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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

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Freshwater Wetlands - Application Guidance
Surveying and Investigating (General Permit 12)

  • Overview
  • Application Guidance
  • Rules
  • FAQ

General Permit Number 12 (GP12) permits disturbance to freshwater wetlands, freshwater wetland transition areas and/or State open waters for surveying and investigative activities such as:

  1. Soil borings dug by machines;
  2. Hand dug soil borings larger than 3 feet in depth of diameter;
  3. Cutting of vegetation for a survey line that is no wider than 5 feet;
  4. Cutting of vegetation by hand for a survey line larger than 3 feet wide;
  5. Digging exploratory pits and/or other temporary activities necessary for a geotechnical or archaeological investigation

This page is for informational purposes only. Please see N.J.A.C. 7:7A-5.12 for the precise rules concerning this General Permit.

For surveying and investigating activities that are more extensive then outlined in the overview, you may require a General Permit #4 for Hazardous Site Investigation and Cleanup, or an Individual Permit.

Getting a GP12: If you believe that your project will require a GP12, 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 required. 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. Please see N.J.A.C. 7:7A-10.1 et seq. where this subchapter describes what the application contents and procedures are to be followed.

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-5.12 General permit 12 - Surveying and Investigating

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 12?

A. When the proposed surveying and investigation activity will disturb freshwater wetlands, freshwater S. wetland transition areas and/or State open waters.

Q. Is mitigation required?

A. Only in the unlikely scenario that there would be 0.1 of an acre of disturbance for these activities.

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Last Updated: April 12, 2022