Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
Assembly Republican Holly Schepisi co-prime sponsored legislation approved Monday by the General Assembly to help local officials remove debris and silt from streams to control flooding in low-lying areas across the state. The bill (A-3507), similar to bill (A-900) which was also co-primed by the Assemblywoman, increases the number of streams eligible for cleaning without obtaining a permit from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), allowing municipalities and counties to quickly and effectively remove snags and other residue impeding water flow.
“Residents in flood-prone areas live with the constant threat of streams spilling over the banks with every storm that hits our area. We have worked for many years to provide any form of flood relief for our residents,” said Schepisi, R- Bergen and Passaic. “To help control flooding, it is necessary to use all tools available, including allowing municipalities to properly clean out the natural and man-made debris and obstructions in the streams without having to go through costly and lengthy permitting processes. Vegetation, natural sediment, garbage, shopping carts and 55-gallon drums all contribute to costly flooding.”
Under current law, only stream beds 15 feet or less in width may be cleaned without DEP approval. The width is expanded to 30 feet by Schepisi’s legislation.