FEMA Coastal Flood Zone NJ

Yesterday (January 24), Governor Christie announced he was signing emergency regulations to adopt FEMA’s new Advisory Base Flood Elevation (ABFE) maps as the post-Sandy rebuilding standard,

 It is absolutely critical that we take this opportunity to rebuild NJ smarter and stronger in the aftermath of Sandy. That’s why today I am approving emergency regulations being proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) to help fast-track the rebuilding process

These regulations establish requirements to construct, reconstruct, relocate and elevate buildings and other structures in flood hazard areas. The provisions include:

  • Adopting the height and construction requirements in the ABFE maps as the state standard for reconstruction. The ABFEs are supposed to reflect the best available scientific data about 100-year floods.
  • Allowing property owners who rebuild to the ABFEs (plus one additional foot, as has been required by the New Jersey Flood Hazard Area Control Act since 2007) to do so via Permit By Rule (PBR).  This eliminates the need to apply for Flood Hazard Area Individual permits, saving several months of review time by the DEP, permit fees, and design and engineering costs.
  • Allowing “wet floodproofing” for non-residential buildings. Wet floodproofing means that a building may flood but will structurally withstand the water impact, which is necessary in urban areas such as Hoboken and Jersey City.

See the link below for the Governor’s statement and the link to the emergency regulations.