We reported on the wastewater and water quality management regulations in August 2005 on these pages, when the regulations were nothing more than a rumor. Albeit the rumored regulations were potentially devastating. As anticipated the regulations were indeed proposed in the waning days of the leadership of the DEP by Commissioner Bradley Campbell. These regulations were every bit as damaging to the housing industry on our ability to obtain affordable housing as predicted and worse.
Commissioner Campbell reportedly received some 10,000 emails in the two weeks after his proposal and heard from many thousands more thereafter. In light of the tremendous opposition to the regulations by industry, municipal, housing and other groups in the weeks after proposal of these regulations, Governor Codey extended the existing water quality management regulations, which were set to expire, effectively quashing the water quality management proposal. However, the companion wastewater management regulations, although hanging on life support by all reports, had not been withdrawn and could have been enacted at any time without further notice to the public. Happily, the proposed wastewater management regulations have now been withdrawn.
Certainly, the housing community and residents of this state can take a breather from this assault on affordable housing, we should not be resting easy either. As noted above, the current water quality management regulations are still set to expire in May and therefore newly inaugurated Governor Jon Corzine and new DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson will have their opportunity to put their stamp on this important area of regulation during the early days of this administration, perhaps setting the tone for the next four years.
We encourage you to stay tuned. We know we will.