[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Chosen Freeholders (now Board of County Commissioners) of Atlantic County 5-9-1989 as part of Ord. No. 10-1989; amended 6-8-1991 by Ord. No. 23-1991. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: Ordinance No. 10-1989, Land Development, was repealed 6-4-2002 by Ord. No. 3-2002. Section 3 of Ord. No. 3-2002 specifically provided that the Water Quality Management Plan Amendment Procedures not be included in the Land Development chapter.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Atlantic County Water Quality Management Plan Amendment Procedures."
The purpose of this chapter is to establish procedures for the review, approval and adoption of proposals to amend the Atlantic County Water Quality Management Plan.
The New Jersey Water Quality Planning Act (N.J.S.A. 58:11A-1 et seq.) authorizes the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and all agencies which have been designated to be "areawide planning agencies" by the Governor to develop areawide water quality management plans.
The governing body of Atlantic County, which is comprised of the County Executive and the County Board of County Commissioners, is the designated areawide planning agency for Atlantic County.
Pursuant to the aforesaid Act and the New Jersey Optional County Charter Law (N.J.S.A. 40:41A-1) as effectuated by the Atlantic County Administrative Code, the governing body of Atlantic County has authority to prepare water quality management plans and authority to prepare and effectuate administrative procedures governing amendments thereto.
The statewide water quality management planning rules (N.J.A.C. 7:15) provide that areawide water quality management plans may be amended under appropriate circumstances by the Department of Environmental Protection or by the designated areawide planning agencies, provided that procedures for water quality management plan amendment have been promulgated and approved in accordance with the regulations set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4.
The words "shall" and "must" are mandatory and not discretionary.
The words "should" and "may" are discretionary and not mandatory.
Words used in the singular shall include the plural, and words used in the present tense shall include the future tense.
All references to "the County" herein shall refer to the County of Atlantic.
The several headings herein are provided for convenience only and are not part of the procedures.
This chapter shall take effect upon approval by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Atlantic County Water Quality Management Plan; relationship to federal, state and local water quality management policies. A water quality management plan for Atlantic County shall be maintained by Atlantic County in accordance with the provisions of Section 208 of the Federal Clean Water Act, the New Jersey Water Quality Planning Act and all other applicable federal, state and County laws, rules and regulations, policies and interagency agreements.
Coordination with other planning agencies. Preparation of plan amendments shall be coordinated with the policies and activities of appropriate municipal, County and regional planning agencies, including the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.7, the New Jersey Division of Coastal Resources, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.6, County Master Plan Policies, etc. Any conflicts between Atlantic County and any other designated planning agency shall be referred to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for mediation.
Coordination with state requirements.
Provisions of the Atlantic County Water Quality Management Plan shall be consistent with state statutes, regulations and components of the Statewide Water Quality Management Plan identified under N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.1(f).
Water quality management planning related documentation which is set forth in present and future 201 Facilities Plans (that are approved by the Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Environmental Protection Agency after May 31, 1975) shall constitute amendments to the Atlantic County Water Quality Management Plan.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Atlantic County Water Quality Management Plan, also known as the "areawide plan."
- The Atlantic County Utilities Authority, the 201 Facilities Planning Agency for Atlantic County.
- Formal change to the Atlantic County Water Quality Management Plan that has been approved and adopted or that may be proposed pursuant to these procedures and N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4. A wastewater management plan (defined below) is one type of amendment.
- AREAWIDE PLAN
- An areawide water quality management plan authorized in Section 5 of the Water Quality Planning Act (N.J.S.A. 58:11A-1 et seq.),and Sections 208 and 303 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.
- The Bureau of Water Quality Planning of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Resources.
- DIVISION OF PLANNING
- The Atlantic County Division of Planning in the Atlantic County Department of Regional Planning and Development.
- The Division of Water Resources of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
- The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
- The Atlantic County Planning Advisory Board.
- Any individual, corporation, company, partnership, firm, association or political subdivision of this state and any state, federal or interstate agency.
- PETITION TO AMEND
- A proposal seeking to amend the Atlantic County Water Quality Management Plan which satisfies the requirements set forth herein at § 86-60B.
- SEWER SERVICE AREA (SSA)
- An area which is defined and mapped in the Water Quality Management Plan and its adopted amendments as being appropriate for sewer service.
- 201 FACILITIES PLAN
- The plan for wastewater facilities prepared pursuant to Section 201 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.
- 201 FACILITIES PLANNING AGENCY
- The agency responsible for conducting 201 facilities planning pursuant to Section 201 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. In Atlantic County, this is the Atlantic County Utilities Authority.
- WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
- A written and graphic description of existing and future wastewater-related jurisdictions, wastewater service areas, selected environmental features and domestic treatment works, which is prepared pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:15-5.1 et seq.
- WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT PLAN (WQMP)
- An areawide plan (in this case for Atlantic County) created under Sections 208 and 303(e) of the Federal Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq., and the Water Quality Planning Act, N.J.S.A. 58:11A-1 et seq. The initial plan addressed a wide range of water quality-related subjects and issues, including wastewater planning. Further planning is now done through amending the WQMP.
Who may propose to amend.
The Atlantic County Division of Planning may propose to amend the ACWQMP, or any interested person may submit a written documented petition to amend the ACWQMP.
The Atlantic County Division of Planning shall formally propose amendments to the ACWQMP upon determination by the Division of Planning that an amendment is necessary or desirable for various reasons, such as to:
Proposals to amend the ACWQMP shall be in writing and shall include, at a minimum:
A basis and background report as a briefing document for the Atlantic County Division of Planning, the PAB and the Atlantic Board of County Commissioners. The report shall include all relevant supporting documentation, including but not limited to maps, resolutions authorizing the application, correspondence, etc.
A description of the need for, basis and intended purpose(s) of the proposed amendment.
An identification of potentially significant beneficial and adverse impacts of the adoption of the proposed amendment to the quality of surface and/or ground water resources.
Such other information as specified by the Division of Planning as required for the proper preparation, consideration, approval and administration of the amendment.
Six copies of the above components of the amendment proposal shall be submitted to the Planning Director of the Division of Planning, Atlantic County Department of Regional Planning and Development. Upon receiving the copies, the Division of Planning shall distribute copies of the amendment proposal to the PAB, Atlantic County Utilities Authority, Atlantic County Health Department and Atlantic County Law Department.
Simultaneously, six copies of the amendment proposal shall be submitted by the applicant to the Bureau of Water Quality Planning in the Division of Water Resources, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, whose address at the time of this chapter's adoption is CN 029, Trenton, New Jersey 08625.
Time for (initial) review by Division of Planning.
Within 90 days of receiving an amendment proposal which includes all components listed in Subsection B, the Division of Planning shall review such submission and prepare a fact sheet and staff analysis, as is set forth below in Subsection D. Before the end of the ninety-day period and in cooperation with the NJDEP, the Division of Planning, by a written notification to the applicant, shall either request additional information and/or revisions to the submission; decide to proceed further upon the proposed amendment by recommending approval thereof and proceeding to public notice, per Subsection G; or recommend disapproval of the proposed amendment.
Upon submission of modifications to the petition to amend or the submission of changes or additional information in response to written request by the Division of Planning or the NJDEP, the time for review will be 90 days from such submission.
Division of Planning staff analysis.
To ensure that the PAB will have time to act within the ninety-day review period per Subsection E, after the County receives an amendment proposal, modifications to an amendment proposal or additional information, the Division of Planning shall prepare a fact sheet and staff analysis regarding all proposed amendments with a recommendation from the professional staff. The fact sheet and staff analysis shall, as may be appropriate, identify the project; provide adequate background; provide its relationship to other plans and, specifically, to the Atlantic County Master Plan and ACWQMP and other relevant County plans; discuss the alternatives considered and provide a description of the method chosen; and provide the staff recommendation to approve or disapprove the amendment and, if appropriate, wording for that amendment. The fact sheet and staff analysis shall be signed and dated, and a copy shall be provided to the applicant and its experts, the NJDEP, the PAB, the ACUA, the Atlantic County Law Department and the Atlantic County Board of County Commissioners.
The NJDEP shall have the opportunity to complete its review of any proposed amendment and shall have made its decision to proceed prior to the publication of public notice as hereinafter provided in Subsection G.
In the event that the NJDEP shall disapprove a petition to amend pursuant to Subsection C and N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4(d)2, then the Division of Planning shall include the findings and conclusions of the NJDEP within the Division of Planning fact sheet and staff analysis in its presentation to the PAB, per Subsection E. The application shall not proceed to public notice per Subsection G.
Review by PAB. Within the ninety-day period set forth in Subsection C, the amendment proposal shall be presented to the PAB for a review and consideration during a regularly scheduled PAB meeting occurring as soon as may be possible after the preparation of the Division of Planning fact sheet and staff analysis. The PAB shall consider the amendment proposal, along with the fact sheet and staff analysis, and testimony submitted by the applicant or on behalf of the applicant, along with any testimony or comments offered by the general public. Based upon the testimony and recommendations, the PAB shall adopt a resolution to the Board of County Commissioners recommending approval or disapproval of the amendment proposal within 15 days of the meeting.
Endorsement of applications.
As a part of each written notification of a decision to proceed delivered to an applicant under Subsection C above, the Division of Planning may identify, in cooperation with the NJDEP, a list of any governmental entities, sewerage agencies and BPU-regulated sewer or water utilities whose endorsement of the proposed amendment shall be requested. Within 15 days of receiving such notification, the petitioner shall submit, by certified mail (return receipt requested), a copy of the proposed amendment to these parties with a request that they endorse the proposed amendment within 60 days of their receipt of the request. An endorsement statement shall include a statement that the party concurs with or does not object to the proposed amendment. The endorsement shall not be preliminary, conditional or otherwise tentative and, if by a governing entity, shall be made by an appropriate resolution duly adopted by the governing body.
Where a party identified under this subsection fails or refuses to act upon the request for endorsement, the reasons for such failure or refusal to act, if known, shall be considered in the final review of the proposed amendment.
The applicant shall promptly forward to the Division of Planning copies of all endorsements and comments received and a copy of all requests for endorsements (with certified mail return receipts) sent to all parties that failed to provide endorsements or comments within 60 days of their receipt of such request(s).
Public notice of proposed amendment; public hearing by PAB. If both the NJDEP and the County have made a decision to proceed to public notice with the application, public notice shall be given and a public hearing shall be held by the PAB, as specified below:
The NJDEP shall cause public notice to be given in the New Jersey Register.
The applicant shall cause public notice to be given, at the applicant's expense, in two newspapers in general circulation in Atlantic County, one of which shall be the Atlantic City Press, which is the official newspaper of Atlantic County pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:41A-142. The public notice shall be in a form provided by the BWQP and shall be given concurrently with the notice appearing in the New Jersey Register. The newspaper notice shall also include the date for a nonadversarial public hearing to be conducted by the PAB, described below in Subsection G(5). The notice shall be given at least 30 days prior to the PAB hearing.
Within 15 days after receipt of a decision to proceed under Subsection C above, the applicant shall deliver, by certified mail or personal delivery, a copy of the notice to the ACUA and to such municipal clerks, designated management agencies and other parties significantly affected by the amendment as previously identified by the NJDEP, BWQP and County Division of Planning under Subsection F(1) above, concerning endorsements.
Upon publication of notice, interested persons, including but not limited to those from whom endorsements have been requested under Subsection F(1) above, may submit written comments to the County Division of Planning. All comments shall be delivered within 15 days after the PAB hearing.
The amendment proposal shall be considered at a public hearing by the Planning Advisory Board, which hearing shall be held at the Board's regularly scheduled meeting as announced in the public notice.
The Public Hearing by the PAB shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act. At the hearing, the PAB shall accept relevant testimony and evidence, including but not limited to testimony from the applicant or any retained professional in the applicant's employ and any testimony which may be offered by members of the general public or other interested persons; written comment submitted pursuant to Subsection G(4) above; endorsements made in response to endorsement request or denials thereof; and staff recommendations and testimony.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq.
The County shall tape-record the public hearing, and, upon NJDEP or Division of Planning request, the applicant shall, at its expense, secure a verbatim transcript of the hearing.
When the sixty-day endorsement period set forth in Subsection F has ended, a summary of all testimony, evidence and comments presented to the PAB, including all written comments submitted within 15 days after the public hearing and all responses to endorsement requests, shall be prepared by the Division of Planning and submitted to the Atlantic County Board of County Commissioners, along with any ordinance considered in accordance with § 86-62 hereof.
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the application shall not be considered by the Planning Advisory Board or by the Atlantic County Board of County Commissioners until the petitioner shall:
Arrange and pay for all publication of notices and mailings or deliveries of all notices; and
Provide affidavits of service of all notices and endorsement requests and provide proof of publication to the Atlantic County Law Department.
An amendment shall be incorporated into the ACWQMP only upon adoption of an ordinance by the Atlantic County Board of County Commissioners and adoption of the amendment by the Governor or his or her designee.
The amending ordinance shall be based upon the fact sheet and staff analysis, Planning Advisory Board resolution and record of the Planning Advisory Board hearing, written comments, responses to requests for endorsements and such other reports, testimony or evidence as may be prepared or submitted pursuant to these procedures. An attested copy of the amending ordinance shall be certified to the governing body of every municipality in the County by the Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners.
The County shall, within 15 days of adoption of an ordinance by the Board of County Commissioners and approval by the County Executive, submit an attested copy of the ordinance, together with supporting documentation, to the NJDEP BWQP, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4(f).
Any ordinance amending the ACWQMP shall not take effect until the subsequent adoption of such amendment by the Governor or his or her designee pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4(f).
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4(c), (i) and (j), amendments which solely concern the following projects shall be processed only by the NJDEP pursuant to the procedures set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4(g):
Amendments for projects or activities proposed, constructed, operated or conducted by the State of New Jersey or by the federal government.
Amendments for projects or activities that are regulated by the Solid Waste Management Act (N.J.S.A. 13:1E-1 et. seq.).
Amendments which address effluent limitations, schedules of compliance, total maximum daily loads, wasteload allocations, load allocations or listings of water quality limited segments.
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, amendments which solely concern the following projects shall, upon the request of the applicant, the NJDEP or the County, be processed by the NJDEP pursuant to the modified expedited procedure set forth at N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4(h); otherwise, they shall be processed by the County pursuant to the procedures set forth above in §§ 86-61 and 86-62.
Schools, health care facilities or correctional facilities, provided that such schools or facilities are publicly owned or operated.
New sewers or pumping stations to serve a project or activity that is partially within a future sewer service area depicted in the ACWQMP, provided that:
The proposed wastewater service area consists of no more than 10 acres;
The proposed sewer or pumping station will convey wastewater from such project or activity to the existing domestic treatment works whose sewer service area is depicted in the ACWQMP. In addition, the applicant must obtain a resolution of endorsement from the owner or operator of each existing domestic treatment works affected by the amendment and submit this resolution with the amendment request; and
The proposed sewer or pumping station otherwise complies with the requirements set forth in N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4(h).
Appeal of a WQMP amendment adoption or rejection by the Board of County Commissioners shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction.
Nothing herein shall be construed to abridge, limit or be in derogation of any power or responsibility vested in the NJDEP in its review of any amendment pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:15-3.4 et seq.