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Freshwater Wetlands - Application Guidance
Landfill closures
(General Permit 5)

Overview | Application Guidance | Applicable Rules | FAQ


General permit 5 authorizes disturbance to freshwater wetlands, freshwater wetland transition areas and/or State open waters that are undertaken by the Department's Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste, or authorized through a solid waste facility closure and post-closure plan or disruption approval issued by the Department under N.J.A.C. 7:26-2A.9.

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.

Application Guidance

This page is for informational purposes only. Please see N.J.A.C. 7:7A-7.5 for the precise rules concerning this general permit.

General permit 5 authorizes a disturbance authorized through a closure plan, post-closure plan, or disruption approval only if:

  1. The activities that will cause the disturbance are necessary to properly close the solid waste facility and to properly maintain and monitor it after closure. For example, an access road necessary for landfill closure may be authorized under general permit 5, but an access road that is not necessary for landfill closure, but that will facilitate future development of the site, is not authorized under general permit 5; and
  2. The amount of disturbance is the minimum necessary in order to adequately close and/or maintain the landfill. For example, a disturbance for an access road through wetlands may be necessary to properly close the landfill, but the road shall be the minimum size possible.

Mitigation: There is no acreage limit on activities under general permit 5. However, mitigation shall be performed to compensate for disturbance of freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters authorized under general permit 5, except that mitigation is not required for disturbance of wetlands located on top of the landfill, or on the intermediate or permanent cover of the landfill. The mitigation shall meet the procedural and substantive requirements at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15. The applicant should submit as part of the general permit application a mitigation plan when required. Mitigation shall be performed prior to or concurrently with the landfill closure or disruption activities. Please note the Department shall not issue an authorization under General Permit 5 until the mitigation proposal is approved if one is required.

Getting a GP5 authorization: If you believe that your project will require a GP5 authorization, 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.  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)

Note: The Department has, for your convenience, developed an Application Checklist for General Permits. 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.

  • N.J.A.C. 7:7A-7.5 General permit 5 - Landfill Closures
  • 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 - 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 5 authorization? A. When the proposed landfill closure activity will disturb freshwater wetlands, freshwater wetland transition areas and or State open waters. Q. Is mitigation required?

A. Yes, except for disturbance to wetlands on top of the existing landfill or on the intermediate or permanent cover of the landfill.

Q. Do I need authorization from the Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste or authorization through a solid waste facility closure, post-closure plan or disruption approval?

A. Yes, in order to get an authorization under general permit 5, an applicant needs to show proof of an authorization as described above.




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Last Updated: April 12, 2022