New Law Amends MLUL to Address Electric Vehicle Infrastructure in New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy has made clean energy one of his top priorities. Earlier this year, New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities released a draft Energy Master Plan to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050, which includes reducing emissions by encouraging electric vehicle adoption

In June, the Murphy Administration announced the New Jersey Partnership to Plug-In, a statewide partnership to build out the necessary infrastructure to support electric vehicle ownership. The goal of the multi-agency partnership, which will be co-led by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, is to create a strategic and streamlined framework to support New Jersey’s electric vehicle ecosystem, with the goal of registering 330,000 Zero Emission Vehicles ZEVs by 2025.

Planning for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Earlier this month, Governor Murphy signed Senate Bill 606 into law. The intent of the new law is to encourage municipalities to plan for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. Previously, municipalities were not required to include information concerning public electric vehicle charging infrastructure as a part of land use master plans or local redevelopment plans.

The new law encourages each municipality, at the time of the reexamination of its master plan, pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law (MLUL), to identify existing sites of public EV charging infrastructure. The law also amends the Local Redevelopment and Housing Law (LRHL) to provide that the development of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure in appropriate locations be considered for inclusion in local redevelopment plans. 

Under further amendments to the MLUL, the green buildings and environmental sustainability plan element of a municipal master plan must “consider, encourage and promote” the development of public electric vehicle charging infrastructure in locations appropriate for their development, including but not limited to, commercial districts, areas proximate to public transportation and transit facilities and transportation corridors, and public rest stops. The new law also requires a municipal master plan with a circulation plan element to identify existing and proposed locations for public electric vehicle charging infrastructure. 

In addition, S-606 mandates that a master plan reexamination report must include recommendations of the planning board concerning locations appropriate for the development of public electric vehicle infrastructure proximate to public transportation and transit facilities, transportation corridors, and public rest stops. 

The new law took effect immediately on November 6, 2019. For more information about the new EV infrastructure requirements or the legal issues involved, we encourage you to contact a member of Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Government Law Group.

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