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September 25, 2012

Re:    NJDEP Exemption from Permitting Requirements for Hurricane Irene Issues

Dear Mayor:

DEP Commissioner Bob Martin recognizes there was significant damage to certain public infrastructure from Hurricane Irene and an economic burden on public agencies to submit permit applications to the DEP for repair or replacement of the damaged structures. Therefore, on September 18 the Commissioner issued Administrative Order (AO) #2012-09, exempting State, County and Municipal agencies from DEP’s formal permit procedures for a specific category of emergency activities relative to public infrastructure. This Administrative Order applies strictly to damage resulting from Hurricane Irene and immediate subsequent flooding events. 

The Administrative Order provides for emergency activities which may have been completed or need to be completed as outlined below:

  • In-kind repair or in-kind replacement of certain public infrastructure (public roadways,      railroads, culverts, bridges, utility lines, outfall structures, stormwater management      structures, bulkheads and other similar shore-line stabilization structures).
  • Repair of scoured areas directly adjacent to a bridge, culvert or public roadway. The scope of repair is limited to that area which has recently washed away.
  • Repair and reconstruction of a public roadway including the stabilization or re-construction of the road-bed and associated embankments.

 The AO does not provide for emergency activities to be performed outside the footprint of the legally pre-existing structure. That is, “in-kind repair or replacement” does not include a re-designed bridge or culvert that is hydraulically different from the original structure.  Furthermore, the AO does not provide for new stream bank stabilization projects such as hard armoring or rip-rap or for stream cleaning projects. 

The AO applies only to projects that were begun under an emergency DEP authorization after the Hurricane Irene hit or those that are currently under way as a result of Irene and the immediately subsequent storms. Local governments will be required to document the work done and submit a certification by an engineer that the infrastructure was replaced without any modifications. Please refer to the attached Administrative Order and Frequently Asked Questions to assist you in your review and determination of whether you are eligible for the activities defined under the AO.

You can find more information here:

If you have specific questions regarding emergency activities in your jurisdiction, please contact Richard Langbein (for Mercer County and north) at or Keith Stampfel (for Monmouth County and south) at  If you have general questions regarding the Administrative Order, please contact Ryan Anderson at

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director




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