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FHA General Permit 3: Bridge or Culvert Scour Protection by a Public Entity

  • Overview
  • Application Guidance
  • Rules
  • FAQ

Flood Hazard Area General Permit Number Three (FHA GP3) allows a public entity the ability to place rip-rap and other stabilization material within or along a regulated water (replacing material that has eroded away) in order to prevent the scouring of an existing bridge or culvert along a public roadway. This General Permit does not authorize the expansion or modification of an existing bridge and culvert. Furthermore, it does not allow filling in excess of that required to prevent the scouring of an existing bridge or culvert, as this can cause worsened flooding conditions on nearby properties.

Please note that the following restrictions apply for all Flood Hazard Area General Permit Number Three applications:

  • Project must be performed by a public entity and must be necessary for the maintenance and protection of a lawfully existing bridge or culvert along a public roadway.
  • The amount of stabilization material placed in the channel must be no greater than that required to prevent scouring of the bridge or culvert. Also, the stabilizing material must be placed in the exact location as the material eroding away.
  • The stabilizing material should consist of indigenous substrate where possible and should not obstruct flow in the channel.
  • Disturbance to the channel bank or riparian zone must be minimized to the maximum extent possible. Also, all cleared vegetation in the riparian zone must be replanted with indigenous non-invasive species where possible.
  • The vegetation canopy on the more southerly or westerly bank must be preserved for shading of the channel where possible.
  • Every effort must be made to perform the activity from one bank where possible.

In addition to the FHA GP3 and the Flood Hazard Area Individual Permit, the applicant may also consider Permit-by-Rule (PBR) N.J.A.C. 7:13-7.2(b)4. PBR (b)4 is not specific to bridge or culvert scour protection operations. However, it can be useful for the repair of a bridge or culvert’s existing eroding scour protection, provided no vegetation is cleared in an undisturbed riparian zone. Unlike the FHA GP3, the applicant need not be a public entity. See the FHA Permit-By-Rule section of this website for more information.

Should the applicant not qualify for the FHA GP3, then the applicant must obtain a formal Flood Hazard Area Individual Permit, subject to the technical standards of Subchapters 9, 10, and 11 of the rules at N.J.A.C. 7:13 et seq.

Lastly, if an existing bridge or culvert’s scour protection project is regulated under the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) rules via a CAFRA or Waterfront Development permit, then no separate Flood Hazard approval is required.  In such a situation, the applicant only needs to submit a report and plans demonstrating compliance with the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules as part of the CZM permit application. 

This page is for informational purposes only. Please see N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.5 for the precise rules concerning this General Permit.

As stated in the overview, a Flood Hazard Area General Permit Number Three does not allow for filling in excess of that required to prevent the scouring of an existing bridge or culvert. Such “filling in excess” activities constitute channel modification and require an Individual Permit pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:13-10.1 (C).

All Flood Hazard General Permits must comply with all applicable requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.1, and “General Permit Conditions” at N.J.A.C.  7:13-8.2.

Getting a Flood Hazard General Permit Number Three:  If you believe that your project qualifies for an FHA GP3 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. You will get a general overview of the ins and outs of the permitting process and will also be directed to the necessary forms you will need. Please be advised that any application submitted must follow the procedures and information requirements.

Note: The Department has, for your convenience, developed an Application Checklist for all Flood Hazard General Permits. Please follow carefully the requirements as outlined on the checklist for FHA GP3 to insure that you have all the required information necessary to complete and process your application.

A direct link to the rules cited in our standard approval letter for this General Permit can be found below.

N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.3 FHA General permit 3

N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.1 Standards applicable to all general permits

N.J.A.C. 7:13-8.2 “General Permit Conditions”

N.J.A.C. 7:13 - Index to the 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 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, How To Get a Paper Copy of Department Rules

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

No FAQ for this general permit at this time.

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Last Updated: January 9, 2014