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Just as is the case elsewhere in the country, owning a business here in New Jersey means complying with different governmental laws, rules and regulations. Some of them could pertain to environmental concerns.

In that case, you will probably end up dealing not only with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, but also with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Before you begin your dealings with this state agency, it may help to know a bit more about it, including its primary responsibilities.

The directive of the NJDEP

Obviously, the NJDEP’s primary directive is to protect the environment and human health from certain environmental factors. In the past, this meant monitoring and controlling discharges into the water, the air and the land. The agency worked to reduce or eliminate the pollution that threatens all aspects of the environment.

Over time, this directive expanded to include preservation efforts to allow future generations the same enjoyment of the land, water and air as the population does now. Those efforts focus on vulnerable and critical habitats that currently support animals and wild flora and fauna throughout the state.

The activities of the NJDEP

In order to carry out its directive, the agency conducts assessments, provides insights and offers guidance regarding environmental concerns. They measure environmental conditions to ensure they meet minimum standards. You may be familiar with the fact that certain air and water quality standards exist, but you may not know all the factors that go into identifying areas that need attention in order to maintain those standards. For example, efforts to preserve the population of bald eagles have been fruitful as evidenced by increasing numbers of these majestic birds.

Everyone wants clean air to breathe and fresh water to drink. In order for that to happen, businesses such as yours need to comply with environmental regulations. Regardless of the type of business you run, it would benefit you to determine whether it requires compliance with those regulations. For instance, it doesn’t matter whether you operate a dry-cleaning business or a fast food restaurant, you must adhere to the applicable rules.

Staying in compliance with NJDEP rules and regulations

The NJDEP will probably not care whether you knew you were supposed to comply with certain environmental laws, rules and regulations. The agency considers it your responsibility to make that determination. Whether you are starting a new business or have been in operation for a while, you need to understand your responsibilities to the environment, which could change periodically.

Otherwise, you could find yourself facing fines, remediation and other costly and time-consuming efforts you could have avoided by understanding your rights and responsibilities up front.