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No new ground was broken this year in the area of environmental law, despite the large number of cases decided by the state and federal courts. The courts generally applied settled principles of law to the facts of individual cases. In this respect, environmental law may be said to be reaching a level of maturity similar to other settled areas of law in which the establishment of legal doctrine takes place slowly and incrementally.
Environmental Law Update 2002 Here’s an analysis of the most significant decisions of the past 12 months on environmental law, addressing such issues as residential purchases, questionable conduct of contaminated property owners, the authority of the Department of Environmental Protection, and the rise in citizen environmental actions. Once Green, Almost Always Green New Jersey has a successful open space preservation program called Green Acres that provides funds for the purchase of public recreation and open space property.�Municipalities need to have a full understanding of the program, however,�because property purchased with these public funds will likely remain open space or recreational in nature for many years. What Does Third-Party Oversight for Site Remediation Mean for New Jersey? This year the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection unveiled plans to implement a program to allow oversight of site remediation by licensed environmental professionals. The potential effects of a third-party oversight program raises concerns for lawyers, environmental professionals and the state employees’ union alike. New Approaches Are Needed for Pollution Control The practice of controlling wastes at the end of the pipeline results in large quantities of wastes to dispose of, which gets expensive and usually leaves residual risks to human health and the environment. A more protective approach, if achievable, would be to prevent the creation of wastes in the first place. Stopping the Sprawl Those who seek to control sprawl development by making it more difficult to turn the state’s remaining agricultural and horticultural lands into housing tracts should be buoyed by a trial court’s recent decision in New Jersey Farm Bureau v. East Amwell.

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