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FRESHWATER WETLANDS PROTECTION ACT RULES
N.J.A.C. 7:7A

SUBCHAPTER 5 ADOPTED GENERAL PERMITS

Please Note: The Department has made every effort to ensure that the text of this regulation is identical to the official, legally effective version set forth in the New Jersey Register. However, should there be any discrepancies between the text on this web site and the official version of the rule, the official version will govern. For more information on obtaining official versions of the rules, see "How To Get a Paper Copy of Department Rules".


7:7A-5.1 General permit 1--Maintenance and repair of existing feature
7:7A-5.2 General permit 2--Underground utility lines
7:7A-5.3 General permit 3--Discharge of return water
7:7A-5.4 General permit 4--Hazardous site investigation and cleanup
7:7A-5.5 General permit 5--Landfill closures
7:7A-5.6 General permit 6--Non-tributary wetlands
7:7A-5.6A General permit 6A—Transition areas adjacent to non-tributary wetlands
7:7A-5.7 General permit 7--Human-made ditches or swales in headwaters
7:7A-5.8 General permit 8--House additions
7:7A-5.9 General permit 9--Airport sight line clearing
7:7A-5.10A General permit 10A—Very minor road crossings
7:7A-5.10B General permit 10B--Minor road crossings
7:7A-5.11 General permit 11--Outfalls and intake structures
7:7A-5.12 General permit 12--Surveying and investigating
7:7A-5.13 General permit 13--Lake dredging
7:7A-5.14 General permit 14--Water monitoring devices
7:7A-5.15 General permit 15--Mosquito control activities
7:7A-5.16 General permit 16--Habitat creation and enhancement activities
7:7A-5.17 General permit 17--Trails and boardwalks
7:7A-5.17A General permit 17A—Non-Motorized, Multiple-use Paths
7:7A-5.18 General permit 18--Dam repair
7:7A-5.19 General permit 19--Docks and piers
7:7A-5.20 General permit 20--Bank stabilization
7:7A-5.21 General permit 21--Above ground utility lines
7:7A-5.22 (RESERVED)
7:7A-5.23 General permit 23--Expansion of cranberry growing operations in the Pinelands
7:7A-5.24 General permit 24--Spring developments
7:7A-5.25 General permit 25--Malfunctioning individual subsurface sewage disposal (septic) systems
7:7A-5.26 General permit 26-- Minor channel or stream cleaning for local government agencies
7:7A-5.27 General permit 27--Redevelopment of previously disturbed areas


7:7A-5.1 General permit 1--Maintenance and repair of existing features

(a) General permit 1 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands and State open waters, required to carry out the repair, rehabilitation, replacement, maintenance or reconstruction of a previously authorized, currently serviceable structure, fill, roadway, utility line, active irrigation or drainage ditch, or stormwater management facility lawfully existing prior to July 1, 1988 or permitted under this chapter. General permit 1 does not cover transition areas because these activities are not regulated in transition areas under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.6 and thus may be performed in a transition area without Department approval under this chapter.

(b) To be authorized under general permit 1, the previously authorized structure, fill, roadway, utility, ditch or facility shall not have been and will not be put to any use other than as specified in any permit authorizing its original construction. Activities under general permit 1 shall not expand, widen or deepen the previously authorized feature, and shall not deviate from any plans of the original activity, except that minor deviations due to changes in materials or construction techniques and which are necessary to make repairs, rehabilitation or replacements are allowed provided such changes do not result in disturbance of additional freshwater wetlands or State open waters upon completion of the activity.

(c) If the activity is the ongoing maintenance of an off-stream stormwater management facility created in uplands, including a wetland constructed in uplands for stormwater management purposes after September 4, 2001, the following shall apply:

    1. The application for authorization shall be subject to the public notice requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.8 but shall not be subject to the other application requirements in N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10;

    2. The application for authorization shall include the information required by the application checklist, including information identifying and describing the site and the project, and a copy of the permit, if any, authorizing the original construction of the stormwater management facility;

    3. The Department shall process the application for authorization using the procedures at (d) below; and

    4. For the purposes of this subsection, maintenance includes removal of sediment and debris and mowing of vegetation, as necessary to ensure that the stormwater management facility will function as it was originally designed and/or permitted. Maintenance does not include enlargement of a stormwater management structure, excavation below the original bottom of a structure, or any other change in its design.

(d) Upon receipt of an application for authorization under (c) above, the Department shall

process the application as follows:

    1. Within 20 days of the Department's receipt of the application, the Department shall notify the applicant if the application is not administratively complete (that is, if it does not include all of the information required under (c) above). If the Department so notifies the applicant, the time period in (d)2 below shall not begin to run. If the Department does not so notify the applicant, the application shall be deemed administratively complete 20 days after the Department receives it; and

    2. If the application is administratively complete, the Department shall have 30 days after receipt of the complete application to notify the applicant that the activities are not authorized under general permit 1, or that the activities may be authorized but require a full application review under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10. If the Department does not so notify the applicant, the application is automatically approved, to the extent that the activity does not violate other laws then in effect.

(e) Activities under general permit 1 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.2 General permit 2--Underground utility lines

(a) General permit 2 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters, necessary for the construction and/or maintenance of an underground utility line.

(b) If a utility line is jacked or directionally drilled underground, so that there is no surface disturbance of any freshwater wetlands, transition areas, or State open waters and there is no draining or dewatering of freshwater wetlands, no Department approval is required under this chapter. Jacking or directional drilling is regulated under this chapter if any disturbance occurs to the ground surface in the freshwater wetlands, transition area, or State open water; for example, if the drilling is conducted from a pit located in a freshwater wetland or transition area.

(c) Activities under general permit 2 shall comply with the following limits:

    1. Permanent above-ground disturbance of wetlands, transition area, and/or State open waters shall be no greater than 0.5 acre. Anything that changes the character of the existing wetland, even if only to a different wetland type, is permanent disturbance. For example, maintained clearing over a utility line is permanent disturbance. For the purposes of this subsection, installation of a utility line in scrub shrub or emergent wetlands shall not be considered permanent disturbance;

    2. Permanently maintained clearing over the utility line shall be no wider than 20 feet unless a wider area is required by law;

    3. The trench into which the utility line is placed shall be no wider than necessary to comply with the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety standards for excavations, set forth at 29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart P;

    4. Temporary disturbance, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4, such as temporary construction clearing or temporary storage of dirt or equipment, shall be the minimum size necessary for compliance with applicable laws;

    5. The activities shall not cause any change in preconstruction elevation of a freshwater wetland, transition area, or State open water; and

    6. Manholes and siphons for sewer lines shall be placed outside of wetlands, unless the Department's Municipal Finance and Construction Element determines under N.J.A.C. 7:22 and/or N.J.A.C. 14A-23 that there is no feasible alternative to placement in wetlands.

(d) In order to minimize environmental impact, a permittee shall:

    1. Dispose of any excess soil or bedding material immediately upon completion of construction. This material shall be disposed of outside of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, State open waters, and areas regulated under the Department's Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules;

    2. Backfill the uppermost 18 inches of any excavation with the original topsoil material;

    3. Replant the disturbed area with indigenous wetlands plants;

    4. Stabilize the disturbed area in accordance with the requirements of the appropriate Soil Conservation District; and

    5. Ensure that the activities do not interfere with the natural hydraulic characteristics of the wetland, such as the flow characteristics of groundwater on the site.

(e) Any pipes laid through wetlands, transition areas, or State open waters shall be:

    1. Properly sealed so as to prevent leaking or infiltration;

    2. Designed so as not to form or provide a conduit for groundwater to be discharged or drained from the wetland; and

    3. Placed entirely beneath the pre-existing ground elevation in order to allow free passage of surface and ground water, unless the applicant shows that placing some or all of the pipe above ground would be more environmentally beneficial.

(f) Mitigation shall be performed for all permanent loss and/or disturbance of 0.1 acres or greater of freshwater wetlands or State open waters. Mitigation shall be performed for all permanent loss and/or disturbance of less than 0.1 acres of freshwater wetlands or State open waters unless the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all activities have been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands. For purposes of this subsection, “minimize” means that the project is configured so that most or all of it is contained in the uplands on the site, and that the wetlands are avoided to the greatest extent possible. An applicant is not required to reduce the scope of the project or to consider offsite alternatives to comply with this requirement.

1. The mitigation shall meet the substantive and procedural requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.5 and shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval no later than 120 days prior to the initiation of regulated activities authorized by this general permit. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with general permit activities.

(g) Activities under general permit 2 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.



7:7A-5.3 General permit 3--Discharge of return water

(a) General permit 3 authorizes the discharge of return water from an upland, contained, dredged material disposal area into State open waters, and placement of a pipe above ground for the discharge through freshwater wetlands and/or transition areas. The dredging itself may also require other State and Federal permits.

(b) Activities under general permit 3 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.



7:7A-5.4 General permit 4--Hazardous site investigation and cleanup

(a) General permit 4 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and State open waters, which are undertaken by the Department or expressly approved pursuant to the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites, N.J.A.C. 7:26C, for the investigation, cleanup or removal of:

    1. Hazardous substances as defined in the Department's rules governing hazardous substances at N.J.A.C. 7:1E, Appendix A; or

    2. Pollutants, as defined in the New Jersey Water Pollution Control Act implementing rules at N.J.A.C. 7:14A.

(b) There is no acreage limit on activities under general permit 4. However, disturbance shall be the minimum that is necessary for compliance with the Department’s Technical Requirements for Site Remediation, N.J.A.C. 7:26E, and mitigation shall be performed for all disturbances of freshwater wetlands or State open waters caused by a cleanup authorized under this general permit except that mitigation is not required to compensate for disturbance of wetlands of State open waters that have formed as a direct result of the remediation activities. The mitigation shall meet the substantive and procedural requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.

(c) The mitigation proposal required under (b) above may be incorporated into the document approved pursuant to the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites, N.J.A.C. 7:26C, and/or it may be submitted as part of the General permit application. The Department shall not issue an authorization under general permit 4 until the mitigation proposal, or an equivalent document that ensures that the requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15 are met, is approved. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with cleanup activities.

(d) Activities under general permit 4 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.5 General permit 5--Landfill closures

(a) General permit 5 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas and/or State open waters that are undertaken by the Department's Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste, or authorized through a solid waste facility closure and post-closure plan or disruption approval issued by the Department under N.J.A.C. 7:26-2A.9.

(b) General permit 5 authorizes a disturbance authorized through a closure plan, post-closure plan, or disruption approval only if:

    1. The activities that will cause the disturbance are necessary to properly close the solid waste facility and to properly maintain and monitor it after closure. For example, an access road necessary for landfill closure may be authorized under general permit 5, but an access road that is not necessary for landfill closure, but that will facilitate development of the site, is not authorized under general permit 5; and

    2. The amount of disturbance is the minimum necessary in order to adequately close and/or maintain the landfill. For example, a disturbance for an access road through wetlands may be necessary to properly close the landfill in accordance with (b)2 above, but the road shall be the minimum size possible.

(c) There is no acreage limit on activities under general permit 5. However, mitigation shall be performed to compensate for disturbance of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters authorized under general permit 5, except that mitigation is not required for disturbance of wetlands located on top of the landfill, or on the intermediate or permanent cover of the landfill. The mitigation shall meet the procedural and substantive requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.

(d) The mitigation proposal required under (c) above may be incorporated into the closure and post-closure plan or disruption approval and/or it may be submitted as part of the general permit application.

(e) The Department shall not issue an authorization under general permit 5 until the mitigation proposal is approved. Activities under general permit 5 shall not begin until the Department has approved the mitigation proposal. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with closure or disruption activities.

(f) Activities under general permit 5 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.6 General permit 6--Non-tributary wetlands

(a) General permit 6 authorizes regulated activities in freshwater wetlands, and/or State open waters, if the freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters are not part of a surface water tributary system discharging into an inland lake or pond, or a river or stream.

(b) Activities under general permit 6 shall be limited as follows:

    1. The activities shall disturb no more than one acre of a freshwater wetland and/or State open water, which is not a water of the United States, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4; and

    2. The activities shall disturb no more than one-half acre of a freshwater wetland and/or State open water, which is a water of the United States, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4.

(c) Activities under general permit 6 shall not take place in any of the following:

    1. An exceptional resource value wetland, as described at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.4;

    2. A State open water that is a special aquatic site, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4;

    3. USEPA priority wetlands;

    4. A State open water that is larger than one acre.

(d) Mitigation shall be performed for all permanent loss and/or disturbance of 0.1 acres or greater of freshwater wetlands or State open waters that are also waters of the United States. Mitigation shall be performed for permanent loss and/or disturbance of less than 0.1 acres of freshwater wetlands or State open waters that are also waters of the United States unless the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all activities have been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands. For purposes of this subsection, “minimize” means that the project is configured so that most or all of it is contained in the uplands on the site, and that the wetlands are avoided to the greatest extent possible. An applicant is not required to reduce the scope of the project or to consider offsite alternatives to comply with this requirement.

1. The mitigation shall meet the substantive and procedural requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.5 and shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval no later than 120 days prior to the initiation of regulated activities authorized by this general permit. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with general permit activities.

(e) Activities under general permit 6 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.6A General permit 6A—Transition areas adjacent to non-tributary wetlands

(a) General permit 6A authorizes regulated activities in transition areas adjacent to freshwater if the freshwater wetlands are not part of a surface water tributary system discharging into an inland lake or pond, or a river or stream.

(b) Activities under general permit 6A shall disturb no more than one-half acre of a transition area. If the activity authorized under general permit 6 eliminates a wetland in its entirety, authorization under general permit 6A is not required for activities in the associated transition area;

(c) Activities under general permit 6A shall not take place in a transition area adjacent to the following:

    1. An exceptional resource value wetland, as described at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.4; or

    2. USEPA priority wetlands.

(d) Activities under general permit 6A shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.7 General permit 7--Human-made ditches or swales in headwaters

(a) General permit 7 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands that are human-made ditches or in freshwater wetlands that are swales, provided the ditch or swale is located in a headwater. In accordance with the definition of a "swale" at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4, a swale may be naturally occurring or of human construction.

(b) For the purpose of this section, "headwater" means a water or wetland that is upstream of the point on a non-tidal stream where the average annual flow is less than five cubic feet per second. The Department may estimate this point from available data by using area annual precipitation, area drainage basin maps, and the average annual runoff coefficient, or by similar means. For a stream that is dry for long periods of the year, the Department may establish the downstream boundary of the headwater as that point in the stream where water flow exceeds five cubic feet per second at least 50 percent of the time. In general, the Department considers a water body with a drainage area of less than 50 acres to be a headwater.

(c) Activities under general permit 7 shall not take place in the following:

    1. A ditch or swale that is, or is located within, an exceptional resource value wetlands, as described at N.J.A.C. 7:7A- 2.4; or

    2. A ditch or swale that is, or is located within, a USEPA priority wetland, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4.

(d) Activities under general permit 7 shall not result in either of the following:

    1. The loss or substantial modification of more than one acre of freshwater wetlands; or

    2. A disruption of a surface water connection, resulting in the isolation of wetlands or State open waters which were not isolated at the time of the general permit application.

(e) Activities under general permit 7 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.8 General permit 8--House additions

(a) General permit 8 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands and/or transition areas, necessary for the construction of additions or appurtenant improvements to residential dwellings lawfully existing prior to July 1, 1988, provided that the improvements or additions require less than a cumulative surface area of 750 square feet of fill and/or disturbance and will not result in new alterations to a freshwater wetlands outside of the 750 square foot area. General permit 8 does not authorize activities in State open waters.

    1. If requested within five years of the destruction of a dwelling, this permit authorizes the replacement of a residential dwelling that was lawfully existing prior to July 1, 1988, within the same footprint of the previous dwelling with an increase of up to 750 square feet of fill and/or disturbance provided that:

      i. The applicant provides documentation that the dwelling was habitable at the time of destruction. “Habitable” means that persons could legally occupy the dwelling and that the dwelling had utilities including a functioning septic system or legal connection to a sewer; and

      ii. There is a foundation remaining or other evidence, such as a deed or plot plan, of the size and location of the overall building footprint.

(b) To be authorized under general permit 8, an addition or improvement shall be located within 100 feet of the residential dwelling.

(c) Activities under general permit 8 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.9 General permit 9--Airport sight line clearing

(a) General permit 9 authorizes the selective cutting of certain vegetation in freshwater wetlands and transition areas, at a public use aeronautical facility, as defined in the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) rules at N.J.A.C. 16:54-1.3.

(b) General permit 9 authorizes the cutting of vegetation only as necessary to comply with the protected air space provisions for a public use aeronautical facility, mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and set forth in the New Jersey Department of Transportation rules at N.J.A.C. 16:54-4.2.

(c) General permit 9 covers only activities necessary to enable an aeronautical facility to comply with New Jersey Department of Transportation rules. The cutting of vegetation in wetlands and/or transition areas as part of a project that increases the area of pavement or buildings at an airport is not authorized under general permit 9, and would require an individual permit under this chapter.

(d) In addition to meeting all applicable application requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10, an applicant for authorization under general permit 9 shall provide a certification from the Director of the Division of Aeronautics in the New Jersey Department of Transportation, containing:

    1. A copy of the current license for the public use aeronautical facility;

    2. A description of the area that must be cleared to ensure compliance with New Jersey Department of Transportation rules, including descriptions and drawings of the required approach slopes, the airport layout, and/or other aspects of the facility, as applicable; and

    3. A statement citing the applicable regulation, and an explanation of why the proposed cutting of vegetation is necessary to bring existing operations into compliance with New Jersey Department of Transportation and FAA rules, or to maintain the compliance of existing operations with those rules.

(e) The permittee shall minimize adverse environmental impacts as follows:

    1. Activities shall be timed to minimize disturbance of threatened and endangered species. The Department will specify the required timing in the general permit authorization when issued;

    2. The permittee shall leave all tree stumps, brush stumps, and root systems in place;

    3. The permittee shall minimize disturbance of freshwater wetlands and transition areas through use of matting, equipment running on oversized tires, or other similar practices; and

    4. Cut vegetation shall be disposed of in a manner that will minimize adverse environmental impacts on wetlands and transition areas, taking into consideration State Forest Fire Service requirements at N.J.S.A. 13:9-23 and/or other applicable laws.

(f) Activities under general permit 9 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.10A General permit 10A—Very minor road crossings

(a) General permit 10A authorizes the following activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters:

    1. Construction of one or more new road crossings, including attendant features such as shoulders, sidewalks and embankments;

    2. Expansion, widening, or upgrading of one or more existing paved or unpaved roads or drives; and

    3. Activities necessary to reduce horizontal curves in an existing paved road to comply with New Jersey Department of Transportation safety regulations.

(b) The Department shall issue a general permit 10A authorization only if the activities comply with the limits in one of the following scenarios:

1. Short crossing scenario:

      i. The disturbance of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters is no longer than 100 feet for each crossing, as calculated under (e) below; and

      ii. The total cumulative disturbance of freshwater wetlands, transition area, and State open waters onsite under general permit 10A is one quarter acre or less; or

    2. Long crossing scenario: The total cumulative disturbance of freshwater wetlands, transition area, and State open waters onsite under general permit 10A is one eighth acre or less. Under the long crossing scenario, the length of the crossing is not limited.

(c) If a proposed road crossing skirts along the edge of a wetland or transition area or touches the wetland or transition area, without actually crossing through the wetland or transition area, the applicant shall, in addition to meeting the requirements at (b) above, demonstrate in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.10B(d) that there is no alternative onsite location and/or configuration for the road crossing that would provide access to the developable upland with less adverse environmental impact.

(d) Activities under general permit 10A shall minimize environmental impact as follows:

    1. The applicant shall design the crossing to ensure that fish passage is unimpeded during times when the water level is at its lowest, unless the applicant demonstrates that the water body is unsuitable for habitation by fish and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The applicant shall ensure fish passage by maintaining the existing gradient and bottom contours of the water body to the extent possible, and by using arches, culverts, or other structures that will ensure fish passage;

    2. The applicant shall install cross drains or other devices to ensure that the crossing does not alter the hydrology of the freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters on either side of the crossing; and

    3. The amount of rip-rap or other energy dissipating material used shall be the minimum necessary to prevent erosion, and shall not exceed 200 cubic yards of fill below the top of bank or high water mark, unless a larger amount is required in order to comply with the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey at N.J.A.C. 2:90.

(e) The length limit at (b)1 above applies to each separate road crossing on the site. The following apply to the calculation of the length of disturbance caused by a road crossing:

    1. The length of the disturbance resulting from a crossing is measured along its longest dimension;

    2. A crossing that connects more than two upland areas that are separated by the same wetland or State open water is considered one crossing. That is, a road that repeatedly traverses the same wetland or State open water is considered one crossing. Thus, the total length of disturbance is the sum of all the lengths of crossing that traverse that particular wetland or water. For example, if a road crosses three arms of an irregularly shaped wetland, the total length of disturbance would be the sum of the lengths of all three crossings. See figures 2 and 3 below for an illustration of this; and

    3. If the road crosses State open waters with adjacent wetlands, the total length of disturbance is the sum of the disturbances in both the State open waters and the adjacent wetlands.

(f) Mitigation shall be performed for all permanent loss and/or disturbance of 0.1 acres or greater of freshwater wetlands or State open waters. Mitigation shall be performed for permanent loss and/or disturbance of less than 0.1 acres of freshwater wetlands or State open waters unless the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all activities have been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands. For purposes of this subsection, “minimize” means that the project is configured so that most or all of it is contained in the uplands on the site, and that the wetlands are avoided to the greatest extent possible. An applicant is not required to reduce the scope of the project or to consider offsite alternatives to comply with this requirement.

1. The mitigation shall meet the substantive and procedural requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.5 and shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval no later than 120 days prior to the initiation of regulated activities authorized by this general permit. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with general permit activities.

(g) Activities under general permit 10A shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.

Figure 2

One Road Crossing That Crosses Two Fingers Of One Freshwater Wetland

Figure 3

Two Road Crossings, Each Crossing A Different Freshwater Wetland


7:7A-5.10B General permit 10B--Minor road crossings

(a) General permit 10B authorizes the following activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters:

    1. Construction of one or more new road crossings necessary to gain access to an otherwise inaccessible, developable, upland site, including attendant features such as shoulders, sidewalks and embankments;

    2. Expansion, widening, or upgrading of one or more existing paved or unpaved roads, including attendant features such as shoulders, sidewalks and embankments; and

    3. Activities necessary to reduce horizontal curves in an existing paved road to comply with New Jersey Department of Transportation safety regulations.

(b) The Department shall issue a general permit 10B authorization only if all of the following criteria are met:

    1. The applicant demonstrates in accordance with (d) below that there is no alternative onsite location and/or configuration for the road crossing that would provide access to the developable upland with less adverse environmental impact; and

    2. The total area of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters disturbed under general permit 10B shall not exceed one quarter of an acre.

(c) Activities under general permit 10B shall minimize environmental impact as follows:

    1. The applicant shall design the crossing to ensure that fish passage is unimpeded during times when the water level is at its lowest, unless the applicant demonstrates that the water body is unsuitable for habitation by fish and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The applicant shall ensure fish passage by maintaining the existing gradient and bottom contours of the water body to the extent possible, and by using arches, culverts, or other structures that will ensure fish passage;

    2. The applicant shall install cross drains or other devices to ensure that the crossing does not alter the hydrology of the freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters on either side of the crossing;

    3. The amount of rip-rap or other energy dissipating material used shall be the minimum necessary to prevent erosion, and shall not exceed 200 cubic yards of fill below the top of bank or high water mark, unless a larger amount is required in order to comply with the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey at N.J.A.C. 2:90; and

    4. The cartway, shoulder, and side slopes of the roadway shall be the minimum necessary for the crossing and shall not exceed the limits in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' Residential Site Improvement Standards at N.J.A.C. 5:21. If the project is not a residential development, the cartway, shoulder, and side slopes of the roadway shall be the minimum necessary for safety.

(d) In evaluating whether there is an alternative onsite location and/or configuration for a road crossing under (b)1 above, the Department shall make the presumptions at (d)1 through 5 below. However, these presumptions may be rebutted based on site-specific or unusual circumstances:

    1. Disturbance of a non-transition area upland would have less adverse environmental impact than disturbance of a transition area, State open water or freshwater wetland;

    2. Disturbance of a transition area would have less adverse environmental impact than disturbance of a freshwater wetland or State open water;

    3. Disturbance of a freshwater wetland would have less adverse environmental impact than disturbance of a State open water;

    4. Expansion or upgrading of an existing and currently serviceable drive or crossing would have less adverse environmental impact than placement of a new crossing; and

    5. Placement of a new crossing in an area that is already significantly disturbed would have less adverse environmental impact than disturbance of a previously undisturbed wetland and/or State open water.

(e) Mitigation shall be performed for all permanent loss and/or disturbance of 0.1 acres or greater of freshwater wetlands or State open waters. Mitigation shall be performed for permanent loss and/or disturbance of less than 0.1 acres of freshwater wetlands or State open waters unless the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all activities have been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands. For purposes of this subsection, “minimize” means that the project is configured so that most or all of it is contained in the uplands on the site, and that the wetlands are avoided to the greatest extent possible. An applicant is not required to reduce the scope of the project or to consider offsite alternatives to comply with this requirement.

1. The mitigation shall meet the substantive and procedural requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.5 and shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval no later than 120 days prior to the initiation of regulated activities authorized by this general permit. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with general permit activities.

(f) Activities under general permit 10B shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.11 General permit 11--Outfalls and intake structures

(a) General permit 11 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and State open waters necessary for the construction of:

    1. A stormwater outfall structure;

    2. An outfall structure that discharges other than stormwater into state open waters, and which is covered by a valid NJPDES permit issued by the Department under N.J.A.C. 7:14A;

    3. An intake structure located in a State open water, for which all approvals required by the Department other than this general permit authorization have been obtained;

    4. A well that is part of a non-public water system, as defined under the Department's Safe Drinking Water Act rules at N.J.A.C. 7:10-1.3, (this includes certain small private potable water wells) provided that:

      i. There is no alternative onsite location for the well that would have less environmental impact;

      ii. The source of the water supply to the well does not affect the hydrology of the freshwater wetlands; and

      iii. All approvals required by the Department other than this general permit authorization have been obtained;

    5. Conveyance structures, such as pipes and headwalls, associated with an outfall or intake listed in 1, 2, or 3 above; and

    6. Energy dissipation structures, such as rip-rap, gabion baskets, and scour holes, associated with an outfall or intake listed in 1, 2, or 3 above.

(b) 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.

(c) Activities under general permit 11 shall comply with the following limits:

    1. The activities shall disturb no more than one quarter acre of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters, including both temporary and permanent disturbance;

    2. The area disturbed during construction of a conveyance structure shall be no wider than is necessary to comply with the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety standards for excavations, set forth at 29 CFR Part 1926, Subpart P; and

    3. The amount or rip-rap or other energy dissipating material placed shall be the minimum necessary to prevent erosion, and shall not exceed 10 cubic yards of fill per outfall, unless a larger amount is required in order to comply with the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey at N.J.A.C. 2:90.

(d) In addition to meeting all other requirements under general permit 11, an intake structure shall:

    1. Be designed and equipped so as to minimize impacts to fish and other fauna through measures including, but not limited to, the following:

      i. The structure's location and orientation;

      ii. Protective structures that prevent entrapment of fauna in the structure itself, or in a diversionary canal or embayment;

      iii. Protective structures that prevent aquatic biota from being sucked up against the structure (impingement) or being sucked up into the structure (entrainment). Examples of such structures are radial wells, fish bucket screens, and wedge-wires; and

    2. Be designed so as to ensure that the wetlands are not drained;

    3. Have an intake velocity no greater than 0.5 feet of water per second; and

    4. Comply with all applicable requirements for intake structures in the Department's Safe Drinking Water Act rules at N.J.A.C. 7:10-11.8(c).

(e) All activities under general permit 11 shall comply with the specifications and requirements in the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey at N.J.A.C. 2:90, including activities which are exempted from or not regulated by those Standards.

(f) For any excavated area in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters, the following requirements apply:

    1. The excavation shall be backfilled to the preexisting elevation;

    2. The uppermost 18 inches of the excavation shall be backfilled with the original topsoil material if feasible; and

    3. The area above the excavation shall be replanted, in accordance with applicable BMPs, with indigenous wetlands species.

(g) Any pipes laid through wetlands, transition areas, or State open waters shall be:

    1. Properly sealed so as to prevent leaking or infiltration;

    2. Designed so as not to form a path for groundwater to be discharged or drained from the wetland; and

    3. Placed entirely beneath the pre-existing ground elevation unless the applicant shows that placing some or all of the pipe above ground would be more environmentally beneficial.

(h) A swale in a wetland or transition area shall not be used as a substitute for stormwater treatment. However, a swale may be used to convey stormwater through a wetland or transition area if:

      1. Conditions on the site make it impracticable to use a buried pipe; and

    2. The applicant demonstrates that the swale will not result in drainage of the wetlands or transition areas. To demonstrate this, the applicant shall provide profiles and cross-sections along the entire length of the swale, and any other information necessary to demonstrate that drainage will not occur.

(i) Mitigation shall be performed for all permanent loss and/or disturbance of 0.1 acres or greater of freshwater wetlands or State open waters. Mitigation shall be performed for permanent loss and/or disturbance of less than 0.1 acres of freshwater wetlands or State open waters unless the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all activities have been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands. For purposes of this subsection, “minimize” means that the project is configured so that most or all of it is contained in the uplands on the site, and that the wetlands are avoided to the greatest extent possible. An applicant is not required to reduce the scope of the project or to consider offsite alternatives to comply with this requirement.

1. The mitigation shall meet the substantive and procedural requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.5 and shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval no later than 120 days prior to the initiation of regulated activities authorized by this general permit. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with general permit activities.

      (j) Activities under general permit 11 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C.

7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.12 General permit 12--Surveying and investigating

(a) General permit 12 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas and State open waters necessary for surveying and investigative activities such as:

    1. Soil borings dug by machine;

    2. Hand dug soil borings larger than three feet in diameter or depth. A hand dug soil boring three feet or less in diameter and depth is not regulated pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.2(c) and thus does not require Department approval;

    3. Cutting of vegetation by machine for a survey line that is no wider than five feet;

    4. Cutting of vegetation by hand for a survey line larger than three feet wide. Cutting of vegetation by hand for a survey line that is three feet wide or less is not regulated pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.2(c) and thus does not require Department approval; and

    5. Digging of exploratory pits and/or other temporary activities necessary for a geotechnical or archaeological investigation.

(b) Disturbance under general permit 12 shall be the minimum necessary to obtain the desired information.

(c) If activities under general permit 12 disturb soil, the soil shall be restored to its pre-existing elevation, retaining its original soil layers, unless the soil disturbance is 6 inches in diameter or smaller. This subsection shall not apply if other permits which allow permanent impacts in the same location have been obtained.

(d) Activities under general permit 12 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.13 General permit 13--Lake dredging

(a) General permit 13 authorizes up to one acre of dredging in palustrine emergent freshwater wetlands, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4, necessary to restore or maintain a lake, pond, or reservoir, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4, to its original bottom contours. General permit 13 does not authorize dredging or other disturbances in wetlands that are not palustrine emergent wetlands. General permit 13 does not authorize disturbance of transition areas except as necessary to obtain access to a dredging project pursuant to (e) below.

(b) In accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.2(b), if a dredging project meets all the following criteria, the project does not require Department approval under this chapter:

    1. The project disturbs State open waters only, and does not disturb wetlands located in the lake, pond, or reservoir;

    2. The project does not disturb wetlands or transition areas adjacent to the lake, pond, or reservoir; and

    3. The project does not involve the discharge of dredged or fill material in the State open water. For example, if the project involves placement of fill in a lake bed for an access road, or involves temporary placement of dredged material on the lake bed prior to removal of the dredged material, the project would be regulated and would require Department approval.

(c) If the lake, pond or reservoir is to be lowered during dredging:

    1. The permittee shall obtain a lake lowering permit from the Department's Division of Fish and Wildlife;

    2. Regulated activities shall not begin until the lake, pond or reservoir is lowered in accordance with the lake lowering permit; and

    3. All regulated activities shall be discontinued before the lake, pond or reservoir is refilled.

(d) In order to minimize adverse impacts on fish and on the downstream environment, the permittee shall:

    1. Take all necessary measures, including adjusting the timing of the dredging, to prevent any detrimental effect to spawning of fish in the lake, pond or reservoir or downstream; and

    2. Ensure that there is a continuous flow of sediment-free water to the area downstream of the lake, pond or reservoir at all times during activities under general permit 13.

(e) The permittee may temporarily disturb wetlands (palustrine emergent or otherwise), transition areas, or State open waters, beyond those disturbed directly by the dredging, in order to obtain vehicular access for the dredging. Disturbance for access shall be limited to one eighth of an acre, unless the applicant demonstrates in accordance with the standards at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.10B(d) that there is no alternative onsite location and/or configuration that would provide access to the dredging with less adverse environmental impact. If such a demonstration is made, the access disturbance may be increased as necessary but shall not exceed one quarter acre. All access disturbances under this subsection shall be restored to their pre-existing elevation and condition upon completion of dredging.

(f) The application for authorization under general permit 13 shall include:

    1. Documentation, including but not limited to, aerial photography, original construction plans, core borings, and/or other information, showing that dredging will go no deeper than the original configuration and bottom contours of the lake, and will not enlarge the lake beyond the original configuration; and

    2. For a lake larger than five acres, the following information:

      i. A USGS quad map showing all of the upstream land and water surface area which drains to the lake. The map shall be marked to identify the main land uses in that upstream drainage area;

      ii. A list of the sources of sediment in the lake, including all stormwater pipes, outfalls, ditches and similar features that discharge directly into the lake or that discharge into a tributary to the lake within 1,000 feet of the lake. The location of each listed source shall be indicated on the map required in (f)2i above; and

      iii. An estimate of the percentage of that upstream drainage area that is covered by impervious surfaces.

(g) The Department shall not authorize activities under general permit 13 more frequently than once every five years for a particular lake, pond or reservoir.

(h) The permittee shall dispose of dredged material in accordance with the requirements in the standard conditions for all general permits at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3. The Department may require testing of dredged material if there is reason to suspect that the material is contaminated.

(i) Activities under general permit 13 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.14 General permit 14--Water monitoring devices

(a) General permit 14 authorizes the placement and use of the following in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and State open waters:

1. Water level recording devices;

2. Water quality monitoring and testing devices;

3. Small weirs or flumes for recording water quantity or velocity;

4. The drilling of monitoring wells; and

5. Similar small scientific devices.

(b) General permit 14 does not authorize any activity that significantly disrupts the movement of aquatic species native to the water body, or of species which normally migrate through the area.

(c) If an applicant cannot determine at the time of application how many monitoring wells will be needed, the Department may issue a "blanket" authorization under general permit 14 for drilling of monitoring wells, such as those used in cleanups of contaminated groundwater. A "blanket" authorization allows the placement of multiple monitoring wells on a site over the term of the permit authorization, provided that the permittee reports the number and location of all wells to the Department when all of the wells have been drilled. To be eligible for a "blanket" authorization, the monitoring wells must be approved by the Department's Division of Remediation Management and Response or by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

(d) An item listed at (a) above is not regulated under this chapter and therefore does not

require Department approval if it meets both of the following criteria:

    1. The item is placed into and/or used in State open waters only, and not in freshwater wetlands or transition areas; and

    2. The placement and/or use of the item does not involve the placement of fill, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4.

(e) Activities under general permit 14 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.



7:7A-5.15 General permit 15--Mosquito control activities

(a) General permit 15 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and State open waters necessary for mosquito control water management activities conducted by a county mosquito control agency, or by a Federal agency on Federal land.

(b) The agency shall submit an individual, site-specific project proposal to the State Office of Mosquito Control Coordination. If the State Office of Mosquito Control Coordination determines that the project is necessary to control a documented mosquito problem affecting existing residents, the agency shall submit an application to the Department for authorization to act under general permit 15.

(c) In conducting activities under general permit 15, an agency shall:

    1. Comply with "Best Management Practices for Mosquito Management", issued by the State Mosquito Control Commission, and available from the Department at P.O. Box 400, Trenton, N.J., 08625;

    2. Use best management practices including, but not limited to, shallow swales no more than three feet wide, and low sills no more than three feet wide;

    3. Minimize disturbance of vegetation; and

    4. Use only light equipment.

(d) The agency shall remove excavated or dredged material. Alternatively, if the agency demonstrates that the material will not alter the character of the wetlands, the agency may spread it evenly in a shallow layer no more than three inches deep.

(e) The agency shall ensure that excessive drainage does not occur, and that the existing hydrologic condition of the hydric soils is maintained.

(f) A county agency applying for authorization under general permit 15 shall provide public notice of the application in accordance with this subsection, and shall not be subject to the public notice requirements found at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.8. The county agency shall publish a display advertisement describing the proposed general permit activities. The advertisement shall be:

    1. At least four column inches in size;

    2. Published in a newspaper with local circulation, including the municipality; and

    3. Published in a newspaper with regional circulation, including the county.

(g) The Department shall not authorize activities under general permit 15 more frequently than once every five years for a particular site.

(h) Activities under general permit 15 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.16 General permit 16--Habitat creation and enhancement activities

(a) General permit 16 authorizes habitat creation and enhancement activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and State open waters, necessary to implement a plan for the restoration, creation or enhancement of the habitat and water quality functions and values of wetlands, which is sponsored or substantially funded by a Federal or State agency or other entity described in (b) below. For the purposes of this general permit, a "sponsor" shall be an active participant in or substantial financial contributor to the activities, and shall approve the activities in writing.

(b) General permit 16 authorizes any of the following:

    1. A fish and/or wildlife management plan created or approved by the Department's Division of Fish and Wildlife;

    2. A project plan approved under the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;

    3. A project plan created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service under the Wetlands Reserve program, the Conservation Reserve program, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement program, the wildlife habitat incentive program (WHIP), or a similar program, and approved by the local Soil Conservation District;

    4. A plan approved by the Department's Office of Natural Resource Damages for the restoration, creation or enhancement of natural resources injured as the result of an oil spill or release of a hazardous substance;

    5. A mitigation project required by and approved by a government agency, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;

    6. A habitat creation or enhancement plan carried out by one of the Federal or State agencies at 1 through 5 above or by a government resource protection agency such as a parks commission; or

    7. A habitat creation or enhancement plan carried out by a charitable conservancy, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.1, provided that the plan is part of a program listed at 2 through 5 above.

(c) To be eligible for authorization under general permit 16, an applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed project:

    1. Is part of a comprehensive plan for the restoration, creation or enhancement of the habitat and water quality functions and values of wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters;

    2. Is sponsored or partially funded by an appropriate entity in accordance with (b) above;

    3. Is consistent with the goals of the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act;

    4. Will improve the values and functions of the ecosystem; and

    5. Will have a reasonable likelihood of success.

(d) General permit 16 does not authorize an activity unless the sole purpose of the activity is habitat creation or enhancement. For example, general permit 16 does not authorize construction of a detention basin in wetlands for stormwater management, even if the detention basin or the project of which the basin is a part will also result in habitat creation or enhancement. Similarly, general permit 16 does not authorize a flood control project that may also result in creation or enhancement of some wildlife habitat.

(e) Examples of habitat creation and enhancement activities that may be authorized under general permit 16 are:

    1. Altering hydrology to restore or create wetlands conditions, such as by blocking, removing, or disabling a human-made drainage ditch or other drainage structure such as a tile, culvert or pipe;

    2. Breaching a structure such as a dike or berm in order to allow water into an area;

    3. Placing habitat improvement structures such as:

      i. Nesting islands;

      ii. Fencing to contain, or to prevent intrusion by, livestock or other animals; and

      iii. Fish habitat enhancement devices or fish habitat improvement structures such as placed boulders, stream deflectors, or brush piles;

    4. Regrading to provide proper elevation or topography for wetlands restoration, creation, or enhancement; and

    5. Cutting, burning or otherwise managing vegetation in order to increase habitat diversity or control nuisance flora.

(f) Activities under general permit 16 shall meet the following requirements:

    1. The activities shall disturb the minimum amount of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters necessary to successfully implement the project plan;

    2. The activities shall not decrease the total combined area of freshwater wetlands, State open waters and/or transition areas on a site. However, the Department may approve such a decrease if the Department determines that the activities causing the decrease are sufficiently environmentally beneficial to outweigh the negative environmental effects of the decrease. In addition, the Department may approve conversion of wetlands to State open waters or transition area, conversion of State open waters to wetlands or transition area, or the conversion of transition area to freshwater wetlands or State open waters, if the Department determines that such conversion is environmentally beneficial; and

    3. The area of habitat enhancement or creation shall be protected from any future development by a recorded conservation restriction or easement in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.12.

(g) An application for authorization under general permit 16 does not require an application fee under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-11.

(h) If a project complies with general permit 16 and also includes an activity covered under another general permit, the entire project shall be authorized through general permit 16 and shall not require authorization under the other general permit, provided that each activity covered by another general permit complies with that general permit's requirements and limits. For example, if a habitat creation project includes bank stabilization activities, and meets all requirements of general permit 20 as well as general permit 16, the Department may authorize the project under general permit 16 alone.

(i) If an activity is exempt under this chapter, it shall not require authorization under general permit 16 solely by virtue of being conducted as part of a program included in (b) above. For example, if a farmer proposes a habitat enhancement project that is eligible for authorization under general permit 16, and some of the activities involved in the project meet the requirements for the farming exemption under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.8(c), those activities do not lose their exempt status merely by virtue of being part of a project authorized under general permit 16.

(j) Activities under general permit 16 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.17 General permit 17--Trails and boardwalks

(a) General permit 17 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters necessary for construction of a trail and/or boardwalk for use by pedestrians, bicycles, and other non-motorized methods of transport. General permit 17 does not authorize construction of a restroom, gazebo, rain shelter, or any covered or enclosed structure. General permit 17 does not authorize construction of a roadway for use by automobiles, golf carts, motorcycles, motorized trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles, or other motor vehicles.

(b) The total area of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters disturbed under general permit 17 shall not exceed one quarter acre, except that this limit shall not apply to a site that is publicly owned.

(c) The trail or boardwalk shall be no wider than six feet, unless the applicant demonstrates that it must be wider in order to comply with the Barrier Free Subcode of the Standard Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-7.

(d) The trail or boardwalk shall:

    1. Be located and configured so as to minimize adverse environmental impact; and

    2. Incorporate features designed to educate the user about the importance of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and State open waters; for example, through signs identifying plants and animals or explaining hydrology, ecology, or other significant environmental features or phenomena.

(e) The permittee shall take all measures necessary to ensure that activities under general permit 17 do not interfere with the natural hydrology of the area, such as installation at grade or use of cross drains to allow the passage of water. The permittee shall minimize the impact of the activities on vegetation.

(f) An application for authorization under general permit 17 for a project on publicly owned land does not require an application fee under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-11.

(g) Activities under general permit 17 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.17A General permit 17A—Non-Motorized, Multiple-use Paths

(a) General permit 17A authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters necessary for construction of a non-motorized, multiple use path for use by bicycles, skate boards, rollerblades and other non-motorized methods of transport. General permit 17A does not authorize construction of a restroom, gazebo, rain shelter, or any covered or enclosed structure. General permit 17A does not authorize construction of a roadway for use by automobiles, golf carts, motorcycles, motorized trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles, or other motor vehicles.

(b) The total area of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters disturbed under general permit 17A shall not exceed one-quarter acre.

(c) The non-motorized, multiple use path shall be designed in accordance with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) “guide for the development of bicycle facilities”, published 1999, as amended and supplemented. It is available at www.communitymobility.org/pdf/aashto.pdf.

(d) The non-motorized, multiple use path shall be aligned to minimize impacts to wetlands, State open waters, and wetlands transition areas.

(e) The permittee shall take all measures necessary to ensure that activities under general permit 17A do not interfere with the natural hydrology of the area, such as installation at grade or use of cross drains to allow the passage of water. The permittee shall minimize the impact of the activities on vegetation.

(f) Activities under general permit 17A shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.18 General permit 18--Dam repair

(a) General permit 18 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and State open waters as necessary for the repair, rehabilitation, replacement, maintenance, reconstruction, or removal of a dam, as defined in the Department's dam safety rules at

N.J.A.C. 7:20-1.2.

(b) A dam that is currently serviceable may be repaired, rehabilitated, replaced, maintained or reconstructed under general permit 18. A dam is considered currently serviceable if it meets any of the following criteria:

    1. The dam is in use, that is, the dam is impounding water at a normal pool elevation for which it was designed, at the time of submittal of the general permit application;

    2. The dam is not in use, and has been out of use for no more than five years prior to submittal of the general permit application; or

    3. The dam is not in use, but has been out of use for up to ten years prior to submittal of the general permit application, but the applicant documents that public funding was actively sought for repairs during the ten years.

(c) A dam that is not currently serviceable, as defined in (b) above, may not be repaired,\ rehabilitated, replaced, maintained or reconstructed, but may be removed.

(d) Activities under general permit 18 are subject to the following limits:

    1. All activities shall be conducted in accordance with a permit issued pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:20 by the Department's Dam Safety Section in the Division of Engineering and Construction;

    2. There shall be no more than one acre of permanent disturbance of wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters. Draining of a State open water or freshwater wetland by removing a dam shall not be considered permanent disturbance under this paragraph;

    3. Temporary disturbance shall be the minimum necessary to comply with the dam safety permit;

    4. The permittee shall minimize adverse impacts on freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters through the use of best management practices including, but not limited to:

      i. Disposing of any excess soil, gravel, or other material immediately upon completion of construction. This material shall be disposed of outside of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, State open waters, and areas regulated under the Department's Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules;

      ii. Backfilling the uppermost 18 inches of any excavation with the original topsoil material;

      iii. Replanting the disturbed area with indigenous wetlands plants;

      iv. Stabilizing the disturbed area in accordance with the requirements of the appropriate Soil Conservation District; and

    5. A repaired, rehabilitated, replaced, maintained or reconstructed dam shall not deviate from its original structure, except for minor deviations due to changes in materials or construction techniques, or deviations required for safety reasons in accordance with the Department's Dam Safety Standards, N.J.A.C. 7:20; and

    6. Activities under general permit 18 shall not increase the normal water surface elevation over the historic elevation as of the date the dam was originally completed.

(e) If a dam is removed under general permit 18, and the dam owner also owns or controls any of the property containing the lake bottom, the Department may require the owner to execute and record a conservation restriction or easement in accordance with the requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.12 covering the lake bottom area. The conservation restriction or easement shall prohibit any development or regulated activity for five years from the date the dam is removed, in order to allow the stream corridor and associated wetlands in the lake bottom area to revert to their natural state. The conservation restriction or easement shall include the land covered by the lake bottom, and all associated wetlands, as they exist at the time the dam is removed. When the conservation restriction or easement expires, the Department's jurisdiction under this chapter shall be based on existing conditions on the site.

(f) Activities under general permit 18 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.19 General permit 19--Docks and piers

(a) General permit 19 authorizes:

    1. Activities in freshwater wetlands and/or transition areas necessary to construct or improve a dock or pier on pilings in order to obtain access to State open waters. General permit 19 does not cover docks or piers on pilings in State open waters because the placement of pilings to support a dock or pier in State open waters is not a regulated activity pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.2(c)5 and therefore does not require approval under this chapter; and

    2. Activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters, necessary for the construction of a public boat ramp. Private boat ramps are not covered by this general permit.

(b) All activities under general permit 19, when combined, shall meet the following criteria, as applicable:

    1. For a dock or pier, the activities shall disturb no more than one tenth acre of wetlands and/or transition area. Wetlands or transition area shaded by a dock or pier shall be considered disturbed for the purposes of general permit 19;

    2. For a boat ramp, the activities shall disturb no more than one tenth acre of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters; and

    3. For a dock or pier and a boat ramp on the same site, the combined activities shall disturb no more than one tenth acre of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters.

(c) A dock or pier shall be elevated on pilings so that it does not affect the hydrology of the surrounding wetland. In tidal wetlands that are subject to this chapter but not subject to the Department's coastal permitting program under N.J.A.C. 7:7 or N.J.A.C. 7:7E, a dock or pier shall be elevated at least four feet above the ground surface.

(d) The portion of a dock, pier or boat ramp that crosses freshwater wetlands and/or transition areas shall be perpendicular to the shoreline of the State open waters, unless a different configuration would cause less impact to wetlands and aquatic resources.

(e) A public dock or pier is a dock or pier which is open to all members of the public. A private dock or pier is a dock or pier which is not a public dock or pier.

(f) A private dock or pier shall meet the following requirements, in addition to the requirements at (b) through (d) above:

    1. There shall be no more than one crossing over wetlands and/or transition areas per lot for dock or pier access. If there is an existing dock on the lot, general permit 19 does not authorize another crossing over wetlands and/or transition areas for dock or pier access. However, general permit 19 does authorize improvements to the portion of the dock or pier that crosses wetlands and/or transition areas, within the limits in general permit 19. In such a case, the total disturbance resulting from the existing dock or pier and additions made under general permit 19 shall not exceed one tenth of an acre; and

    2. The portion of the dock or pier that crosses wetlands and/or transition areas shall be no wider than six feet unless the portion must be wider in order to comply with the Barrier Free Subcode of the Standard Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-7, in which case the portion shall be the minimum width necessary to comply.

(g) An applicant who proposes to build a public dock or pier shall, in addition to meeting the requirements at (b) through (d) above, ensure that the portion of the dock or pier that crosses wetlands and/or transition areas is no more than six feet wide unless:

    1. The portion must be wider in order to comply with the Barrier Free Subcode of the Standard Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-7, in which case the portion shall be the minimum width necessary to comply; or

    2. The primary purpose of the dock or pier is to provide group instruction or a similar function, in which case the portion of the dock or pier shall be the minimum width\ necessary to accomplish this purpose.

(h) An applicant who proposes to build a public boat ramp shall, in addition to meeting the requirements at (b) through (d) above, demonstrate that there is no feasible onsite alternative location that will involve less or no disturbance of wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters.

(i) Activities under general permit 19 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.20 General permit 20--Bank stabilization

(a) General permit 20 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters, necessary to stabilize the bank of a water body in order to reduce or prevent erosion. Examples of bank stabilization activities are the placement of gabions, rip-rap, or geotextiles along a stream bank. General permit 20 does not authorize the channelization of a stream or the stabilization of the bottom of the stream.

(b) The applicant shall use vegetative or bioengineering stabilization methods unless the applicant demonstrates that, based on the velocity and configuration of the channel or other factors, the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey at N.J.A.C. 2:90 require other methods. (c) The total cumulative length of water body bank affected by bank stabilization activities under general permit 20 shall meet the applicable length limit below in this subsection. These limits apply to the total linear footage of stream bank affected, regardless of which side of the stream it is on, or whether the activities are contiguous. For example, a bank stabilization using only rip-rap could disturb one bank of a stream for a distance of 150 feet, or both banks for 75 feet. The applicable length limits are as follows:

(c) The total cumulative length of water body bank affected by bank stabilization activities under general permit 20 shall meet the applicable length limit below. These limits apply to the total linear footage of stream bank affected, regardless of which side of the stream it is on, or whether the activities are contiguous. For example, a bank stabilization using only rip-rap could disturb one bank of a stream for a distance of 150 feet, or both banks for 75 feet. The applicable length limits are as follows:

    1. For bank stabilization activities involving the placement of rip-rap, no more than 150 feet of stream bank;

    2. For the following bank stabilization activities, no more than 300 feet of stream bank:

      i. Soil bioengineering systems for stream bank stabilization set forth at, and performed in accordance with, 650.1601(d)(2) in Chapter 16 of the NRCS Engineering Field Handbook, published December 1996, incorporated herein by reference as amended and supplemented; and

      ii. Soil bioengineering systems not included in (c)2i above but approved by the Department in writing, which are appropriate to the site and which provide environmental benefits similar to those provided by the measures in (c)2i above. Examples of such measures are the placement of coconut fiber rolls or sand filled textile containers, parallel to the shoreline of a stream bank; and

    3. For bank stabilization activities that meet the following criteria, no more than 500 feet of stream bank:

      i. The activities are funded by the Department's Division of Watershed Management, or are included on an "action now" list, prepared for each region of the State by the Division of Watershed Management. These "action now" lists are available from the Division of Watershed Management at (609) 984-0058; and

      ii. The stream bank is not located in an area that has a threatened or endangered species associated with its wetlands; and

    4. For vegetative planting measures for stream bank stabilization set forth at, and performed in accordance with, 650.1601(d)(1) in Chapter 16 of the NRCS Engineering Field Handbook, there is no length limit.

(d) The bank stabilization activities described in (c) above may be used in combination. For example, a bank stabilization project might involve 100 feet of rip-rap authorized under (c)1 above, 300 feet of soil bioengineering authorized under (c)2i above, and 400 feet of vegetative planting measures authorized under (c)3i above.

(e) A permittee shall minimize environmental impacts as follows:

    1. Activities under general permit 20 shall not impair surface water flow into or out of any wetland area;

    2. If wetlands or transition areas must be disturbed to provide access to stabilization activities, the area disturbed shall be the minimum necessary, and shall be no wider than 20 feet at any point;

    3. The Department shall allow replacement of previously eroded material as part of the bank stabilization only if the applicant demonstrates that such replacement would be environmentally beneficial;

    4. Activities under general permit 20 shall comply with the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey at N.J.A.C. 2:90;

    5. The activity shall be a single and complete project, not associated with any other regulated activity. For example, the bank stabilization activity cannot be conducted at the same location as a minor road crossing or a stormwater outfall structure; and

    6. The amount of rip-rap or other stabilization material placed shall be the minimum necessary to prevent erosion, and shall not exceed 150 cubic yards of fill below the top of bank or high water mark, unless a larger amount is required in order to comply with the Standards for Soil Erosion and Sediment Control in New Jersey at N.J.A.C. 2:90.

(f) Activities under general permit 20 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.21 General permit 21--Above ground utility lines

(a) General permit 21 authorizes the following activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters, necessary for the construction of an above ground utility line, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4:

    1. Installation of poles, towers, or other supports from which to suspend a pipe, wire or cable;

    2. Construction of a pad mounted transformer;

    3. Placement of an above ground pipe, wire or cable;

    4. Clearing of vegetation under and around utility lines, within the limits at (b) below; and

    5. Minor, temporary disturbances, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7: 7A-1.4, necessary for access during construction.

(b) Activities under general permit 21 shall comply with the following limits:

    1. Temporary disturbance of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters during construction shall be no more than sixty feet wide, including vegetative clearing and disturbance for access under (a)5 above; and

    2. Permanent disturbance of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters, including the area of vegetative clearing to be maintained underneath the utility line. For the purposes of this subsection, installation of a utility line in scrub shrub or emergent wetlands shall not be considered permanent disturbance. Permanent disturbance shall be:

      i. No greater than 0.5 acre; and

      ii. No wider than twenty feet, unless the applicant demonstrates that a wider disturbance is necessary to comply with applicable laws.

(c) Activities under general permit 21 shall not interfere with the natural hydrologic characteristics of the wetland, transition area, or State open water. The applicant shall place the utility line on pilings if necessary, in order to satisfy this condition.

(d) After the utility line is constructed, any freshwater wetlands, transition areas, or State open waters disturbed, which are not within the cleared area to be maintained under (b)2 above, shall be allowed to revert to their natural condition.

(e) Mitigation shall be performed for all permanent loss and/or disturbance of 0.1 acres or greater of freshwater wetlands or State open waters. Mitigation shall be performed for permanent loss and/or disturbance of less than 0.1 acres of freshwater wetlands or State open waters unless the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all activities have been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands. For purposes of this subsection, “minimize” means that the project is configured so that most or all of it is contained in the uplands on the site, and that the wetlands are avoided to the greatest extent possible. An applicant is not required to reduce the scope of the project or to consider offsite alternatives to comply with this requirement.

1. The mitigation shall meet the substantive and procedural requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.5 and shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval no later than 120 days prior to the initiation of regulated activities authorized by this general permit. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with general permit activities.

(f) Activities under general permit 21 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.22 (RESERVED)


7:7A-5.23 General permit 23--Expansion of cranberry growing operations in the Pinelands

(a) General permit 23 authorizes the expansion of certain cranberry growing operations in the Pinelands. To be eligible for authorization under the general permit, the cranberry growing operation must be a single, discrete legal entity that, prior to the date general permit 23 becomes operative under (u) below:

    1. Is located in the Pinelands, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:50-2.11;

    2. Is in active cranberry production; and

    3. Was reported as a cranberry growing operation to the United States Department of Agriculture Cranberry Marketing Committee under the Federal Cranberry Marketing Order (7 C.F.R. Part 929, as amended).

(b) Activities authorized under general permit 23 include, but are not limited to, the construction or expansion of a bog, reservoir, canal, ditch, dike, tail water recovery system, water quality improvement system, or other similar support type facility. General permit 23 does not authorize:

    1. Construction or expansion of maintenance or storage sheds;

    2. Construction or expansion of housing; or

    3. Establishment of new sites for storing or stockpiling sand or other materials.

(c) The Department shall authorize activities under general permit 23 only if the activities will be conducted on the area with the lowest number ranking on the list at (d) below, which is available and has the following characteristics:

    1. The area is water accessible, that is, has direct access to free drainage and can be directly served by existing sources of water, or can feasibly be connected to a water source. The Natural Resources Conservation Service can assist the applicant in determining whether an area is water accessible. To minimize environmental impact, areas which can reasonably be served by existing infrastructure are preferred; and

    2. Has access to a water supply with a minimum flow rate of 227 gallons per minute per acre (that is, one acre foot of water for every bog acre in production per day).

(d) For the purposes of general permit 23, State open waters and wetland types are ranked in the order that they shall be considered for use for the expansion of a cranberry growing operation, as follows:

    1. State open waters;

    2. Abandoned blueberry fields;

    3. Abandoned cranberry bogs;

    4. Abandoned agricultural fields;

    5. Freshwater wetlands dominated by emergent vegetation;

    6. Freshwater wetlands dominated by scrub/shrub vegetation;

    7. Forested freshwater wetlands that are not Atlantic white-cedar wetlands; and

    8. Atlantic white-cedar wetlands.

(e) For the purposes of general permit 23, if a freshwater wetlands area was forested, but the trees have been harvested within the five years immediately preceding submittal of an application for authorization, the area is considered forested.

(f) The Department shall not issue more than one authorization under general permit 23 per year to a single cranberry growing operation.

(g) The Department shall not issue an authorization under general permit 23 for activities that will cause a net loss of freshwater wetlands at a single cranberry growing operation.

(h) The Department shall limit authorizations issued to any single cranberry growing operation under general permit 23 so as to ensure that the loss and/or disturbance of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters at that single operation meets all of the following criteria:

    1. No more than ten acres of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters shall be lost and/or disturbed in any one year;

    2. No more than ten acres of forested freshwater wetlands shall be lost and/or disturbed over the five year term of general permit 23; and

    3. No more than four of the 10 acres lost and/or disturbed under (h)2 above shall be Atlantic white-cedar wetlands.

(i) The Department shall limit authorizations issued Statewide so as to ensure that the total Statewide loss and/or disturbance of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters under general permit 23 meets all of the following criteria:

    1. No more than 60 acres of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters shall be lost and/or disturbed in any one year that general permit 23 is operative, except that if the Department authorizes fewer than 60 acres of loss and/or disturbance in any year, up to 30 acres of unused loss or disturbance may be carried forward to a subsequent year, but in no case shall more than 90 acres of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters be lost or disturbed in one year;

    2. No more than 300 acres of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters shall be lost and/or disturbed during the five year term of general permit 23;

    3. No more than 80 of the 300 acres lost and/or disturbed under (i)2 above shall be forested freshwater wetlands; and

    4. No more than 25 of the 80 acres of forested freshwater wetlands lost and/or disturbed under (i)3 above shall be Atlantic white-cedar wetlands.

(j) If an applicant proposes activities under general permit 23 that will result in the loss and/or disturbance of Atlantic white-cedar wetlands, the applicant shall, in addition to meeting all other requirements, demonstrate that there is no suitable upland area available, which is owned by the applicant, which the applicant could use in order to eliminate or minimize impacts to Atlantic white-cedar wetlands. For purposes of this subsection, a suitable upland area is an upland area which meets all of the following criteria:

    1. The area is water accessible, as described at (c)1 above, and has adequate water as required at (c)2 above;

    2. Soils of the area are composed of Klej, Lakehurst, Pemberton, Hammonton, Woodstown or other soil types that are somewhat poorly drained or moderately well drained, as defined in the applicable county soil survey, published by the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, as amended and/or supplemented;

    3. The seasonal high water table is within 24 inches of the surface; and

    4. All of the soil to be excavated can be used in the construction of new bogs and sanding operations, or, if the soil cannot be used for construction, a storage or disposal site is available.

(k) If an applicant proposes activities under general permit 23 in an Atlantic white-cedar wetlands that is larger than five acres, the applicant shall, in addition to meeting all other requirements of this section, submit a written statement from the Natural Resources Conservation Service that the activities will minimize, to the extent feasible, the impacts to the remaining Atlantic white-cedar wetlands.

(l) If an applicant proposes activities that will result in the loss and/or disturbance of more than one half acre of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters, the applicant shall transfer Pinelands Development Credits (PDCs) to the Department in accordance with the following:

    1. The applicant shall transfer PDCs in the following ratios to acres of loss and/or disturbance:

      i. For Atlantic white-cedar wetlands, four tenths of a PDC for every acre of loss and/or disturbance;

      ii. For forested freshwater wetlands that are not Atlantic white-cedar wetlands, fifteen one hundredths of a PDC for every acre of loss and/or disturbance;

      iii. For emergent or scrub/shrub wetlands, one tenth of a PDC for every acre of loss and/or disturbance; and

      iv. For wetlands that are abandoned blueberry, cranberry, or agricultural fields, or State open waters, zero PDCs;

    2. Each portion of the site that is one quarter acre or larger shall be assigned its own PDC requirement, and these requirements shall be summed to calculate the PDC requirement for the entire site. A portion smaller than one quarter acre will be given the ranking of the area surrounding it. For example, an applicant may have three acres of state open waters, and one eighth acre of Atlantic white-cedar wetlands surrounded by eight and seven eighths acres of scrub/shrub wetlands. The disturbance of the state open waters requires no PDCs under (l)1iv above. The one eighth acre of Atlantic white-cedar wetlands is smaller than one quarter acre and therefore is treated as part of the surrounding scrub/shrub wetlands. Under (l)1iii above, nine tenths of a PDC are required for the disturbance of the scrub/shrub wetlands. This would be the total for the site; and

    3. The total PDC requirement for the site shall be rounded up to the nearest one quarter PDC. Under the example at 2 above, the PDC requirement for the entire site is nine tenths of a PDC, which would then be rounded up to one PDC.

(m) The applicant shall transfer any PDCs required under (l) above to the Department, or to a nonprofit or governmental agency designated by the Department, prior to beginning activities authorized under general permit 23, and no later than 90 days after receiving the general permit authorization. The Department or its designee shall convey the PDCs to the Pinelands Development Credit Bank in accordance with the MOA established under (n) below, and shall use the resulting funds to establish and/or restore Atlantic white-cedar wetlands in the Pinelands.

(n) The Department shall enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Pinelands Commission and the Pinelands Development Credit Bank. The MOA shall include a general plan for implementing the Atlantic white-cedar restoration program required by this section, and shall:

    1. Identify at least one potential site for Atlantic white-cedar restoration;

    2. Include a requirement for at least one acre of Atlantic white-cedar restoration for each acre of Atlantic white-cedar wetlands lost and/or disturbed under general permit 23;

    3. Include clear success criteria for the Atlantic white-cedar restoration program; and

    4. Ensure that Atlantic white-cedar restoration efforts will not adversely impact existing areas of forested wetlands.

(o) To minimize impacts to freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters, a permittee under general permit 23 shall:

    1. Follow, to the maximum extent practicable, the management practices recommended by the Rutgers Cranberry and Blueberry Experiment Station;

    2. Stabilize all disturbed areas in accordance with the New Jersey Field Office Technical Guide, 1998 edition, as amended and supplemented, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), available from the NRCS at 1370 Hamilton Street, Somerset, New Jersey 08873;

    3. Use only suitable, clean, non-toxic fill material;

    4. Use integrated pest management techniques; and

    5. Design and carry out the activities to avoid irreversible adverse impacts on the survival of any local populations of threatened or endangered plants of the Pinelands, consistent with the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan at N.J.A.C. 7:50-6.27.

(p) The requirements of (c), (j), (k), (l), and (m) above shall not apply to the proposed activities under general permit 23 if the Department determines that the activities:

    1. Will improve water conservation or water quality; and

    2. Will result in a loss and/or disturbance of one half acre or less of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters at that cranberry growing operation during the five year term of the general permit.

(q) Each year, the Commissioner shall make a finding as to whether the pace of impacts under the general permit is proportional to the pace of Atlantic white-cedar restoration efforts. The Commissioner shall consult with the Pinelands Commission, and shall consider, among other factors, whether restoration efforts are making reasonable progress towards the goals in the Department's overall plan for Atlantic white-cedar restoration. The Department shall publish the Commissioner's finding as a public notice in the New Jersey Register by October 31 of each year:

    1. If the Commissioner finds that the pace of impacts is proportional to the pace of restoration efforts, the Department shall publish a finding of continuance of the general permit. A finding of continuance shall remain in effect until the next October 31 following the publication of the finding; or

    2. If the Commissioner finds that the pace of impacts is out of proportion to the pace of Atlantic white-cedar restoration efforts, the Department shall publish a finding of temporary hold of general permit authorizations, and shall stop issuing authorizations under general permit 23. A finding of temporary hold shall remain in effect until the Commissioner determines that the pace of impacts under the general permit has again become proportional to restoration efforts, and the Department publishes a finding of continuance.

(r) The Commissioner reserves the right (i.e., discretion) to modify, suspend, or revoke general permit 23 authorizations. Modification means the imposition of additional or revised terms or conditions on the authorization. Suspension means the temporary cancellation of the authorization while a decision is made to either modify, revoke, or reinstate the authorization. Revocation means the cancellation of the authorization. The Commissioner may assert discretionary authority by modifying, suspending, or revoking general permit 23 authorizations for a specific geographic area or class of waters, whenever the Commissioner determines sufficient concerns for the environment under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act or the Federal Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines, or if the Commissioner otherwise determines that the general permit would result in more than minimal adverse environmental effects either individually or cumulatively. Whenever the Commissioner determines that a proposed specific activity covered by general permit 23 would have more than minimal individual or cumulative adverse effects on the environment, the Commissioner must either modify the general permit 23 authorization to reduce or eliminate the adverse impacts, or notify the prospective permittee that the proposed activity is not authorized by general permit 23 and provide instructions on how to seek authorization under an individual permit. The Commissioner will restore authorization under general permit 23 at any time that the Commissioner determines that the reason for asserting discretionary authority has been satisfied by a condition, project modification, or new information.

(s) An application for authorization under general permit 23 shall be submitted within 90 days after the general permit becomes operative under (u) below. Within 180 days after general permit 23 becomes operative, the Department shall make a final decision on all applications submitted within the 90 day deadline. Thereafter, applications shall be submitted to the Department by January 1 of each year. The Department shall issue decisions on applications by March 1 of each year.

(t) If the Department receives applications for authorization under general permit 23 which would, if approved, result in a total Statewide loss and/or disturbance of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters that exceeds the limits at (i) above, the Department shall give priority to applications involving areas with the lowest number rankings on the list at (d) above, taking into consideration overall environmental impacts. If two or more applications involve similarly ranked land and similar environmental impacts, the Department shall give priority to the application submitted and determined complete under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-9.5(d) first.

(u) General permit 23 shall become operative as of the date that the Department publishes a notice in the New Jersey Register announcing that:

1. The Department has signed the Memorandum of Agreement required under (n) above; and

    2. Twenty-five thousand dollars has been deposited from public sources to the fund established by the Department under the Memorandum of Agreement for the implementation of the Atlantic white-cedar restoration program.

(v) In order to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., general permit 23 will be added to the list of general permits subject to coordination procedures with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Department's Memorandum of Agreement regarding the Endangered Species Act and New Jersey's assumption of the Federal 404 program.


7:7A-5.24 General permit 24--Spring developments

(a) General permit 24 authorizes activities in farmed wetlands, or in State open waters, necessary for the construction of a spring development or other structure that diverts or collects water for the purpose of watering livestock. Activities authorized under general permit 24 include the installation of a collecting trench, a cutoff wall, crushed rock, perforated tubing, and/or a spring box. General permit 24 does not authorize diversion or use of water for irrigation, or for any purpose other than watering livestock. The activities authorized under general permit 24 constitute soil and water conservation practices that are exempt in transition areas under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-2.8(c)1.

(b) Activities under general permit 24 shall disturb no more than one quarter acre of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters. Activities under general permit 24 shall not drain, or remove from jurisdiction, any additional or adjacent wetlands other than the one quarter acre directly impacted by the general permit activities.

(c) An activity is authorized under general permit 24 only if:

    1. The activity is necessary to implement a farm management plan developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and approved by the appropriate Soil Conservation District;

    2. The activity will be conducted at an established, ongoing farming, ranching or silviculture operation, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4; and

    3. The activity is located in a farmed wetland, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4, that is eligible for a farmland assessment under the New Jersey Farmland Assessment Act, N.J.S.A. 54:4-23.1 et seq.

(d) Any portion of a spring development from which livestock will drink, such as a watering trough or tub, shall be located outside of wetlands and State open waters.

(e) Activities under general permit 24 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.25 General permit 25--Malfunctioning individual subsurface sewage disposal (septic) systems

(a) General permit 25 authorizes activities in freshwater wetlands and transition areas necessary for the repair or modification of a malfunctioning individual subsurface sewage disposal system. General permit 25 does not authorize activities in State open waters.

(b) For the purpose of general permit 25:

    1. "Individual subsurface sewage disposal system" means a system for disposal of sanitary sewage into the ground which is designed and constructed to retain most of the settleable solids in a septic tank and to discharge the liquid effluent to a disposal field. This does not include outhouses, dry wells or similar facilities; and

    2. "Malfunctioning" means that the use is impaired, and the system is not functioning to treat sewage as it was designed.

(c) All activities under general permit 25 on the site shall disturb no more than one-quarter acre of freshwater wetlands and/or transition areas combined and shall be located on the same property where the malfunctioning system is located.

(d) The Department shall not authorize activities under general permit 25 if the need for repair or modification is directly or indirectly caused by an expansion of the facility the individual subsurface sewage disposal system serves, or by a change in its use, including a change from disuse or abandonment to any type of use. Any repair or modification of the system shall be limited to serve only those volumes of sanitary sewage, estimated in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:9A-7.4, that were approved prior to the malfunction.

(e) Activities under general permit 25 are not subject to the application contents requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10, except for the public notice requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.8, and there is no application fee for an authorization under general permit 25. Instead, an applicant for authorization under general permit 25 shall submit the following in writing to the Department, at least 30 days prior to starting work:

    1. A description and plan of the activities;

    2. The location of the site, including the county and municipality, and the block and lot, identified on both a regional map and a tax map; and

    3. A letter from the local board of health with jurisdiction over the individual subsurface sewage disposal system, stating that:

      i. The proposed activities are authorized under, and comply with, the Department's Standards for Individual Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems at N.J.A.C. 7:9A;

      ii. The proposed activities are not directly or indirectly caused by an expansion of the facility the individual subsurface sewage disposal system serves, or a change in its use; and

      iii. There is no alternative location on the site that:

      (1) Has a seasonal high water table deeper than one and one half feet below the existing ground surface; and

      (2) Can be used for a subsurface sewage disposal system.

(f) Upon receipt of an application under general permit 25, the Department shall process the application as follows:

    1. Within 20 days of the Department's receipt of the application, the Department shall notify the applicant if the application is not administratively complete (that is, if it does not include all of the information required under (d) above). If the Department so notifies the applicant, the time period in (e)2 below shall not begin to run. If the Department does not so notify the applicant, the application shall be deemed administratively complete 20 days after the Department receives it; and

    2. If the application includes all of the information required under (d) above, the Department shall have 30 days after receipt of the complete application to notify the applicant that the activities are not authorized under general permit 25, or that the activities may be authorized but require a full application review under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10. If the Department does not so notify the applicant, the application is automatically approved, to the extent that the activity does not violate other laws then in effect.

(g) Activities under general permit 25 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.26 General permit 26-- Minor channel or stream cleaning for local government agencies

(a) General permit 26 authorizes a county, municipality or a designated agency thereof to conduct activities in freshwater wetlands, transition areas and State open waters within their jurisdiction, necessary to remove accumulated sediment, debris and garbage from a channel or stream in order to remove obstructions to flow, or to desnag the channel or stream.

(b) To be authorized under general permit 26, a channel or stream cleaning, clearing, or desnagging project shall meet all of the following criteria:

    1. The sole purpose of the activities is to remove obstructions to flow, or to desnag a channel or stream;

    2. The activities are necessary and in the public interest;

    3. The activities will disturb only the channel or stream bed, and shall not disturb the stream bank or its vegetation, except in areas necessary to gain access to the channel or stream. Where access is needed, disturbance to the stream bank and its vegetation shall be the minimum necessary for access;

    4. The activities shall not alter the natural banks of the stream. Such modification may in some cases be authorized under general permit 20. General permit 26 does not authorize the straightening or realignment of a channel or stream. Straightening or realignment constitutes channel modification and requires an individual permit;

    5. The activities shall consist only of:

      i. The removal of accumulated sediment, debris and/or garbage from a channel or stream with a natural bed. General permit 26 does not authorize removal of material below the natural bottom; or

      ii. The removal of any accumulated material from a channel or stream previously channelized with concrete or similar artificial material;

    6. The permittee shall make every effort to perform work from only one stream bank;

    7. The permittee shall ensure that the use of heavy equipment within the stream channel is avoided to the maximum extent practicable; and

    8. The permittee shall ensure that vegetation and tree canopy on the more southerly or westerly stream banks is preserved in order to shade the channel or stream.

(c) If a channel or stream cleaning, clearing, or desnagging project involves removal of sediment, it shall meet all of the requirements at (b) above, and in addition, the affected portion of the channel or stream shall meet all of the following criteria:

    1. It is less than 500 feet long;

    2. The channel or stream bed is 15 feet or less in average width;

    3. The channel or stream has a documented history of flooding that is sufficiently severe so that the flooding results, or can result, in property damage necessitating the proposed cleaning, clearing, or desnagging;

    4. The stream is not classified as a Pinelands water or category one water under the Department's Surface Water Quality Standards at N.J.A.C. 7:9B; and

    5. The stream is not located in an area that has a threatened or endangered species, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4, associated with its wetlands.

(d) All materials, including dredged material, removed from a channel or stream during activities authorized under general permit 26 shall be disposed of outside of freshwater wetlands, transition areas, State open waters, and areas regulated under the Department's Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules at N.J.A.C. 7:13, unless the applicant demonstrates that this would cause more environmental harm than disposing of the material in these areas. For example, if removal of dredged material requires construction of a long temporary road through a very wet area to enable trucks to transport the dredged material offsite, this might cause more environmental harm than using a large blower to spread the dredged material thinly over a large area of wetlands.

(e) Activities under general permit 26 are not subject to the application requirements in N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10, except for the public notice requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.8. An application for authorization under general permit 26 shall include the following:

    1. The location of the affected portion of the channel or stream, including the county and municipality, and the block(s) and lot(s);

    2. A USGS quad map showing the affected portion of the stream;

    3. Color photographs and a brief narrative description of the affected portion of the channel or stream, including the access points where workers and equipment will be brought to the channel or stream;

    4. The classification, under the Department's Surface Water Quality Standards, N.J.A.C. 7:9B, f the affected portion of the channel or stream;

    5. A description of the nature of the project and the methods that will be used;

    6. A description of the disposal location and methods for all material that will be removed from the channel or stream;

    7. Documentation that the public notice requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.8 have been met; and

    8. A certification that meets both of the following criteria:

      i. The certification is signed by a licensed professional engineer who is the county or municipal engineer, or who is employed by the appropriate Soil Conservation District; and

      ii. The certification lists each condition in (b), (c) and/or (d) above that applies to the project, and states whether the condition has been satisfied or will be satisfied.

(f) Within 15 days of the Department's receipt of an application submitted under (e) above for a project that does not involve sediment removal, the Department shall do one of the following:

    1. Notify the applicant either that the application is not administratively complete (that is, that it does not include all of the information required under (e) above), or that the application is administratively complete but that the application requires a full application review under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10. If the application is not administratively complete, the Department shall request more information. If the application requires a full application review, the Department shall provide the applicant with the reasons for this. For example, an application may require a full review because of a sighting of a threatened or endangered species which must be investigated;

    2. Notify the applicant that the project does not qualify for authorization under general permit 26; or

    3. Take no action. If the Department takes no action, the channel or stream cleaning project is authorized under general permit 26 to the extent that the project does not violate other laws then in effect.

(g) Within 60 days of the Department's receipt of an application submitted under (e) above for a project that does involve sediment removal, the Department shall do one of the following:

    1. Notify the applicant that the application is not administratively complete (that is, that it does not include all of the information required under (e) above) and request more information;

    2. Notify the applicant that the project does not qualify for authorization under general permit 26; or

    3. Take no action. If the Department takes no action, the channel or stream cleaning project is authorized under general permit 26 to the extent that the project does not violate other laws then in effect.

(h) If the Department notifies the applicant under (f)2 or (g)2 above that a channel or stream cleaning, clearing, or desnagging project is not authorized under general permit 26, the Department shall provide the applicant with the technical reasons for the decision. If the Department's technical reasons are based upon the inability to determine the natural stream bed, the Department shall, at the request of the applicant, assist in identifying the natural stream bed.

(i) Upon completion of a project under general permit 26 that involves the removal of sediment, the permittee shall submit to the Department a written notice that the project has been completed. The notice shall contain a certification that meets both of the following criteria:

    1. The certification is signed by a licensed professional engineer who is the county or municipal engineer, or who is employed by the appropriate Soil Conservation District; and

    2. The certification states each condition in (b), (c) and/or (d) above that applies to the project, and states whether the condition has been satisfied.

(j) Activities under general permit 26 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.


7:7A-5.27 General permit 27--Redevelopment of previously disturbed areas

(a) General permit 27 authorizes the disturbance of certain degraded freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters necessary for redevelopment, as defined at

N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4, of an area previously significantly disturbed by industrial or commercial activities.

(b) General permit 27 authorizes activities only if:

    1. The activities are located in wetlands that were previously disturbed or were formed as a result of previous disturbance by commercial or industrial activities;

    2. The area is abandoned or underutilized;

    3. The area meets at least one of the following criteria:

      i. It has been identified on the inventory of brownfield sites compiled by the Brownfields Redevelopment Task Force pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:10B-23b;

      ii. It is the subject of a redevelopment agreement entered into pursuant to N.J.S.A. 58:10B-27;

      iii. It has been identified as an environmental opportunity zone pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:4-3.150 et seq.; and

    4. The freshwater wetlands, transition areas, and/or State open waters to be disturbed are significantly degraded by human disturbance or alteration and are of little ecological value. Examples of significantly degraded wetlands are those that have formed as a result of a landfill cap, ponding of contaminated ground or surface water, or as a result of demolition of structures on a previously developed site.

(c) Activities under general permit 27 shall be limited as follows:

    1. The activities shall disturb no more than one acre of a freshwater wetland, and/or State open water, which is not a water of the United States, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4;

    2. The activities shall disturb no more than one acre of a transition area; and

    3. The activities shall disturb no more than one-half acre of a freshwater wetland and/or State open water, which is a water of the United States, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4.

(d) Mitigation shall be performed for all permanent loss and/or disturbance of 0.1 acres or greater of freshwater wetlands or State open waters. Mitigation shall be performed for permanent loss and/or disturbance of less than 0.1 acres of freshwater wetlands or State open waters unless the applicant demonstrates to the Department that all activities have been designed to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands. For purposes of this subsection, “minimize” means that the project is configured so that most or all of it is contained in the uplands on the site, and that the wetlands are avoided to the greatest extent possible. An applicant is not required to reduce the scope of the project or to consider offsite alternatives to comply with this requirement.

1. The mitigation shall meet the substantive and procedural requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.5 and shall be submitted to the Department for review and approval no later than 120 days prior to the initiation of regulated activities authorized by this general permit. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with general permit activities.

(e) A disturbance authorized under general permit 27 does not count toward the one acre of disturbance allowed under multiple general permits under N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.4(a)2.

(f) Activities under general permit 27 shall comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-4.3, Conditions that apply to all general permits, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-13.2, Establishing permit conditions.

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Last Updated: January 9, 2014