Bills aim to help businesses raise clams, oysters

Two New Jersey legislators say they want to make it easier for entrepreneurs to set up aquaculture projects to raise clams and oysters.

Senator Jeff Van Drew and Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak say they will introduce legislation to streamline the approval process for aquaculture projects.

They say people wishing to start up one of these ventures currently have to get approvals from 11 different state agencies or bureaus.

One bill would consolidate the review process by requiring the state agriculture secretary, in consultation with the state environmental protection department, to develop a joint aquaculture permitting review program.

Another would require the state to work with the United States Army Corps of Engineers on a joint application process for projects requiring both state and federal approval.

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