Freshwater Wetlands - Application Guidance
Hazardous site investigation and cleanup
(General Permit 4)
Overview | Application Guidance | Applicable Rules | FAQ
General Permit Number 4 (GP4) 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, removal, or remediation of:
- Hazardous substances as defined in the Department's rules governing hazardous substances at N.J.A.C. 7:1E, Appendix A; or
- Pollutants, as defined in the New Jersey Water Pollution Control Act implementing rules at N.J.A.C. 7:14A.
In other words, this is the permit to get if you have a contaminated site that you need to investigate or clean up.
In order to determine whether or not an area of freshwater wetlands, transition areas or State open waters may be disturbed by any proposed activity, detailed information about that wetlands and the site must be obtained, and an inspection of the property by a representative of the Department is required.
The Department offers a "Letter of Interpretation" (LOI), which is a document that may describe if there are wetlands on the property, and if so, where they are located.
There is no acreage limit on activities under general permit 4. However, disturbance must be minimized as much as possible while still being in compliance with the Department's Technical Requirements for Site Remediation, N.J.A.C. 7:26E and the Administrative Requirements for the Remediation of Contaminated Sites rules, N.J.A.C. 7:26C. The applicant must demonstrate, or provide a certification from a Licensed Site Remediation Profession, that the area of disturbance is the minimum necessary to comply with these requirements, as detailed in N.J.A.C. 7:7A-7.4(a)1.
Mitigation must 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.
Further information on wetlands mitigation can be found on our mitigation website, and by examining the regulations at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-11.
Mitigation proposals 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 will 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-11 are met, is approved. Mitigation must be performed prior to or concurrently with cleanup activities.
All freshwater wetland general permits must comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.7, Conditions applicable to an authorization pursuant to a general permit-by-certification or a general permit , and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-20.3, Establishing permit conditions.
If you believe that your project will require a GP4, and you do not know how to apply for one, we suggest that you visit "The Permit Process" section of this website for more information. It will give you a general overview on the ins and outs of permitting, and will direct you to the forms necessary to apply. l . If you intend to apply for multiple freshwater wetland general permits, be advised that there are strict limits on combining permits, with a 1 acre cap on disturbance for any one project site for most combinations (see N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.4)All freshwater wetland general permits must comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.7, Conditions applicable to an authorization pursuant to a general permit-by-certification or a general permit, and N.J.A.C. 7:7A-20.3, Establishing permit conditions.
Note: The Department has, for your convenience, developed an Application Checklist for general permit 4. Please follow carefully the requirements as outlined on this checklist to ensure that you have all information necessary to complete and process your application.
The rules cited in our standard approval letter under "Permit Conditions" for this general permit can be found below.
A direct link to the rules cited in our standard approval letter under "Permit Conditions" for this General Permit can be found below.
- N.J.A.C. 7:7A-7.4 General permit 4 - Hazardous Site Investigation and Cleanup
- N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.7 Conditions applicable to an authorization pursuant to a general permit-by-certification or a general permit
- N.J.A.C. 7:7A-20.2 Conditions that apply to all permits
- N.J.A.C. 7:7A-20.3 Establishing permit conditions
N.J.A.C. 7:7A - Link to entire rule.
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 Administrative Code. 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 Copy of Department Rules
If you do not see an answer to your question below, please use the Land Use Contact form on this website. We will make every attempt to answer your question as promptly as possible.
Q. When do I need to obtain a Freshwater Wetland General Permit 4 authorization?
A. An authorization under general permit 4 is required when you plan to investigate, cleanup or remove Hazardous substances as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:1E, Appendix A; or pollutants, as defined in the New Jersey Water Pollution Control Act implementing rules at N.J.A.C. 7:14A, in freshwater wetlands, freshwater wetlands transition areas and/or State open waters.
Q. Is mitigation required?
A. Yes, mitigation is required for all impacts authorized under general permit 4. See N.J.A.C. 7:7A-11 for mitigation requirements and procedures.