TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection has launched a new service that will allow property owners and their contractors to apply online for certain types of freshwater wetlands permits, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The public can now apply online for two types of general permits – GP-8, which allows for additions to existing houses, and GP-25, which allows for replacements of malfunctioning septic systems.
According to Martin, the e-permitting program “provid[es] property owners and their contractors with a more customer- friendly and easier-to-navigate way to apply for and receive rapid decisions on two common types of land use permits, while still requiring applicants to meet the same high environmental standards.”
The DEP for years has utilized on-line permit application systems for its air, water and underground storage tanks programs. Last year, the DEP’s Division of Land Use Regulation launched its first e-permitting system allowing the public to apply for two types of waterfront development permits in coastal areas – a GP-14 for in-kind bulkhead replacements and a GP-19 for dock replacements in artificially constructed lagoons.
For all of these permits, applicants are required to answer a short list of questions and certify their responses as truthful and accurate. A computer program will then provide, within minutes, an automated approval or rejection based on the answers to this application.
“E-permitting has proven very successful,” said Marilyn Lennon, assistant commissioner of the Land Use Regulation Program. “By their nature, these general permits are less complex but can tie up DEP resources that could be better used elsewhere, including on enforcement of our environmental laws. Applicants must still meet our tough environmental standards. At the same time, quicker DEP decisions on projects can save property owners money, time and aggravation.”
The DEP is also developing a program to allow applicants to submit wetlands delineations, know as Letters of Interpretation, through an on-line system. This system, expected to be available later this year, will allow the DEP to collect and store wetlands data on its Geographic Information System database, providing instant information to future property owners as well as neighbors on where sensitive wetlands are located.
Users may access the Land Use Regulation Program e-permitting system at http://njdeponline.com
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