There has been a Federal National Environmental Policy Act since 1969. At least 19 states have followed suit with some form of state level environmental policy act or environmental quality act, including
Right now both major and minor projects are approved by various branches of the government without anyone really taking a look at the project and determining that the project can proceed without detrimentally effecting the state’s environment. In most cases the project is judged on its own without considering how the project in conjunction with other proposed or approved projects will impact the environment. A state nepa would integrate these considerations. DEP readily acknowledges that its departments are siloed. The land use department may not know what the wetlands department is doing nor what the site remediation department is doing nor what the air emissions department is permitting.
By requiring new projects to perform an environmental assessment (ea) or an environmental impact statement (eis) all of the information is present at one time for the agency to review all aspects of the project before deciding whether to issue any of the permits. Given the state of NJ’s environment it is high time we started to take a holistic approach to development in NJ