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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

New York Construction Stormwater Permit (6-NY-b)

In New York, a developer may need to obtain a State Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit (SPDES General Permit) from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for construction projects that disturb one or more acres of land, or are part of a common plan of development that will result in a disturbance of one or more acres of land, where discharges enter waters (surface and groundwater) of New York or a conveyance leading to waters of New York. N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0701; SPDES General Permit, at 1; 6 CCR-NY § 750-1.1, State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits; N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0505. Projects that disturb less than one acre may still need a SPDES General Permit if the New York DEC determines the existence of a potential for contribution to a violation of a water quality standard or for significant contribution of pollutants to surface waters of the state. 6 CCR-NY §§ 703 et seq.; SPDES General Permit, § 1(A)(2). A developer must also obtain a SPDES General Permit for storm water discharges from construction activities that result in a total soil disturbance between five thousand (5,000) square feet and one acre of land within the New York City Watershed located east of the Hudson River. SPDES General Permit, § 1(A)(3), Appendix C at 47.


The DEC holds authority to issue SPDES General Permits. N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0701; 6 CCR-NY § 750-1.1, State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits. A non-federal developer must have coverage under a SPDES General Permit prior to commencing with construction activities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only issues NPDES permits for facilities operated by the federal government. SPDES General Permit; 33 U.S.C § 1342.


Construction Stormwater Permit Process

6-NY-b.1 to 6-NY-b.2 — Does an Exception Apply?

A SPDES permit (Individual SPDES or General SPDES) is not required if an exception pursuant to 6 CCR-NY § 750-1.5, State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits applies. The exceptions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Any discharge in compliance with an order issued pursuant to New York - 6 C.R.R.-NY VI § 621 et seq. to implement a department approved inactive hazardous waste remedial site program provided that such discharge complies with the substantive requirements of a SPDES permit, or any discharge under any remedial or corrective action work plan approved by the department provided that such work plan includes public notification and response to the public equivalent to that required under New York - 6 C.R.R.-NY VI § 621 et seq., and provided that such discharge complies with the substantive requirements of a SPDES permit;
  • Additions of pollutants into a publicly owned treatment works (POTW) that are otherwise in compliance with this Part; provided, however, that this exception does not relieve any permittee from the obligation to comply with 6 CCR-NY § 750-1.11;
  • Water, gas or other material that is injected into a well, except a disposal well, to facilitate production of oil, gas, salt or geothermal resources, if the conditions apply pursuant to 6 CCR-NY § 750-1.5(a)(6); or
  • Dredged or fill material and dredge return water discharged into waters of the State except groundwaters, which are regulated under 6 CCR-NY § 750-1.5(a)(7).

For a complete list of exceptions see, 6 CCR-NY § 750-1.5(a).

6-NY-b.3 — Hold Pre-Application Conference (Optional)

The DEC strongly recommends a pre-application conference for first time applicants or for complex projects. The pre-application conference allows the applicant (developer) to explain the proposed project to THE DEC staff and to get preliminary answers concerning:

  • Project plans;
  • Application procedures, other THE DEC permits, other determinations, and other regulatory jurisdictions;
  • Effluent limits, and
  • Standards for permit issuance.

New York State – Department of Environmental Conservation SPDES Permit Program: Application Procedures; 6 CCR-NY § 621.5, Optional Preapplication Conferences.

Schedule a pre-application conference by contracting the appropriate regional DEC office and asking for the Regional Permit Administrator in the Division of Environmental Permits, or the Regional Water Engineer in the Division of Water.

6-NY-b.4 — Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

A developer must prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for each construction activity seeking SPDES General Permit coverage. SPDES General Permit, at p.18. The SWPP must document the selection, design, installation, implementation and maintenance of the control measures and practices that will be used to meet the effluent limitations outlined within the SPDES General Permit.

The SWPPP must include, at minimum, the following:

  • A description of the erosion and sediment control practices where required;
  • Background information about the scope of the project, including the location, type, and size of the project;
  • A site map/construction drawing(s) for the project, including a general location map;
  • A description of the soil(s) present at the site, including an identification of the Hydrologic Soil Group;
  • A construction phasing plan and sequence of operations describing the intended order of construction activities;
  • A description of the pollution prevention measures;
  • A description of post-construction stormwater management practices that will be used and/or constructed to reduce the pollutants in stormwater discharges; and
  • Assure compliance with the terms and conditions of the SPDES Permit.

SPDES General Permit, at p.18-23.

A qualified professional that is knowledgeable in the principles and practices of stormwater management and treatment must prepare all SWPPs that require post-construction stormwater management. SPDES General Permit, at p.18.

The developer must also comply with all other SPDES General Permit requirements regarding the SWPPP as outlined in SPDES General Permit, at p.18-23.

6-NY-b.5 — Notice of Intent (NOI) and Application Materials

Developers must file a completed New York State Stormwater General Permit for Construction Activity Notice of Intent (NOI), New York State SPDES General Permit Owner/Operator Certification Form, the SWPPP, the SWPP Preparer Certification Form, and all other NOI necessary attachments by mail or electronic filing to the DEC, at least sixty (60) days prior to the commencement of most construction activity. SPDES General Permit, at p.14.

A project may also qualify for a shorter timeframe to commence a construction activity. Refer to SPDES General Permit, at p.14 for details.

A NOI must contain, at minimum, the following:

  • Name of landowner(s) and principal operator(s) and contact information;
  • Project location information, description of construction project, projected date of construction commencement and final stabilization;
  • Total acreage to be disturbed;
  • Name(s) of receiving water(s); and
  • Certification of accuracy of information submitted.

New York State Stormwater General Permit for Construction Activity Notice of Intent; 6 CCR-NY § 621.3, General Requirements for Applications.

6-NY-b.6 to 6-NY-b.8 — Review NOI and Application Materials for Completeness?

Developers must submit a complete and accurate NOI. In reviewing the NOI, the DEC ordinarily inspects the project site or facility and surrounding area to verify existing conditions, determine the accuracy of materials submitted, assess impacts of a project on the environment in the immediate and surrounding area, and determine whether the project satisfies applicable permitting standards. 6 CCR-NY § 621.6(b), Departmental Action on Applications.

The DEC may require a developer (applicant) to submit supplemental information that the DEC considers necessary in order to make a decision on the eligibility for, or the issuance or denial of, an authorization to discharge pursuant to the SPDES General Permit. 6 CCR-NY § 621.6, Departmental Action on Applications.

The DEC will mail notice of its determination of completeness or incompleteness to the applicant (developer) within sixty (60) days after receipt of the NOI and application materials. If the DEC determines the NOI and application materials are incomplete, the notice must include a description of the deficiencies and listing of all identified areas of incompleteness. 6 CCR-NY § 621.6(c)-(d), Departmental Action on Applications.

6-NY-b.9 to 6-NY-b.10 — Submit Notice of NOI

The DEC must provide notice of the complete NOI and application materials to the chief executive officer of the municipality in which the proposed project is to be located, and to any person who has previously expressed in writing an interest in receiving such notification. 6 CCR-NY § 621.7(a)(1), Public Notice and Comment. The DEC must also publish notice of the complete NOI and application in the New York State Environmental Notice Bulletin no more than ten (10) calendar days after the date of notice to the applicant (developer). 6 CCR-NY § 621.7(a)(2), Public Notice and Comment.

The developer must also provide public notice of the complete application (NOI) for a SPDES permit. The developer must circulate the public notice “in a manner designed to inform interested and potentially interested persons and any other state, the waters of which may be affected, of the application (NOI).” N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0805, Notice and Public Participation. Notice must include publication of the complete NOI and application materials in a newspaper. 6 CCR-NY § 621.7(c), Public Notice and Comment. The developer must ensure notice of the complete NOI and application materials is sent to, at minimum, the following:

  • All agencies, which have jurisdiction to fund, approve or are directly undertaking the project;
  • Agencies with which the DEC is required to consult prior to its determination of completeness, including but not limited to those responsible for historic preservation and coastal zone management;
  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency and other person and agencies as required for federally delegated permits; and
  • An affected states and Indian governments for new projects.

6 CCR-NY § 621.7(i), Public Notice and Comment.

The public notice must “include, where appropriate, the following:

  • The applicant’s (developer) name and address;
  • A brief description of the project or proposed project and its location;
  • A list of all department permits directly related to the project for which the application has been made;
  • The name and classification of the water body to which discharges are being made or are to be made;
  • The volume and type of the discharge authorized or to be authorized;
  • The name and telephone number of the DEC contact person for the project;
  • A statement that copies of the permit application, the exiting or draft permit, the fact sheet, the priority ranking system are available upon request; and
  • A statement that written comments or requests for a public hearing on the permit application may be filed by a time and at a place specified.”

N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0805(1)(a), Notice and Public Participation; 6 CCR-NY § 621.7(b), Public Notice and Comment.

6-NY-b.11- — Comment on Application (NOI)

The DEC must provide an opportunity for a thirty (30) day written public comment period for the SPDES Permit. N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0805(1)(b), Notice and Public Participation; 6 CCR-NY § 621.7(b)(6)(iv), Public Notice and Comment. The DEC may extend or reopen the public comment period. N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0805(1)(b), Notice and Public Participation.

6-NY-b.12 to 6-NY-b.13 — Publish Notice of Public Hearing (If Applicable)

The DEC may provide an opportunity for the applicant (developer) or any interested party to petition for a public hearing regarding the SPDES Permit. N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0805(1)(b), Notice and Public Participation. An interested party must petition for a public hearing during the public notice and comment period. N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0805(1)(b), Notice and Public Participation.

The DEC will evaluate the NOI and other application material and any comments received to determine whether a public hearing is necessary. The DEC must notify the applicant (developer) and all persons who have filed comments by mail within sixty (60) days of the date the application (NOI) is complete if the DEC determines to hold a public hearing. 6 CCR-NY § 621.8(a), Determination to Conduct a Public Hearing. The public hearing must commence within ninety (90) days after the date the application (NOI) is complete. 6 CCR-NY § 621.8(f), Determination to Conduct a Public Hearing.

6-NY-b.14 — Does the DEC Approve the Authorization to Discharge?

After review of the public comment, the DEC will make a determination for authorization to discharge. The DEC will mail the applicant (developer) an authorization to discharge determination, and if applicable an explanation for denial. 6 CCR-NY § 621.10(a), Final Decision on Applications.

6-NY-b.15 — Authorization to Discharge (SPDES General Permit)

The DEC must make a decision on the NOI and application to authorize discharge within:

  • Forty-five (45) days after the application was complete for minor projects, for which no public hearing was held;
  • Ninety (90) days after the application was complete for major projects, for which no public hearing was held; and
  • Sixty (60) days after the application was complete for all project, for which a public hearing was held.

6 CCR-NY § 621.10(a), Final Decision on Applications.

The developer may only discharge under the terms and conditions of the permit, after receiving written authorization to discharge from the DEC. 6 CCR-NY § 621.10(a), Final Decision on Applications.

SPDES permits issued in lieu of national pollutant discharge elimination permits are valid for a fixed term not to exceed five (5) years. All other SPDES permits issued are valid for a fixed term not to exceed ten (10) years. N.Y. Env. Cons. L. §17-0817(1), SPDES Permits.

Note, the DEC may require any discharger authorized to discharge in accordance with another general permit to apply and obtain an Individual SPDES Permit. 6 CCR-NY § 750-1.21(e), SPDES General Permits.

6-NY-b.16 —Appeal Decision (If Applicable)

Any interested person may appeal the Authorization to Discharge (SPDES General Permit) decision by the DEC pursuant to N.Y. Civ. Pract. L. and Rules §7801 et seq..

6-NY-b.17 — Notice of Termination (NOT)

The developer must submit a complete and accurate New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Notice of Termination after construction is complete. The NOT must include, at minimum, the following information:

  • The permit number for the project in which termination is sought;
  • The basis for submission of the NOT;
  • The name of the project and address (or a description of the location if no street address is available) of the construction site for which the notice is submitted;
  • Name and contact information of owner and operator (developer);
  • If the NOT is for only a portion of an ongoing construction, a description of the portion of the site to which the NOT will apply.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Notice of Termination.




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