Signed on July 1, 2020 by Governor Murphy in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the PEA extends or tolls the term of certain governmental permits, approvals, and deadlines that were due to expire on March 9, 2020, or the specified period following it were extended. The running period of any approval not registered October 8, 2020 shall not be suspended for COVID-19 extension period.
Much like the original PEA, this law serves to extend a wide variety of permits, including, but not limited to, Soil Conservation District approvals, Waterfront Development permits, wetlands permits, CAFRA permits, and center designations, septic approvals, municipal utility authority approvals, county and municipal planning board approvals, and a host of other municipal, county, regional, or state approvals or permits granted under state law, rule, or regulation. Noteworthy is the elimination of the exclusion of permits in environmentally sensitive areas, so now all permits, regardless of their location, may be extended unless another exclusion applies.
What to Do?
We suggest registering all approvals – this includes state agency permits, municipal land use approvals, SCD permits, agreements for sewerage capacity, water permits, construction permits, plan endorsements under the State Planning Act, and any approval for permits related to any development application. If you do not register approvals by October 8, 2020, you will lose the opportunity to qualify for an extension.
The form for registration can be completed by the applicant or their agent and can be accessed here.
Additionally, it may be prudent to register all approvals in effect as of March 9, 2020, regardless of the date of expiration, because this PEA is fundamentally different from the previous versions of the PEA. Given the uncertainty on how long the public health emergency may continue, and the unknown effect it may have on the land use and real estate industry, you may want to take advantage of this opportunity while it exists.
The following permits remain excluded from this Extension Act:
- All Federal permits, which include all permits issued by any agency that is delegated authority under Federal regulatory schemes, which would include many NJDEP permits related to remediation or wetlands issues.
- Pinelands approvals where the extension would violate Federal law of a State rule requiring Federal approval.
- Permits and approval from NJDOT pursuant to Title 27 or under general authority of state law, with the exception of right of way permits.
- Permits and approvals under the Flood Hazard Area Control Act, except where work has commenced on the improvements, buildings, or structures on the site, or where the permit authorizes work on property owned by any governmental entitiy.
- Coastal center designations under CAFRA.
- Permits and approvals within the preservation area of the Highlands.
- Any permit or approval within the Highlands Planning Area, where the municipality has secured plan conformance approval and adopted the master plan element, land use ordinance, or an environmental resource inventory, unless such permit approval is within a designated Highlands center.
If you have questions regarding the registration process, please contact:
Richard B. Schommer, Jr., P.E., P.P.
Department Manager for Civil Engineering
119 Cherry Hill Road, Suite 110, Parsippany, NJ 07054
tel 862.207.5900 x 2263 | direct 862.702.2940