The age-old conflict of economic development versus protecting the environment is played out again in the New Jersey Legislature Monday.

A state Senate committee approved bill S-3156 that could make it easier to build in areas near the fragile Barnegat Bay. The measure would keep sewer service approvals in place for as long as the next two years.

The sewer boundaries are important because they determine where large-scale development can take place.

Proponents want the bill to extend the time that existing sewer boundaries can stay in effect, in order to help builders and spur an economic recovery.

Opponents say it could make it easier for developers to build on land near the fragile Barnegat Bay, where pollution would make its way into the water.

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