The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) has issued a Draft General Permit for Freshwater Wetland Adjacent Areas (“Draft Permit”) authorizing construction activities in adjacent areas that previously required an individual permit. Authorizing these activities under a general permit rather than through the individual permitting process will benefit applicants by significantly expediting the application and approval process.
The Draft Permit will allow the following activities in previously-disturbed adjacent areas more than 50 feet from the boundary of NYSDEC-regulated Freshwater Wetlands:
- Demolition and removal of existing appurtenant structures;
- Construction of driveways or parking areas limited to 3000 square feet;
- Additions to existing structures;
- Installation of garages, decks, porches, sheds, pools, utility lines and other appurtenant structures;
- In-kind, in-place replacement of existing appurtenant structures, roads and associated utilities.
Applicants must comply with a number of conditions when undertaking work pursuant to the Draft Permit, including erosion control measures, requirements for the use of clean fill, and requirements that all necessary precautions be taken to preclude contamination of any wetland or waterway by environmentally deleterious materials associated with the project. The Draft Permit specifically states that it does not cover a number of activities, including: any wetland disturbance; any disturbance within 50 feet of the wetland boundary; any disturbance of greater than 0.25 acres; construction of septic systems; storage of hazardous liquids; demolition of an existing primary structure; or activities directly affecting listed historic buildings or districts.
Once the NYSDEC issues the final permit, an applicant may obtain authorization to start a project by submitting a Request for Authorization along with site location maps, sketch drawings showing all details and measurements of proposed work, 3 color photographs depicting the site of the proposed activity, and a Permission to Inspect Property Form. The NYSDEC will review permit applications and work may commence once the applicant receives the Project Authorization signed by NYSDEC.