N.J. Admin. Code § 7:7A-2.2 - Regulated activities in freshwater wetlands and State open waters

(a) The following activities are regulated under this chapter when performed in a freshwater wetland unless excluded under (c) below:
1. The removal, excavation, disturbance or dredging of soil, sand, gravel, or aggregate material of any kind;
2. The drainage or disturbance of the water level or water table so as to alter the existing elevation of groundwater or surface water, regardless of the duration of such alteration, by:
i. Adding or impounding a sufficient quantity of stormwater or other water to modify the existing vegetation, values or functions of the wetland; or
ii. Draining, ditching or otherwise causing the depletion of the existing groundwater or surface water so as to modify the existing vegetation, values or functions of the wetland;
3. The dumping, discharging or filling with any materials;
4. The driving of pilings;
5. The placing of obstructions, including depositing, constructing, installing or otherwise situating any obstacle which will affect the values or functions of a freshwater wetland; and
6. The destruction of plant life which would alter the character of a freshwater wetland, including killing vegetation by applying herbicides or by other means, the physical removal of wetland vegetation, and/or the cutting of trees.
(b) The term "regulated activity" shall also mean the discharge of dredged or fill material into State open waters, except for a discharge into a non-delegable State open water which is subject to the Waterfront Development Law, 12:5-3.
(c) Notwithstanding (a) above, the following activities are not regulated activities:
1. Surveying or wetlands investigation activities, for the purpose of establishing or reestablishing a boundary line or points, which use only hand held equipment and do not involve the use of motorized vehicles to either clear vegetation or extract soil borings. The clearing of vegetation along the survey line or around the survey points shall not exceed three feet in width or diameter respectively and shall not be kept clear or maintained once the survey or delineation is completed;
2. The placement of temporary structures (such as observation blinds, waterfowl blinds, artificial nesting structures, or sign posts) for observing, managing, or harvesting fish or wildlife, provided the structures:
i. Do not have permanent foundations;
ii. Do not require the deposition of fill material; and
iii. Have a footprint no larger than 32 square feet;
3. Placement of one or more small guy anchors that screw into the ground to secure a guy wire supporting a utility pole, provided that the area of disturbance caused by each guy anchor is no more than 15 inches in diameter;
4. Hand trimming of trees or other vegetation, provided the trimming does not alter the character of the freshwater wetland; and
5. The driving of one or more pilings in a State open water, if the pilings are not regulated by the USACE under the Federal 404 program. The USACE regulates the placement of pilings if the placement would have the effect of a discharge of fill material. Examples of activities that are and are not regulated by the USACE are:
i. Activities that generally do not have the effect of a discharge of fill material and thus are not regulated are:
(1) Placing pilings for linear projects, such as bridges, elevated walkways, and utility line structures; and
(2) Placement of pilings for piers or docks;
ii. Activities that generally do have the effect of a discharge of fill material and thus are regulated include, but are not limited to:
(1) Projects where the pilings are so closely spaced that sedimentation rates would be increased;
(2) Projects in which the pilings themselves effectively would replace the bottom of a water body;
(3) Projects involving the placement of pilings that would reduce the reach or impair the flow or circulation of waters of the United States;
(4) Projects involving the placement of pilings which would result in the adverse alteration or elimination of aquatic functions; and
(5) Projects where the pilings are intended to be used for structural support of a building such as a commercial or residential structure.


N.J. Admin. Code § 7:7A-2.2
Amended by 49 N.J.R. 3849(a), effective 12/18/2017

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