For the first time, state environmental regulators would be required when making permitting decisions to consider the cumulative impact of new facilities such as power plants on pollution levels in already overburdened communities.

That requirement is spelled out in a new rule proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection to protect communities that already have high levels of pollution from new projects that would increase public exposure to contaminants.

NJ Spotlight News obtained a copy of the draft 153-page rule, which is set to be published Monday in the New Jersey Register. A series of public hearings will follow on the new regulations before they are officially adopted. Read More from NJ Spotlight News.