TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie signed a bipartisan bill to lengthen previously approved permits by two years.
“The governor’s action today assures New Jersey will not experience wholesale project abandonments that could significantly hamper an economic recovery,” said Republican state Sen. Steven Oroho, a member of the Senate Economic Growth Committee. “This measure will help jump-start reasonable development projects that have been stalled due to current economic factors. It is a balanced measure in that it will help grow jobs while keeping in place any federal or state environmental protections that currently exist.”
“Making it easier for already approved projects to move forward once the economy turns around sends a clear message to workers and businesses that we are positioning New Jersey for economic success,” said Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), the Assembly speaker pro tempore. “We shouldn’t let bureaucracy get in the way of job creation and economic development.”
This law amends the Permit Extension Act of 2008 to allow previously approved, stalled projects to receive permit extensions up to an additional two years through Dec. 31, 2014.
Some environmentalists blasted the governor for signing the bill into law.
“By signing the Permit Extension Act, Gov. Christie is subjecting the people of New Jersey to more flooding, sprawl, toxic sites, and water pollution,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Although the builders are using the economy as an excuse, this is really an example of special interest money influencing the government to the detriment of the public. Gov. Christie is allowing the builders to wreak havoc on public health and the natural resources we depend on for our economic and physical well-being, potentially costing us far more than any recession ever could.”