Update: Waterfront Access Stakeholder Group Reports to Senate Committee
As previously reported, the New Jersey State Senate Environment and Energy Committee convened a stakeholder group to explore legislative action to address waterfront and shoreline public access. On April 21, 2016, the Committee took testimony from the stakeholder group, which will provide a full report to the Committee in a few weeks. Legislation based on the stakeholder’s report may be up for consideration in the fall.
The stakeholder group received comments and participation from roughly 80 different entities. The stakeholder group members testified that a general consensus existed between all stakeholders regarding the need to protect critical infrastructure and hazardous sites from public access. This includes the State’s ports, nuclear facilities, chemical and petroleum locations, and environmentally compromised areas (i.e., locations subject to environmental cleanup). Consensus did not exist among the stakeholder group regarding access to waterfront property on or near industrial or commercial locations that are non-critical. There is also a lack of consensus regarding urban waterfront access near residential and commercial buildings.
We will continue to monitor the Committee’s work towards drafting a legislative proposal on waterfront access. Should you or your organization have an interest in engaging on this issue, please contact a member of the Gibbons Government & Regulatory Affairs Department.