Governor Phil Murphy • Lt.Governor Sheila Oliver
The sign is posted to inform anyone in the area that a particular area is an approved wetland mitigation area. No activities are permitted within the mitigation area including disturbance or removal of vegetation, dumping
, all terrain vehicle use, or any other activity not explicitly permitted when the mitigation bank was established.
Question 1: What is Mitigation?
Mitigation is ecological compensation for a disturbance to an environmental resource that is protected under the FWPA, CZM, or FHACA Rules. The types of environmental resources for which mitigation may be required include wetlands, wetland transition areas, riparian zones, intertidal and subtidal shallows, shellfish habitat, and submerged aquatic vegetation.
Wetland mitigation is currently required under the Freshwater Wetland Protection Act for some general permits and when an applicant receives an individual permit. Under the Coastal Zone Management rules, mitigation is required for all coastal wetland impacts. Mitigation is also required for some impacts to riparian zones under the Flood Hazard Area Control Act rules.
Question 2: Are there different forms of Mitigation?
There are seven methods for providing mitigation for permanent disturbances- restoration, creation, enhancement, preservation, credit purchase, in-lieu fee, and land donation. The DEP also provides a method for mitigating for temporary disturbances to certain resources
Question 3: What do the posted wetland mitigation signs mean?
The sign is posted to inform anyone in the area that a particular area is an approved wetland mitigation area. No activities are permitted within the mitigation area including disturbance or removal of vegetation, dumping, all terrain vehicle use, or any other activity not explicitly permitted when the mitigation bank was established.
Question 4: What is a Mitigation Bank?
A mitigation bank is a site on which a protected environmental resource has already been restored, enhanced, created, or preserved by a mitigation bank operator. The mitigation banker receives credits for the mitigation project that can then be sold to applicants who are required to provide mitigation in order to obtain a permit. Under this mitigation method, the mitigation occurs before the disturbance and is performed by a third party.
Question 5: If I want to establish a Mitigation Bank, what would generally be required?
An applicant, working with the Department, must determine whether a proposed mitigation bank is in an area of the State under DEP jurisdiction only or within an area where the Department continues to share jurisdiction with the Army Corps of Engineers. If a proposed bank is in an area of shared jurisdiction, an applicant must follow both the Federal mitigation banking rules at 33 CR parts 325 and 332 and 40 CFR Part 230 and the State rules at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-15.23.
For banks with no Federal jurisdiction, to obtain conceptual approval for a mitigation bank, the applicant should submit the following to the Department:
1. Information on the location, size, and environmental characteristics of the proposed mitigation bank site;
2. Information on previous uses of the site, including possible contamination and/or historic or archaeological resources;
3. The proposed mitigation alternative(s), for example, creation, restoration, and/or enhancement;
4. Whether the credits generated by the bank will be used solely by the mitigation bank operator, or will be available for use by others;
5. Maps, photographs, diagrams, delineations and/or other visual materials necessary for the Council to generally evaluate the proposed mitigation bank;
6. The names and addresses of all owner(s) of the mitigation bank site, and any proposed owner(s), as of the date the request for conceptual review is submitted; and
7. Unconditional written consent from the owner of the proposed mitigation bank site, allowing Council and Department representatives to enter the property and inspect the site.
To obtain final Department approval of a proposed mitigation bank, an applicant shall submit the information required by the application checklist.
Question 6: What is the Wetland Mitigation Council?
A body established under the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act at N.J.S.A 13.9B-14 to perform the functions enumerated at N.J.S.A 13:9B-15. The Wetlands Mitigation Council Administers the Mitigation Fund.
The Wetlands Mitigation Council's duties and functions include:
1. Reviewing the following:
-Proposed monetary contributions,
-Proposed land donations,
-Mitigation bank proposals; and
-Proposed county mitigation inventories;
2. Advising the Department on mitigation issues;
3. Buying land in order to conduct mitigation, or to preserve wetlands, transition areas, uplands, and/or State open waters;
4. Contracting with a charitable conservancy or appropriate agency to carry out its responsibilities;
5. Conducting research on mitigation;
6. Enhancing or restoring wetlands on public lands; and
7. Disbursing funds from the Wetlands Mitigation Fund to finance the activities listed at (a)3, 4, 5, and 6 above.
Question 7: What is the Mitigation Fund?
A repository for monetary contributions made for mitigation purposes, established at N.J.S.A 13:9B-14a and referred to as the "Wetlands Mitigation Bank".
Question 8: How do I get onto the Council Agenda?
In order to be placed on the Council's agenda, all supporting materials for consideration by the Council must be submitted to the Mitigation Council Staff at least sixty (60) days in advance of the applicant's targeted meeting date. Application materials should be submitted to:
Staff to Mitigation Council c/o
NJDEP Mitigation Unit
P.O. Box 420
Mail Code: 501-02A
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0420
Or, by calling the Mitigation Unit (609)-777-0454
Question 9: How do I get approval for my mitigation plan?
The Department strongly recommends that an applicant obtain the Department's conceptual review of any land being considered as a potential mitigation area, prior to submittal of a mitigation proposal involving restoration, creation, enhancement, uplands preservation, or land donation.
To obtain the Department's conceptual review of a mitigation area, the applicant shall submit a written request, including:
1. A brief description of the area and the mitigation project being considered;
2. A map showing Department staff how to find the mitigation area;
3. A USGS quad showing the mitigation area;
4. A county soil survey showing the soils in the mitigation area; and
5. Unconditional written consent from the owner of the proposed mitigation area allowing Department representatives to enter the property and inspect the mitigation area.
Question 10: When must the mitigation process commence?
1. Mitigation for a disturbance authorized by a permit, other than a temporary disturbance, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4, shall be performed prior to or concurrently with the permitted activity, and shall be continued to completion according to the schedule in the approved mitigation proposal;
2. Mitigation for a temporary disturbance authorized by a permit shall be started immediately following completion of the activity that caused the disturbance, and shall be continued to completion within six months after the end of the activity that caused the disturbance; and
3. Mitigation required as part of an enforcement action shall be performed in accordance with a schedule in the enforcement document.
Question 11: How long do I have to monitor? Why do I have to monitor?
Monitoring is usually required for five years. Monitoring ensures that: the mitigation site achieves the goals identified in the approved mitigation plan, the area meets the definition of a wetland, the target plant community has achieved its performance goals which are usually 85% coverage and 85% survival rate, and that it becomes a self-sustaining wetland in perpetuity, and that there is no more than 10% invasive species on the site.
Question 12: What are approved/accepted forms of financial assurance to restore, create, or enhance wetlands?
The Department shall approve a proposal for restoration, creation, or enhancement only if the mitigator or mitigation bank operator provides a letter of credit or other financial assurance that meets the requirements of this section, except that this section does not apply to a mitigation proposal submitted by a government agency, as defined at N.J.A.C. 7:7A-1.4; or an entity that is exempt from this requirement under Federal law.
A letter of credit or other financial assurance under this section shall be obtained from a firm licensed to provide such services in New Jersey. The letter of credit or other financial assurance shall be in an amount sufficient for the Department to hire an independent contractor to complete and maintain the mitigation project or mitigation bank should the mitigator default. At a minimum, the financial assurance shall be in the following amounts:
1. A construction assurance, equal to one hundred and fifteen percent of the estimated cost of completing the creation, restoration, or enhancement; and
2. A maintenance assurance to assure the success of the mitigation through the completion of the monitoring period, equal to thirty percent of the estimated cost of completing the creation, restoration, or enhancement.
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Last Updated: January 10, 2019