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Regulatory Updates

NJDEP Implements New Jersey Environmental Justice Law Through Administrative Order

October 5, 2021

On September 22, 2021, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Commissioner announced the issuance of Administrative Order (AO) No. 2021-25 to implement New Jersey’s Environmental Justice (EJ) Law. This order is effective immediately, and applicants seeking to site new major source facilities, renew major source permits or expand existing facilities with major source permits (e.g., Title V air permits) in overburdened communities are affected. There are more than 4.5 million people that live within 331 municipalities that are overburdened communities in the state of New Jersey.

The Administrative Order requires an enhanced public participation process that requires facilities to:

  • Hold a public hearing meeting as determined by the Environmental Justice Law.
  • To the extent consistent with applicable law, have a public comment period that is a minimum of sixty (60) days. If there is written request from members of the respective overburdened community, the public comment period may be extended by thirty (30) days to provide information related to “information regarding existing conditions within the overburdened community and potential facility-wide environmental and public health stressors that could result in adverse impacts upon the overburdened community were the regulated activity approved.”
  • Respond to and address the concerns raised by individuals from the overburdened community during the public comment period, which may include the need to perform additional analysis as deemed necessary by the NJDEP.
  • Solicit concerns from the overburdened community regarding environmental or public health stressors posed by the facility.
  • Adhere to special conditions placed on permits approved by the NJDEP. Special conditions may be placed to avoid or minimize public health stressors to the maximum extent allowed by law.
  • NJDEP has the authority to reopen or further extend the public comment period on a case-by-case basis, as consistent with applicable law and statues.

Title V permit holders in overburdened communities in New Jersey must take steps to address new and multi-faceted environmental justice regulations and should do so in an effective manner to avoid business difficulties and manage public relations issues. This AO has the potential to significantly impact project schedules for new projects or facility expansions. Therefore, identifying EJ-related concerns during the planning phase is critical to a successful project and benefits both the business and the community.


How TRC Can Help:

TRC is a full-service engineering design and environmental firm that can develop and implement a holistic and effective management process to support Environmental Justice issues and policies. Our team of experts provides leadership and solutions to comply with new regulations and provide ongoing operational flexibility while improving relationships with community stakeholders. TRC guides our clients through the Environmental Justice outreach and permitting processes. Our integrated services include developing comprehensive public participation programs, modelling, monitoring, pollution control technology, economic analysis, engineering and compliance services to help our clients achieve their business objectives.

The TRC team is here to help with new or expanded major source pollution permit applications. TRC has assisted many businesses with EJ analyses and support services throughout the United States and is ready to provide EJ support to facilities in New Jersey. By identifying and addressing EJ-related concerns during the planning phase, a successful permitting process can be completed on-schedule.

To learn more about New Jerseys Environmental Justice law that was enacted in September 2020, visit our previous Regulatory Update on New Jersey’s Landmark Environmental Justice Law.

To learn more about how the TRC team can help you please contact Darin Ometz at or Kendall St. Ange at

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