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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

New York State Land Use Assessment Overview (13-NY-a)

In New York, a developer must consider the location and land use designations on certain land before constructing a hydroelectric project. For example, a developer may need to obtain a Freshwater Wetlands Permit and/or a Tidal Wetlands Permit for new hydroelectric facilities, hydroelectric transmission extension projects and any other project that may disturb a protected state wetland or adjacent area. In addition, a developer may need to obtain a Coastal Zone Consistency Certification if the proposed project is located within or might affect a coastal zone.


State Land Use Assessment Overview Process

13-NY-a.1 to 13-NY-a.2 – Will the Project Alter a State Freshwater Wetland or Adjacent Area?

A developer may need to obtain a Freshwater Wetlands permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) if the proposed project may alter the State’s freshwater wetlands or adjacent areas. “Freshwater wetlands” generally include lands and submerged lands (commonly called marshes, swamps, sloughs, bogs and flats) that support aquatic or semi-aquatic vegetation and have an area of at least 12.4 acres or, if smaller, have unusual local importance with respect to flood and storm control, wildlife habitat, protection of subsurface water resources, recreational uses, pollution treatment, erosion control, educational and scientific research resources, aesthetic appreciation, or as sources of nutrients, nursery grounds or sanctuaries for freshwater fish. New York – Environmental Conservation Law § 24-0107(1); 6 CRR-NY 663.2.

The DEC regulates activities in freshwater wetlands qualifying for protection under the Freshwater Wetlands Act and in adjacent areas generally extending 100 feet outside of the freshwater wetland boundary. 6 CRR-NY 663.2.

Freshwater Wetlands Permit:
13-NY-e

13-NY-a.3 to 13-NY-a.4 – Will the Project Alter a State Tidal Wetland or Adjacent Area?

A developer may need to obtain a Tidal Wetlands Permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) if the proposed project will alter a State tidal wetland or adjacent area. Tidal Wetlands Act, 6 CRR-NY Part 661.

Tidal wetlands include all of the State’s salt marshes, non-vegetated and vegetated flats, and shorelines subject to tides. The DEC regulates activities in tidal wetlands qualifying for protection under the Tidal Wetlands Act and in adjacent areas extending up to 300 feet inland from the wetland boundary, or up to 150 feet inland if within New York City. 6 CRR-NY 661.4. For more information, see:

Tidal Wetlands Permit:
13-NY-d

13-NY-a.5 to 13-NY-a.7 – Is the Proposed Project Located Within or Will the Proposed Project Affect a Coastal Zone?

Under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), a developer may need to obtain a Coastal Zone Consistency Certification from the New York Department of State (DOS) if the proposed project is located within or may affect a coastal zone. 16 USC 1456(c)(3)(A). New York Division of Environmental Conservation – SEQR Handbook: Table of Contents: C. Coastal and Inland Waterways Programs.

The CZMA defines “coastal zone” as “the coastal waters (including the lands therein and thereunder) and the adjacent shorelands (including the waters therein and thereunder), strongly influenced by each other and in proximity to the shorelines of the several coastal states, and includes islands, transitional and intertidal areas, salt marshes, wetlands, and beaches. The zone extends, in Great Lakes waters, to the international boundary between the United States and Canada and, in other areas, seaward to the outer limit of State title and ownership[.]” 16 USC 1453(1). For more information, see:

Coastal Zone Consistency Certification:
13-NY-c




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