Accepting the legal arguments made by GH&C attorneys Paul H. Schneider and Afiyfa H. Ellington, the Appellate Division of Superior Court has upheld a freshwater wetlands general permit authorization the NJDEP issued to Lee Brothers, Inc. The New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance challenged the general permit authorization, which permits Lee Brothers to disturb 3.4 acres of freshwater wetlands as part of an expansion of its cranberry farm in the Pinelands. As a condition of approval the NJDEP required that Lee Brothers mitigate this impact by contributing 0.75 Pinelands Development Credits (PDCs) to the State. Among other issues, the objectors claimed the permit authorization was invalid because NJDEP failed to adequately address mitigation as a condition of its approval. In a May 21, 2014 decision, the Court decided that the Lee Brothers application satisfied the freshwater wetlands regulations and the general permit authorization is valid.
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