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Freshwater Wetlands - Application Guidance
Non-tributary wetlands (General Permit 6)

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N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.6 General Permit (GP) No. 6—Non Tributary Wetlands*

When an isolated freshwater wetland (FWW) or isolated State open water (SOW) is proposed to be disturbed, filled, excavated or drained, a GP 6 is required.

In order to determine whether or not an area of FWW or SOW is isolated, 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 states whether there are wetlands on the property and where they are located based upon a site inspection. The LOI letter may, but may sometimes identify areas of FWW as isolated within the site. If an area of wetlands on the LOI looks isolated, but is not identified as such in the letter, it is assumed NOT to be isolated unless the owner/applicant can provide evidence that the area has no connection to a surface water tributary system.

A GP 6 may be combined with other general permits or permits provided the total disturbance of all GP’s do not exceed the one acre threshold for multiple general permits.

* A non-tributary wetlands is isolated freshwater wetlands that is not part of a surface water tributary system, which means an isolated wetland cannot be connected to and discharge into a lake, pond, river, stream, ocean, or any other surface water feature.

This page is for informational purposes only. Please see N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.6 for the precise rules concerning this General Permit.

Limitations for activities under general permit no. 6;

  1. No more than one acre (1.0 acre) of FWW and /or SOW disturbance where it is NOT a waters of the United States.
  2. No more than one half-acre (.5 acre) of FWW and/or SOW disturbance where it IS a water of the United States.
  3. If there is more then a half acre (.5 acre) of disturbance under a GP 6, it cannot be combined with any other general permit authorization on the same site (except with a general permit 6A, in which case the total disturbance cannot exceed one acre.) For example, 0.75 acres of disturbance of wetlands or State open waters under general permit 6 can be combined with 0.25 acres of disturbance of transition area under general permit 6A.
  4. For a FWW that is determined to be “Waters of the United States” [link to definition], any application proposing to disturb more then a half acre (.5 acre) of FWW and/or SOW, the department consults with the USEPA [link to EPA page] and/or ACOE [link to ACOE page] during the process.
  5. If there is more then one tenth acre (.1 acre) disturbance, then {mitigation}[link to definition] will be required if the FWW and or SOW are also “waters of the United States” [link to definition]. Please note the Department cannot issue an authorization under General Permit 6 until the mitigation proposal is approved, if one is required.
  6. A GP6 is not allowed in:
    1. An “exceptional” resource wetland;
    2. A SOW that is a “Special Aquatic Site
    3. USEPA priority wetlands; or
    4. A SOW larger then one acre (1 acre). All General Permit 6 approvals MUST comply with all applicable rule requirements (See requirements in the “Rules” tab.)

Mitigation: If any proposed disturbance within an isolated FWW or SOW is greater than one tenth of an acre, then mitigation will be required. (Please note the Department shall not issue an authorization under General Permit 6 until the mitigation proposal is approved, if one is required.) If mitigation is required, the applicant should submit as part of the general permit application a mitigation plan as part of the application. Mitigation must be performed prior to or concurrently with the General Permit No. 6 activities. Mitigation Webpage

Getting a GP6: If you believe that your project will require a GP6, 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. Please be advised that any application submitted must follow the procedures and information requireme. If you intend on applying for multiple freshwater wetland general permits, be advised that there are strict limits on what can and cannot be applied for, with a 1 acre cap on wetland disturbance for any one project site.

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 insure that you have all of the required information necessary to complete and process your application.

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

7:7A-5.6 General permit 6 - Non-tributary wetlands

7:7A-4.3 Conditions that apply to all general permit authorizations

7:7A-13.1 Standard conditions that apply to all permits

7:7A - 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.

Q. When do I need to obtain a Freshwater Wetland General Permit 6?

A. When the proposed activity will disturb isolated freshwater wetlands and /or isolated State open waters.

Q. How do I know if a wetland is isolated?

A. You may apply for a Letter of Interpretation from the Division, however a definitive decision may not be available to you from the Department until a GP6 has been applied for.

Q. Is mitigation required?

A. Yes, if there is disturbance to freshwater wetlands and/or State open waters of greater that .01 of an acre.

Q. Do I need authorization from the Environmental Protection Agency?

A. Yes, when there is disturbance greater than ½ acre of isolated freshwater wetlands or State open water, which is a “Water of the United States”. The EPA is also consulted to determine if mitigation is required for the proposed activity

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