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Division of Land Use Regulation
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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Outfalls and Intakes

  • Overview
  • Freshwater Wetlands
  • Flood Hazard
  • Coastal
  • Tidelands

Stormwater Outfalls are part of all development where impervious surfaces shed water during storm events and channel water into a subsurface drainage system and/or detention basin. Older systems and street drains often dump stormwater directly into streams and rivers which can result in an increase in flooding during heavy storm events. Detention basins and other stormwater management systems attempt to decrease or minimize the likelyhood of flooding by detaining water on a site and slowly releasing it into a waterway. The point of this discharge is a stormwater outfall and it is important that these be constructed correctly in order to ensure stability of the system, and to minimize erosion at the point of discharge.

Water Intakes are by far less common then stormater outfalls, but are also regulated by the Department. Land Use is concerned with both the stability of the system and any possible dewatering of a surrounding wetland and/or open water. There may also be issues with the Water Allocation program if the draw is heavy.

By their nature, stormwater outfalls and water intakes almost always disturb special areas of the State that are regulated by the Department, and will require an approval from the Division prior to construction. An area containing sensitive and endangered plant species for example, may be irreparably damaged by such activities. It is important therefore to closely examine a proposed project relative to the sensitive areas which may be impacted.

Construction or reconstruction of a stormwater outfall or water intake may require multiple approvals from the Division, depending on the special areas impacted by the project. If you don't know what special areas are on your site, please check out the before you buy, before you build section of this website for guidance on determining if your site has one of these regulated special areas on it.

For information on Land Use permit requirements for construction or reconstruction of a bridge within specific "special areas", please click on each of the tabs above.*

*For impacts to Streams, Rivers, Lakes, Ponds, Flood Plains, Flood Way, Riparian Zones and other water body related areas, please click on the "Flood Hazard" tab. For impacts to special coastal areas, please click on the "Coastal" tab. For impacts to Freshwater Wetlands, click on the "Freshwater Wetlands" tab. Information on Tidelands can be found in the "Tidelands" tab.

The construction of a Stormwater Outfall or Water Intake within freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters requires a Freshwater Wetlands (FWW) permit, specifically, a General Permit (GP) 11 for Outfalls and intake structures. The preceeding link will take you directly to additional information on this specific GP, and the criteria necessary for approval.

General permit 11 does not authorize the construction or placement of a detention or retention facility in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, or State open waters.

If an application for a Stormwater Outfall or Water Intake cannot comply with the criteria for a GP-11, the applicant would need to apply for an Individual Permit (IP). An IP application would need to include a description as to why the project cannot be minimized to satisfy the General Permit criteria described in the link above.

An outfall structure may qualify for Permit by Rule (PBR) (a) 2 if is located in a disturbed riparian zone (or outside the riparian zone) and is at or below grade in the flood hazard area (or outside the flood hazard area).  If the above conditions cannot be met, a formal permit will be required. 

A Flood Hazard Area General Permit No. 10 applies to outfall structures, however, it requires that the outfall be along a watercourse that drains less than 50 acres and that a FWW GP #11 has already been obtained.  If those conditions cannot be met, then an Individual Permit is required.

Outfalls and intakes are pipe openings that are located in water areas to intake water or discharge effluents including sewage, stormwater and industrial effluents.  The construction of outfalls and intakes generally requires a coastal permit. Maintenance, replacement or repair of outfalls and intakes may qualify for an exemption. Outfalls and intakes are usually constructed in conjunction with a larger private, public, residential or commercial development project and are reviewed in the context of the larger project.  There are no coastal permits-by-rule or coastal general permits specific to culvert work.

Please refer to the “Jurisdiction” section of the "Coastal Permitting" section of the website to determine which areas regulated under the Coastal Permit Program Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7-1.1 et seq.) and the Coastal Zone Management Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7E-1.1 et seq.) occur on your site. The availability of certain permits and exemptions for a project depends on where your project is proposed.

The construction, maintenance, repair, or replacement of outfalls and intakes may qualify for an exemption from CAFRA permitting provided at N.J.A.C. 7:7-2.1(b) and (c).   Please review the list of exemptions under the “Coastal Permitting” section of this website.

If the project does not meet the requirements for an exemption, it generally will require a Waterfront Development, CAFRA, and/or Coastal Wetland Individual Permit.  Additional information regarding the Division’s coastal program can be found on the “Coastal Permitting” section of this website.  If necessary, please contact the Division’s Technical Support Center for further assistance.

Tidelands, also known as riparian lands, are all those lands now or formerly flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway; that is to say any land that is currently or was previously covered by tidal waters.  The State of New Jersey, and therefore the people of New Jersey, owns all Tidelands except for those to which it has already sold its interest in the form of a riparian grant.  

The construction of outfalls and intakes that are proposed in a tidelands area may require a tidelands license if the activities are taking place at or below the mean high water line of a tidal waterway or a tidelands grant if any portion of the activities are taking place in an area that is currently landward of the mean high water line but was, at some point, flowed by the tide. It is important to note that the State generally does not own artificial waterways such as lagoons however, the State does claim those lands within a lagoon that were flowed by the mean high tide of a natural waterway which existed prior to the creation of the lagoon.

A tidelands license is a short term revocable rental document to use tidelands generally for structures such as docks, bulkhead extensions, mooring piles, and other temporary structures as well as for dredging projects. Licenses are project specific and expire after a finite term ranging from one to ten years. Most licenses may be renewed.

A riparian grant, or tidelands grant, is a deed from the State of New Jersey selling its tidelands. Tidelands grants are generally only issued for lands that have already been filled in and are no longer flowed by the tide.

For more information on tidelands instruments, please see the tidelands section of this website.

For information and instruction on how to determine whether you are in an area that may require either a license or a grant, or for information how to apply for Tideland instruments please see the "Before you Build, Before you Buy" webpage.

 

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Last Updated: January 9, 2014