As we previously reported here, on July 1, 2020, Governor Murphy signed into law the Permit Extension Act of 2020 (2020PEA). The 2020PEA is intended to extend the expiration dates of a wide range of local, county and state construction-related permits and approvals (including environmental permits) during the COVID-19 pandemic “public health emergency” initially declared by Governor Murphy pursuant to the Emergency Health Powers Act on March 9, 2020. The extension affects permits or approvals in effect as of March 9 and extends them up to six months beyond the expiration of the public health emergency.

Critically, before any extension can be secured, each government agency must place a notice in the New Jersey Register tolling the affected approvals and permits under its jurisdiction and providing a means for the public to register their permits or approvals with the agency within 30 days of the New Jersey Register Notice. Any affected permit or approval that is not registered will not be entitled to the extension.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) published its notice in the September 8, New Jersey Register (although the 2020PEA specified that the notices were to be published within 30 days of the effective date, which was July 1, 2020). The notice may be found here and contains an extensive list of the affected NJDEP permits and approvals as well as those NJDEP actions that are not extended. The list includes a variety of NJDEP land use approvals (e.g., wetlands permits, letters of interpretation, waterfront development and CAFRA permits), flood hazard permits where work has commenced, water supply permits and certifications, water quality management plan approvals and many other environmental approvals.

The notice should be consulted to determine whether a particular type of permit or approval is included.