While many activities and projects are authorized under flood hazard general permits-by-certification, general permits, or individual permits, emergency situations sometimes make it impossible to undergo the full permitting process before starting activities. In these cases, the Department may issue an emergency authorization. The standards for issuance of an emergency authorization are located at N.J.A.C. 7:13-16. Refer to this subchapter for all applicable requirements.
As established by N.J.A.C. 7:13-16.1, the Department will issue an emergency authorization only if the person seeking such authorization demonstrates that a threat to life, severe loss of property, or environmental degradation exists or is imminent, and the threat, severe loss, or degradation:
1. Can only be prevented or ameliorated through undertaking a regulated activity; and
2. Is likely to occur, persist, or be exacerbated before the Department can issue an authorization under a general permit or an individual permit for the preventive or ameliorative activity.
Requirements for the issuance of an emergency permit are located at N.J.A.C. 7:13-16.2.
An applicant for an emergency permit must provide the Department with the following information by telephone, and in addition by fax, electronic mail or letter, if possible:
- The name, address, and contact information for the owner(s) of the property where the activity will take place and for the owner(s) of any other properties affected;
- A demonstration that the property owner(s) have given permission for the proposed activity;
- The location of the property;
- The nature and cause of the threat to life, severe loss of property, or environmental degradation;
- The date and time the person requesting the emergency authorization became aware of the threat;
- The nature and extent of the proposed regulated activity;
- The proposed start and completion dates of the activity;
- Photographs of the area where the activity will be conducted;
- If possible, a site plant showing the proposed activity and anticipated impacts to flood hazard areas and riparian zones; and
- Any other information necessary to demonstrate compliance with the Flood Hazard Area Control Act Rules.
Public notice and an application fee are not required at the time of the emergency authorization request, but are required with the permit application submitted after the completion of emergency authorization activities.
If all conditions are met, the Director of the Division of Land Use Regulation, or the Director's designee, will provide verbal approval of the necessary activities. This verbal approval will be followed within five working days by a written confirmation of the emergency authorization from the Department. Within 20 days of the verbal decision, the Department will publish notice of the emergency authorization in the DEP Bulletin.
The approved emergency activities must be commenced within 30 calendar days after the Department's verbal approval of the emergency permit, unless a different timeframe is specifically established by the Department. If the emergency activities are not commenced within the applicable timeframe, the emergency authorization will expire.
All regulated activities authorized under the emergency authorization shall be completed within 60 calendar days of the Department's verbal approval, unless a different timeframe is established by the Department. If the regulated activities authorized under the emergency permit are not completed in the applicable timeframe, these regulated activities must cease until an individual permit, general permit authorization, or another emergency authorization is obtained from the Department.
An emergency authorization may be modified or terminated at any time if the Department determines that it is necessary to do so to protect public health, safety, and welfare, and/or the environment.
The permittee must submit to the Department a complete application for an individual permit or a general permit authorization for the completed activities within 90 calendar days of the Department's verbal approval of the emergency permit, unless extended different timeframe is established by the Department. The application must include the following, in addition to the application requirements for the general permit authorization or individual permit:
- A demonstration that the regulated activities conducted under the emergency authorization comply with this chapter, or an explanation of why full compliance could not be achieved; and
- "As-built" site plans, signed and sealed by a engineer, land surveyor or architect, as appropriate, showing the regulated activities that were conducted under the emergency permit.
Upon review of this application, the Department may require design changes, restoration, and/or stabilization measures as necessary. Be aware that if any regulated activities not authorized under the emergency authorization or subsequent permit are conducted that such activities constitute a violation of the Flood Hazard Area Control Act Rules subject to enforcement action.