Land Use Management
Division of Land Use Regulation

Notice of Rule Proposal
Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act rules, N.J.A.C. 7:7A

Public Notice
Take notice that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is proposing amendments to the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act (FWPA) rules to codify the process the Department uses to make determinations that an applicant has substantially relied on a Letter of Interpretation (LOI).  A statement of the substance of the proposal follows.

The Department includes a wetland resource classification as part of the letter of interpretation (LOI) process. That is, the Department identifies or confirms a wetland boundary and also assigns a classification to the wetland. The classification determines the width of the adjacent transition area, the permits that are available (certain general permits do not apply to exceptional resource value wetlands) and the criteria for permit approval (there are more criteria for approving an impact to an exceptional resource value wetland). The resource classification may change over time. For example, if a water classification is upgraded to trout production, or an endangered species begins to inhabit a wetland, the classification would change from intermediate to exceptional resource value and the Department would regulate accordingly. The rule proposal would establish criteria by which the Department would determine whether to require an applicant to comply with a new classification, if such classification changes, within the term of the LOI, based upon the degree of reliance an applicant has placed on the LOI.

The proposal is scheduled to be published in the April 6, 2009, New Jersey Register. The proposal can be viewed or downloaded(PDF) on the Department’s rules and regulations webpage. A copy of the proposal is also available by e-mailing the Department at susan.lockwood@dep.state.nj.us , or by calling the Department at (609) 777-0454. Be advised that there may be a fee for obtaining a copy of the proposal from some sources.

A public hearing concerning the proposal is scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009, at 2:00 P.M.
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Public Hearing Room
401 East State Street
Trenton, New Jersey

Written comments may be submitted by June 5, 2009 to:

NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Janis Hoagland, Esq.
ATTN: DEP Docket No.: 04-09-03/710
Office of Legal Affairs
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625