N.J. Admin. Code § 7:38-11.5 - Hearings on an application for an HPAA

Current through Register Vol. 54, No. 7, April 4, 2022

(a) Within 30 days after a notice of an application for an HPAA is published in the DEP Bulletin, interested persons may request in writing that the Department hold a public hearing on the application. Requests shall state the nature of the issues proposed to be raised at the hearing.
(b) The Department may issue or deny an HPAA without a public hearing. However, the Department is more likely to hold a public hearing if:
1. There is a significant degree of public interest in the application, as manifested by written requests for a hearing within the 30-day hearing request period set forth in (a) above. In considering the degree of public interest, the Department will consider whether the issues raised in the hearing requests are relevant to the application review;
2. The application involves a waiver of a requirement for an HPAA;
3. A public hearing is requested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; or
4. The Department determines that the public interest would be served by holding a hearing.
(c) If a hearing is to take place, the Department shall, within 30 days after the end of the 30-day hearing request period set forth in (a) above:
1. Set a date and time for the public hearing;
2. Choose a location for the hearing;
3. Notify the applicant; and
4. Publish a notice announcing the date, place, and time of the public hearing in the DEP Bulletin.
(d) A public hearing held under this section shall be a non-adversarial proceeding, conducted solely to provide information to the public and the Department regarding the application under review.
(e) The applicant shall give public notice of the public hearing by doing the following, at least 30 days before the hearing:
1. Sending a completed public hearing notice form, obtained from the Department at the address in 7:38-1.2 or the Land Use Regulation Program website at www.nj.gov/dep/landuse, to the following:
i. All persons to whom a complete application must be sent under N.J.A.C. 7:38-9;
ii. All persons to whom a notice of an application must be sent under N.J.A.C. 7:38-9; and
iii. All persons who submitted comments on the application during the hearing request period set forth in (a) above; and
2. Publishing a display advertisement of a least four inches containing the completed hearing notice form, in accordance with (f) below.
(f) The applicant shall submit a certification or affidavit of publication from the newspaper in which the advertisement appeared as proof that public notice of the hearing has been provided in accordance with this section. This proof of publication shall be submitted to the Department at least three days prior to the public hearing. If proof of publication cannot be obtained three days prior to the hearing, the applicant shall submit to the Department prior to commencement of the public hearing a notarized affidavit stating that the copy of the notice attached to the affidavit is a true copy of the notice as it appeared on the specific dates identified in the affidavit in the specific newspaper identified by name in the affidavit. Once the notice of hearing is published pursuant to (a)1 above, the applicant shall not make any changes to its application, which would be considered a major modification pursuant to 7:38-9.7(c).
(g) The applicant shall pay for a court reporter to record the proceedings at the public hearing and shall provide the Department with a verbatim transcript free of charge.
(h) The Department shall maintain a copy of the verbatim transcript of the hearing and all written comments received. The transcript and written comments shall be made part of the official record on the application and shall be available for public inspection in the Department's Trenton Office. See 7:38-1.2 for address.
(i) The presiding official at the non-adversarial public hearing shall have broad discretion with respect to oral and written presentations by interested persons. This discretion shall be exercised to allow every person the opportunity to speak, to reasonably limit the length of individual testimony, and to ensure the maintenance of an orderly forum. At the conclusion of statements by interested persons, the applicant shall be afforded the opportunity to speak on the statements offered by interested persons.
(j) Any interested person may submit information and comments concerning the application. The information and/or comments must be submitted in writing within 15 days after the hearing.

Notes

N.J. Admin. Code § 7:38-11.5
Recodified from N.J.A.C. 7:38-11.4 and amended by R.2006 d.420, effective 12/4/2006.
See: 37 N.J.R. 4767(a), 38 N.J.R. 5011(a).
In (a), substituted "an HPAA" for "a Highlands Preservation Area Approval".
Former N.J.A.C. 7:38-11.5, Procedures for review of an HPAA with waiver, recodified to N.J.A.C. 7:38-11.6.

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