Rt. 92's permits to expire
By: Rebecca Tokarz , Staff Writer
South Brunswick Post, 02/12/2004
DEP to wait for review of environmental impact before reissuing
The state Department of Environmental Protection will let permits
for a proposed N.J. Turnpike spur expire while it awaits a federal
review of the project.
DEP officials say the environmental
permits issued for Route 92 are
set to expire within the next 60 days. The department will wait until
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes its review of the
environmental impact of the project on the area before deciding whether
to reissue the permits, DEP spokeswoman Helen Cervantes said last week.
"We're waiting for a complete EIS, which we will then get public
input," she said. "Until the best
alternative is identified, we're not
at the point to know what, if any, permits will be needed or required."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting the review because
federal and state environmental agencies disagree over whether permits
should be issued for the filling of wetlands. The federal Environmental
Protection Agency refused to issue permits in 1998, saying there were
less environmentally disruptive alternatives, while the state DEP
issued permits in 1999.
The EIS could be released sometime in March or April, Army Corps
spokesman Richard Tomar said Wednesday.
In December, the Army Corps completed what is being dubbed "a draft
of an environmental statement" that could determine the fate of the
proposed limited-access highway linking Route 1 to the N.J. Turnpike.
The study reviews the environmental impact of Route 92, a proposed
6.7-mile toll road that would connect the Turnpike at Exit 8A with
Route 1 at Ridge Road.
The preliminary statement was distributed
to the state Department of Transportation, the N.J. Turnpike Authority
and the state Fish and Wildlife Commission for comments.
Officials in South Brunswick are
opposing the highway because they
say it will increase traffic in Kingston and have a detrimental impact
on the environment in the Friendship Road area. Officials in Franklin,
Montgomery, Rocky Hill, Hillsborough and the Hopewells also oppose the
Officials in Plainsboro, the Princetons, West Windsor,
Monroe, Cranbury and North Brunswick have come out in favor of the