Agencies, Permits, and Reviews
Before you can begin construction or work on a waterfront project in New York City, you will need one or more permits or authorizations from federal, state, and local agencies.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps)
The Army Corps provides different types of reviews and permission, depending on the nature of the proposed project and issues:
- Standard Individual permits
- Letters of Permission
- Nationwide Permit verifications
The Army Corps team reviews each project and decides the appropriate form of permit or verification for the project.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC)
Depending on project location, you will need one of the following NYS DEC permits:
- Tidal Wetlands
- Freshwater Wetlands
The NYS DEC may also require one or more of the following permits:
- Protection of Waters: to minimize disturbance of protected water bodies
- Coastal Erosion Hazard Area (CEHA): for specific areas on Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean shoreline prone to erosion
- Water Quality Certification (Section 401 – Clean Water Act): to ensure that federal permits do not violate the state’s water quality standards
New York State Department of State (NYS DOS)
The DOS administers the Coastal Management Program for New York State. It reviews those waterfront projects requiring federal permits in the coastal area of New York City to make sure the work and activities are consistent with the city’s Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) policies. These are known as federal consistency reviews.
New York City Department of City Planning (NYC DCP)
The NYC DCP together with the New York City Planning Commission manage the Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) for New York City. A WRP consistency review is required if NYS DOS is reviewing an applicant’s federal consistency certification, or, in certain circumstances, if a New York State agency such as the DEC has an action that requires review (for funding, permitting, etc.). WRP reviews are also required for local discretionary actions, such as rezoning.
In addition to the waterfront permits and reviews, several related permits may apply to your waterfront project.
Many waterfront projects will require a Waterfront Construction Work permit from New York City Department of Small Business Services (NYC SBS).