WEST ORANGE, NJ—More than three years after Super Storm Sandy ravaged the New Jersey coast, an overly complicated and bureaucratic set of flood regulations is making shore (and inland) construction difficult, and the economic development that accompanies it, nearly impossible, an environmental lawyer dealing with the situation charges.

“Sandy opened a lot of people’s eyes as to how flooding can happen in a worst-possible scenario,” says Dennis Toft, co-chair of the Environmental Group at West Orange-based Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi. “A lot of areas that previously never flooded ended up being under water.”

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