ON MARCH 2, NEW JERSEY’S STORMWATER RULES GET GREENER

“With decades of experience managing stormwater with both manufactured devices like expensive underground concrete vaults and less costly nature-based solutions like rain gardens, New Jersey has learned that engineering with nature provides better and more cost-effective outcomes for our water quality while beautifying our communities,” Acting Commissioner LaTourette said.
“These new Stormwater Management Rules will help make New Jersey’s watersheds cleaner by improving water quality, while also increasing our communities’ resilience to the increased storms and chronic flooding that are worsening across New Jersey due to climate change.”

Green Infrastructure Is Now the Predominate Method for Managing Stormwater Throughout New Jersey, Reducing Pollution and Flooding from Runoff

Stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution throughout New Jersey’s waterways. Every day, runoff carries automotive fluids, fertilizers, pesticides, household and industrial chemicals into our waterways. If stormwater runoff is not properly controlled, it degrades ecosystems and impairs lakes, streams, and rivers.

Poorly controlled stormwater runoff can lead to the development of harmful algal blooms in our lakes and reservoirs, and it can exacerbate dangerous flooding conditions. With increases in rainfall and extreme weather events due to climate change, the imperative to better control our stormwater runoff is even greater, as it creates added risk for harm to people and property.

Green infrastructure is a well-established management approach that encourages stormwater infiltration into the ground, rather than discharging it to pipes and culverts that ultimately spill into waterways. This approach allows vegetation and soil to naturally filter out pollutants and reduce sediment impacts on waterways. Green infrastructure includes a broad range of technologies, including rain gardens, bioretention basins, vegetated swales, pervious paving and green roofs.

By using green infrastructure, project developers and local governments can properly control stormwater runoff while creating vegetated areas that enhance open space, filter air pollutants, absorb carbon dioxide, and help cool and beautify our communities.

As of March 2, 2021, green infrastructure will be the preferred and predominate method for managing stormwater as required by the state’s Stormwater Management Rule (N.J.A.C. 7:8), which is used by DEP and jurisdictions throughout New Jersey in evaluating and permitting development projects, as well as ensuring local government compliance with stormwater permits administered by DEP under the federal Clean Water Act.

For many years prior to this mandatory green infrastructure rule, the DEP has supported and advanced green infrastructure practices by providing businesses, local governments, and private property owners with technical assistance and providing financial assistance to help reduce stormwater impacts in urban areas, including those with combined sewer overflows (CSOs).

More information is available at: NEW JERSEY’S STORMWATER RULES GET GREENER.