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Enforceable Policies

photoUnder the CZMA, enforceable policies are state policies that are legally binding and by which a state exerts control over coastal uses and resources. The NJCMP’s enforceable policies include the regulations, statutes, and documents described below.

The following regulations are enforceable policies of the NJCMP:

The Coastal Zone Management Rules establish the rules regarding the use, development, and protection of New Jersey’s coastal resources. These rules are used in reviewing applications for coastal permits under the Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA), N.J.S.A. 13:19-1 et seq. (CAFRA permits), the Wetlands Act of 1970, N.J.S.A. 13:9A-1 et seq. (coastal wetlands permits), and the Waterfront Development Law, N.J.S.A. 12:5-3 (waterfront development permits).  The rules are also used in the review of water quality certificates subject to Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act. The rules also provide a basis for making recommendations to the Tidelands Resource Council on applications for riparian grants, leases and licenses.

The Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules implement the New Jersey Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, N.J.S.A. 13:9B-1 et seq. These rules provide stringent standards for activities that disturb freshwater wetlands, transition areas surrounding wetlands, and open waters.

The Stormwater Management rules implement certain requirements of the Federal NPDES Phase II Stormwater Permit rules and NJPDES stormwater rules, and also establish design and performance standards for stormwater management measures.

The New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) Rules establish the regulatory framework within which the Department regulates the discharge of pollutants to the waters of the State. Effective April 13, 1982, the following rules pertinent to discharges to surface waters are enforceable policies of the NJCMP: Subchapters 1, 2, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24 and 25.

The Meadowlands District Regulations effectuate the policies and principles of the Meadowlands District Master Plan. The following subsections of the regulations are enforceable under the New Jersey Coastal Management Program: N.J.A.C. 19:4-2.1, 2.2, 3.2, 4.22, 5.5, 5.8-5.21, 5.24, 7.1-7.10, 8.1, 8.6-8.9, 9.2-9.4, 9.8, 9.9, 9.11, 9.14-9.16, 9.19-9.26).

The following statutes are enforceable policies of the NJCMP:

photoThe Waterfront Development Law authorizes the Department to regulate the construction or alteration of a dock, wharf, pier, bulkhead, bridge, pipeline, cable or other similar development on or adjacent to tidal waterways throughout the state. Outside of the CAFRA area and Hackensack Meadowlands District, the Law applies in upland areas adjacent to tidal waters extending from the mean high water line to the first paved public road, railroad or surveyable property line. Upland jurisdiction extends from the mean high water line landward a minimum of 100 feet and not exceeding 500 feet. Within this area, construction, reconstruction, alteration, expansion or enlargement of any structure, or the excavation or filling of any area are subject to this Law.

The Wetlands Act of 1970 authorizes the Department to regulate activities on coastal wetlands that have been delineated and mapped by the Department. Examples of regulated activities include excavation, dredging, fill or placement of a structure on a mapped coastal wetland.

The Coastal Area Facility Review Act (CAFRA) authorizes the Department to regulate a wide variety of residential, commercial, public or industrial development such as construction, relocation, and enlargement of buildings and structures; and associated work such as excavation, grading, site preparation and the installation of shore protection structures within the CAFRA area.   The CAFRA area begins where the Cheesequake Creek enters Raritan Bay in Old Bridge, Middlesex County. It extends south along the coast around Cape May, and then north along the Delaware Bay ending at Kilcohook National Wildlife Refuge in Salem County. The inland limit of the CAFRA area is an irregular line that follows public roads, railroad tracks, and other features. The width of the CAFRA area varies from a few thousand feet to 24 miles. The CAFRA area is divided into zones with different regulatory thresholds for each zone.

The Hackensack Meadowlands Reclamation and Development Act regulates development of 21,000 acres of Hackensack River Meadowlands in 14 municipalities. The Act created the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission (renamed the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission in 2001) and set forth three mandates for the Commission (1) oversee the growth and development of the region; (2) protect the delicate balance of nature; and (3) continue to use the Meadowlands to meet the region's solid waste disposal needs.  Note: In February 2015, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission was made part of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

The Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act  authorizes the Department to regulate most development within freshwater wetlands and their associated transition or buffer areas.  .

The Law concerning the transportation of dredged materials containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) provides that the Department cannot permit or authorize the transport of dredge material for the purpose of disposing it in the state waters of the Atlantic Ocean if the dredged material exceeds an effects level of PCB of 113 parts per billion in worm tissue or a level subsequently determined by the Department to be more protective of human health or the environment

In addition to the regulations and statutes identified above, the following documents are also enforceable policies of the NJCMP:

The Meadowlands District Master Plan dated February 17, 2004 is the primary planning document for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority within the Meadowlands District. The Master Plan presents a cohesive set of planning principles and standards to guide future development while protecting the resources of the District. The following system plans and strategies are enforceable under the New Jersey Coastal Management Program: System 1 Natural Environment, Strategies 1, 2, and 3; System 2 Economic Development, Strategy 4; System 3 Transportation, Strategies 1 through 6; System 4 Housing, Strategies 1 through 4; System 5 Community Facilities; Strategies 2 and 3; and System 6 Historic Resources, Strategy 1.

The November 5, 2005 Memorandum of Agreement between the NJDEP and New Jersey Meadowlands Commission identifies the role and responsibilities for each agency in reviewing proposed coastal activities and development within the Meadowlands District.

The Department’s Technical Manual for Evaluating Wildlife Impacts of Wind Turbines Requiring Coastal Permits, dated September 2010 sets forth survey protocols to assess the impacts of wind turbines on birds, bats, and in tidal waters marine organisms. Specifically, the technical manual contains the habitat evaluation, impact assessment and pre- and post- construction monitoring guidelines that consist of survey protocols specific to the location of the wind turbine, on land or in tidal waters. The results of the monitoring are used by the Department to evaluate the impacts of wind turbines, determine the extent to which operations are causing direct mortality to birds and bats, and the effects of construction on marine organisms.


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Last Updated: September 29, 2023