Turnpike eyes new permits
By: Matthew Kirdahy , Staff Writer
South Brunswick Post, 04/15/2004
With previous permits expired, new ones needed before Route 92 can
The N.J. Turnpike Authority said
would reapply to the state Department of Environmental Protection for
permits needed to build Route 92.
The permits are needed because
building the proposed 6.7-mile limited-access toll road would involve
filling wetlands. Previous permits issued by the state expired March 29.
Joseph Orlando, a Turnpike Authority spokesperson, said the Turnpike
would apply for new permits, but he
couldn't say when that would happen.
"We don't have a time frame because the regulations have changed
since the initial permits were taken out," Mr. Orlando said. "We want
to make sure we're up to standard on the regulations."
has said it would wait for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete
its draft Environmental Impact Statement before it issues new five-year
permits. The Army Corps has said it
is uncertain when the draft EIS
will be released.
To issue new permits, the DEP would
accept comments from the public and would likely hold public hearings,
said DEP spokeswomen Mary Helen Cervantes.
Environmental Protection Agency refused to give the Turnpike Authority
permits in 1998, saying there were less environmentally disruptive
alternatives to the road, while the state DEP issued permits in 1999.
Route 92 is a limited access toll road that would run from Turnpike
Exit 8A to Route 1 at Ridge Road. South
Brunswick officials and some
residents oppose the road because they say it will attract more traffic
to the area and would be harmful to the environment.
The required DEP permits include freshwater wetlands, water quality
certificates and stream encroachment permits.
The Army Corps is conducting a review of the road because federal
and state environmental agencies disagree over whether permits should
be issued for the filling of wetlands.
The Army Corps will
continue its review while the turnpike reapplies for permits. Opponents
of Route 92 have said they hope the Army Corps review will prove that a
toll road is unnecessary.