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Hundreds Attend Webinar on New Green Infrastructure Rule

September 10th, 2020

More than 240 attendees gained vital information last night about the state’s new Green Infrastructure rule which will help the Garden State better manage flooding while also protecting and enhancing water quality.

A panel of three experts advocated for local towns and cities to add key enhancements while they update existing stormwater ordinances.  Addressing stormwater runoff from new residential development and redevelopment projects are some of these enhancements.

Officials, mayors, interested citizens, and others from more than 149 towns around the state listened to the Watershed’s Policy Director, Michael Pisauro, Esq., Clay Emerson, a Watershed Resource Engineer with Princeton Hydro, and David Cohen, Council President of the Municipality of Princeton.

The webinar was co-sponsored by the Watershed and The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC).

The presenters explained the steps needed for local governments to comply with the new state rule, which will require new, major construction projects to treat stormwater runoff with green infrastructure such as rain gardens and bioswales. Towns and cities have until March 2021 to update their ordinances to be in step with the new rule issued by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

Panelists stressed that the new rule gives local governments an opening to revise their existing stormwater management ordinances to better manage flooding and improve compromised water quality.

Councilman Cohen reviewed Princeton’s decision to adopt a stormwater ordinance that goes beyond the state standards and requires stormwater management for minor development. He noted that flooding is both a public health and an environmental issue.

The Watershed Institute, which has drafted a model ordinance, suggested the following enhancements to build on the state’s baseline requirements. These include:

• Reduced threshold definition for major development
• Requirement for major developments to treat runoff from all impervious surfaces for water quality.
• Requirement for stormwater management for minor development over 250 square feet
• Stormwater management for redevelopment
• The use of Low Impact Development techniques
• Maintenance reporting requirements

ANJEC and The Watershed Institute are working with municipal officials, environmental commissions, planning and zoning boards, engineers, attorneys, and concerned citizens to adapt the state model into local ordinances. If you would like assistance from The Watershed Institute with developing your town’s stormwater management ordinance, contact Municipal Policy Specialist, Sophie Glovier at [email protected].

Access Webinar Here

Speakers and their presentations:

Clay Emerson, P.E. is a Water Resource Engineer at Princeton Hydro where he works on a wide variety of water resources projects, with a specific focus on stormwater management. He has graduate degrees from Drexel University and Villanova University where his research focused on stormwater management.

Clay Emerson’s Presentation

Michael Pisauro, Esq. is the Policy Director at The Watershed Institute. Prior to joining The Watershed Institute, Mike was a practicing attorney for 19 years and is licensed in NJ and PA. For the past ten plus years, he ran his own law firm concentrating on environmental work for citizen and environmental organizations before local land use boards, DEP, and in litigation.

Mike Pisauro presentation

David Cohen is Council President of the Municipality of Princeton.

David Cohen Presentation

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