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2021-0621-Public Access Rule

June 21, 2021

Commissioner Shawn LaTourette
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
401 E State St, Trenton, NJ 08608

Copies: Michele Kropilak – NJDEP, Elizabeth Dragon – NJDEP, Sean Moriarity – NJDEP,
Board – Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy


Dear Commissioner LaTourette,


Congratulations on your appointment as Commissioner of the NJDEP.

The Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy works closely with the NJDEP Enforcement and Licensing Departments to oversee the construction and maintenance of the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway located at the water’s edge on the Hudson River and Kill van Kull between the Bayonne Bridge in Bayonne and the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee.  The Walkway is largely completed except in industrial areas of Bayonne.  It is used daily by thousands of NJ commuters for public transportation and by NJ residents statewide for outdoor recreation.

Although the Walkway is widely used, certain areas of the waterfront remain restricted from the public in violation of the Public Trust Doctrine and the Public Access legislation signed into NJ law in May 2019.

That legislation provided 18 months for the DEP to implement rules for enforcing the new Public Access Legislation.  Unfortunately, over 2 years has elapsed and the urgently needed rules have not been published, violating the 18-month requirement. More disturbing is that the DEP is unable, at this date, to provide a schedule for publishing the required Public Access rules.

While the Conservancy recognizes that the COVID pandemic has caused delays, the implementation of the required Public Access rules cannot be delayed indefinitely.

The Conservancy requests that the DEP promptly assess the status of the implementation of the Public Access rules and publish a committed schedule within 60 days for implementation of the Public Access Rules.

The Conservancy has provided significant input to the draft rules and stands ready to assist the DEP in their publication and implementation. Please contact us at any time.

Thank you and we look forward to your response.



Don Stitzenberg

Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy
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