Office of Local Government Assistance, N.J. DEP
At our October meeting, Cindy Randazzo updated the mayors on progress at New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, where she helps local governments find their way through thickets of regulation. She noted that the administration has identified 145 conflicting regulations at the agency and is working to ease the permit process by placing permit applications online.
At the start of the Christy administration, the DEP had some 20,000 contaminated sites in the state to deal with. Now, she said, the number is down to 14,000, a 30% reduction. Meanwhile, efforts to ease the permitting process include making permit applications available online.
Cindy urged the mayors to contact her for guidance when considering actions that will come under the purview of the DEP. Send an email, she suggested, or “pick up the phone and call.”
Cindy reported that DEP staffers are attending training sessions to improve customer service. Who are the DEP’s customers?
“The whole state of New Jersey,” Cindy said.
Betsy Hyle, speaking for the Barnegat Bay Partnership, reported to the mayors that $30,000 in grant money was now available through the Partnerhip’s 2013 Communications and Education Grant Program. Applications will be accepted from both government and private organizations for projects that seek to achieve tangible environmental results while including a strong element of public education and participation. The Partnership will consider applications for amounts from $1,000 to $10,000, Betsy said.