas.
  • Require avoidance, minimization and mitigation of adverse impacts.
  • Assure that impaired or degraded natural resources are restored.
  • Require low impact design in Smart Growth Areas.
  • Fix the State Plan Map by removing environmentally sensitive areas from Smart Growth areas.
  • Exempt environmental permits unrelated to land use and development, e.g., contaminated industrial sites, toxic cleanup, and hazardous substance management programs.
  • Implement Governor McGreevey’s Executive Order on environmental justice.
  • Provide DEP and third party access to Administrative appeals process.
  • Limit the role of Ombudsman in the regulatory arena.
  • Exempt wetlands and other environmentally sensitive natural resources.
  • Provide flexibility for adequate review of large projects of regional significance.
  • Provide a public health and safety exemption.
  • Protect the coast – exempt all Coastal Management Programs.
  • Protect New Jersey’s special areas – exempt the Highlands Planning Area, Pinelands, and Hackensack Meadowlands.

In conclusion, the Fast Track law is clearly so flawed that it must be completely repealed and meaningful smart growth legislation developed to reduce sprawl.  For information about Fast Track and the coalition, visit


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

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