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Division of Land Use Regulation
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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Streams & Rivers - The Flood Hazard Area Control Act

The Floodway

Development within the floodway is severely restricted. Generally, only development that must occur within the floodway is permitted, such as bridges, culverts, outfalls, retaining walls, water control structures, or bank stabilization measures. New buildings are prohibited in the floodway (except on piers in the Hudson River). Buildings are prohibited in the floodway not only to protect those members of the public that could be present in the building during a flood, but also to protect other members of the public (or other pre-existing structures) downstream from floating debris that could result from construction within the floodway. The regulations governing construction within the floodway are located at N.J.A.C 7:13-11.3.

When planning construction within the floodway, there are other portions of the Flood Hazard Area Control Act Rules to consider. Separate standards must be considered for work proposed in a channel or the riparian zone. Depending upon the nature of the project, specific standards may apply.

It is important to note that the floodway may also be located within the jurisdictional boundaries of other rules implemented by the Division. Therefore, additional rules that may need to be addressed include the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7A), the Coastal Zone Management Rules (N.J.A.C. 7:7), the Highlands rules (N.J.A.C. 7:38), and the Stormwater Management rules (N.J.A.C. 7:8).

The location of a floodway can be determined using one of the methods outlined in the verification section of the rules at N.J.A.C. 7:13-5.

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Last Updated: August 26, 2019