GH&C Attorneys Secure Sewage Treatment Rights For Developer

February 5, 2014 | No Comments
Posted by Steven M. Dalton

Michael J. Gross and Steven M. Dalton of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla’s Environmental Department played an instrumental role in securing one of the few site specific amendment approvals issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under the 2012 Water Quality Planning Act Legislation.  The site specific amendment, approved the day before the law was set to expire, was a critical component of a significant commercial development along Route 33 in Millstone Township, Monmouth County.  Prior to the amendment, the development was limited to a sewage disposal flow of only 2,000 gallons per day (gpd) discharge to ground water, which would have allowed for only one septic system on a roughly 57 acre parcel approved for 9 lots.  In securing the site specific amendment, the Monmouth County Water Quality Management Plan was amended to authorize a discharge to groundwater flow of 19,999 gpd, the maximum amount of flow obtainable under the law.  Working in collaboration with a team of environmental and planning professionals, GH&C’s attorneys successfully navigated the complex State and County application processes and secured a related New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System approval for the discharge to groundwater.

The day after the Amendment was issued, the 2012 Water Quality Planning Act was extended for an additional two years until January 2016.  The law was also amended to increase the amount of flow that can be authorized by site specific amendments from 20,000 gpd to up to 50,000 gpd.  Many development projects remain in limbo because sites have been removed from the sewer service area, or have been reclassified to an extremely limited discharge to ground water or surface water flow, due to provisions of DEP’s Water Quality Management Planning rules unrelated to the availability of public sewer capacity or the ability to effectively treat sewage disposal on site.  Many wastewater planning agencies are still going through the wastewater and water quality management plan update process.  As the update process continues, the two year extension of the 2012 Water Quality Planning Act Legislation has created an opportunity to seek inclusion of parcels within sewer service areas through the site specific amendment process or other means.  GH&C’s experienced team of environmental and real estate attorneys are prepared to assist landowners and developers who are facing obstacles in the development process and are interested in the site specific amendment process to secure sewer rights.


Inquiries may be made to Michael J. Gross or Steven M. Dalton via phone 732-741-3900 or email or

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