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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection-Bureau of Flood Engineering
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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Vincent Mazzei, Jr., P.E.
Assistant Commissioner
Watershed & Land Management
401 East State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
PH: (609) 292-2178
FX: (609) 633-0750

NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Dam Safety & Flood Engineering
Bureau of Flood Engineering
Mail Code 501-01A
501 East State Street
PO Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420

Flood Mitigation Unit

The major goal of our the Flood Risk Mitigation Unit is to implement flood protection and control measures to protect life and property in New Jersey from the devastating effects of flooding. This includes both large federal and smaller state flood reduction projects.

Federal Flood Control Projects. Coordinate and assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the planning, design and construction of flood protection projects by obtaining all required State approvals and permits for the project designs. Schedule and attend meetings with the USACE, county and local government officials, and citizens group. Conduct field reconnaissance and surveys for and with the USACE, as necessary, in the planning and construction of flood protection projects. Review of economic analyses and engineering designs including hydrologic, hydraulic, structural reports and, construction plans and technical specification documents. Prepare applications and obtain all necessary State approvals and permits (LURP-SEP, IP; NJDOT; NJ Transit; Landfill Disruption; Site Remediation; Historic Preservation; Fish & Wildlife; Green Acres) required for USACE flood protection projects. Monitor and inspect USACE flood protection projects during and after construction to assure that project facilities are constructed and maintained in accordance with plans, specifications and operation manuals.

State funding for these federal flood control projects is through annual state appropriations under the HR-6 Flood Control project budget. Annual state flood control funding is used to match federal funding to the USACE, for annual operation and maintenance of existing flood control projects and for project administration.

Floodplain Mapping Unit

NJDEP Map ModernizationHistorically, New Jersey has taken a leading role in the development of a rigorous floodplain management program at the State level while supporting the same efforts at the Federal level with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Community Assistance Program Unit

Our office provides floodplain management assistance to local communities throughout the state through our National Flood Insurance (NFIP) Community Assistance Program.

State Authority

The Legislature of the State of New Jersey has in N.J.S.A. 40:48-1, et seq., delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote public health, safety, and general welfare of its citizenry. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is designated as the State agency responsible for coordinating Federal, State and local aspect of flood plain management activities as required under the provisions of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Five-Year Vision for Floodplain Management

The goal of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is to reduce threats to life and property through improved flood hazard information, enforcement of flood damage reduction regulations, and promotion of flood damage reduction activities including, and also exceeding, minimum NFIP standards. The challenge is to provide appropriate outreach in a State with 549 municipalities in the Regular Program. NJ is the number five state in the nation for the number of flood insurance policies.

Current Efforts.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection currently carries out its responsibilities under the Community Assistance Program with its current Floodplain staff within the Bureau of Dam Safety and Flood Control.

New Jersey has 566 municipalities with 549 participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. Maintaining an understanding of the requirements of the NFIP in each of these municipalities presents a considerable challenge, particularly when there is a high turnover rate among local floodplain administrators.

The program goal is ideally to reach out to each NFIP participating community over a five-year cycle through CAVs, CACs, workshops and technical assistance contacts.

Community Assistance Visits. CAVs are the most in depth form of contact with a local community. Because of limited staff we try to coordinate joint CAVs with Region II in municipalities with repetitive losses, high numbers of policies or losses, with new or proposed new development, with new floodplain administrators, and with known floodplain development problems.

The municipalities requiring a CAV are developed through negotiation with FEMA Region II, according to the standards mentioned above. When flooding occurs, it becomes necessary to revise priorities in order to visit flooded communities.

Community Assistance Contacts. CACs are short visits or telephone interviews. Sometimes a CAC results from a site visit to provide assistance with respect to specific development. Other times, they are targeted to communities that have not received an NJDEP or a FEMA contact in some time. General technical assistance contacts often become CACs due to the time spent assisting a community with a project.

Flood 2006Local Ordinance Assistance. New Jersey municipalities must formally adopt new and revised map panels and Flood Insurance Studies in order to legally enforce NFIP requirements. Due legal process requires that a community have a public process to adopt and enforce a Flood Insurance Rate Map and Flood Insurance Study. This requires communities to formally adopt by ordinance any new or revised map panel or Flood Insurance Study that affects land within its jurisdiction. To assure that New Jersey municipalities maintain the legal ability to enforce NFIP development requirements, the NJDEP works with local communities to help them maintain local laws that are compliant with NFIP regulations. In particular, NJDEP provides local municipalities with a model local ordinance and map adoption language, and reviews local ordinance amendments and replacements.

Workshops and Other Training. We provide an average of two technical workshops per year on NFIP issues. Most workshops are five-hour introductory level NFIP workshops for local code officials.

General Technical Assistance. One of the most important things the State does to support the NFIP is to provide technical assistance to local officials, property owners, developers, architects, engineers and surveyors with respect to development in a Special Flood Hazard Area. Such assistance results in development which is more flood resistant, and which is compliant with NFIP standards. Technical assistance contacts range from ten-minute telephone calls to detailed technical assistance on a project that can take days of staff time. Often a workshop results in a sudden increase in calls from community officials who now have learned enough about the NFIP that they want to call for additional information.

Assistance to Communities to join the CRS. Residents of New Jersey municipalities participating in the Community Rating System (CRS) have the possibility of receiving up to a 45 percent premium reduction. The New Jersey Dam Safety program, new state storm water management requirements, and the development of all hazard mitigation plans, provides CRS credits for all municipalities. We also encourage communities to adopt freeboard elevation requirements, which also provide CRS credits. Many municipalities in New Jersey are small and lack the professional support to fill out a CRS application, or do not have the flood insurance policy base to make it worth their while. However, we do reach out to communities during CAVs, CACs, technical assistance contacts and workshops to promote the CRS.

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Last Updated: March 17, 2021