New Jersey DEP has unveiled revolutionary new water quality rules that would protect 910 miles along 15 major rivers and their tributaries. The stretches of river and stream would be given Category One protection, restricting future development within a 300 ft buffer on both sides of the waterway. Although the protections are piecemeal, with portions of waterways protected, this is an ambitious move by the state to protect water quality and supply. Additionally, the new rules will prohibit sewer systems on environmentally sensitive land, and overall there are several proposed changes to wastewater rules. The proposed rules can be found at www.nj.gov/dep/rules/notices.html (Surface Water Quality Standards, Category One; and Water Quality Management Planning rules).
Do these rules go too far or not far enough? Is it too little too late or the right amount of protection at the right time?