Overview of Agency Jurisdiction

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Overview of Agency Jurisdiction

Federal, state and local agencies have different jurisdictions based on their mandates from underlying statutes, laws or regulations. Key boundaries or lines important to each agency are included on the infographics for the New York City Tidal Waterfront and Inland Waterways and Wetlands.

New York City Tidal Waterfront

See below for agency jurisdiction, permits, regulated areas and activities.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Regulated Areas

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
There are four types of permits for work and activities impacting tidal wetlands, tidal waters, and adjacent areas.

Tidal Wetlands Permits

Applicable Regulations: 6 NYCRR Part 661

Regulated Areas

  • All wetlands generally shown on the New York State Tidal Wetlands Inventory maps, and as designated by the NYS DEC. Wetlands boundaries are determined by DEC. Applicants should contact DEC to see if their property contains wetlands and can request a jurisdictional determination to see if a project on a lot containing wetlands is in or out of DEC’s jurisdiction. An applicant can coordinate with DEC to have them locate and flag the tidal wetland boundary on an individual property or project site.
  • The extent of adjacent areas vary, but their limits are generally within 150 feet of the wetland boundary per Tidal Wetlands Land Use Regulation (NYCRR Part 661), which also identifies existing site conditions including but not limited to shoreline structures, paved roads, elevations above 10’ NAVD and bluffs or cliffs which may cut off or limit the extent of an adjacent area.

Regulated Activities (see Part 661.5 for details)

  • Placement of fill, dredging, excavation, including beach regarding;
  • Construction of buildings, septic systems, bulkheads, docks, catwalks, piers and floating docks;
  • Restoration, reconstruction, expansion or modification of existing functional structures
  • Drainage
  • Mooring of a vessel to be used as a dwelling or commercial or public building
  • Installation of underground utilities
  • Any discharge of a pollutant requiring a SPDES permit
  • Subdivision of land

Protection of Waters Permit

Applicable Regulations:  6 NYCRR, Part 608

Regulated Areas

  • Navigable waters (seaward of mean high tide),

Regulated Activities

  • Filling or dredging in navigable waters
  • Construction, reconstruction, or modification of certain docks, mooring areas or other structures in navigable waters

401 Water Quality Certification

Applicable Regulations:  6 NYCRR Part 608

Regulated Areas

Regulated Activities

  • Any discharge into the Waters of the United States.

Coastal Erosion Hazard Area (CEHA) Permit

Applicable Regulations: 6 NYCRR Part 505

Regulated Areas

  • Natural Protective Features (NPF’s) including nearshore, beaches, bluffs and dunes, and Structural Hazard Areas (SHA’s) located landward of NPF’s found on shorelines which have a demonstrated long term average annual recession rate of one foot per year or greater. Both regulated areas are depicted on Coastal Erosion Hazard Area maps. If you would like to get an existing map to see if your property is within the coastal erosion hazard area, maps are available at Regional DEC offices and at local building departments of certified communities.

Regulated Activities

  • Construction, modification, restoration, or placement of structures (such as a building, permanent shed, deck, pool, pier, dock, wharf, groin, riprap, seawall, revetment, bulkhead, or breakwater)
  • Excavation, grading, mining, dredging and deposition of material or other disturbance of soil
  • Miscellaneous activities such as motor vehicle use and disturbance of bird nesting or breeding areas

Pursuant to Part 505, Regulated activity means the construction, modification, restoration or placement of a structure, or major addition to a structure, or any action or use of land which materially alters the condition of land, including grading, excavating, dumping, mining, dredging, filling, or other disturbance of soil.

NYS Department of State

  • Requires a federal consistency determination per the Coastal Management Program prior to issuance of any federal authorization or funding.
  • NYS DOS has jurisdiction over any federal action within or affecting the coastal area of New York State.

NYC Department of City Planning

  • Oversees the NYC Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP), reviewing applications for consistency with the WRP, and advising state agencies such as NYS DOS on waterfront projects.
  • Administers the WRP in conjunction with the NYC Planning Commission, in its capacity as the City Coastal Commission.
  • NYC Waterfront Revitalization Program covers the entire New York City shoreline

tidalwetlands

This graphic shows the approximate location (and relationships) of the water lines, boundaries, and geographical areas which feature most prominently in the regulation of New York City’s tidal waterfront. Terms are defined below.

Inland Waterways and Wetlands

See below for agency jurisdiction, permits, regulated areas and activities.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Regulates discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.

Jurisdiction over freshwater bodies to the Ordinary High Water Line (OHW) as well as any connected wetlands.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

There are three types of permits for work and activities impacting freshwater wetlands, water bodies, and adjacent areas

Freshwater Wetlands Permit

Applicable Regulations:  6 NYCRR Parts 663, 664

Regulated Areas

  • Freshwater wetland areas of 12.4 acres or greater as approximately shown on the NYS Freshwater Wetlands Maps or smaller wetlands that are designated by the NYS DEC as having unusual local importance.
  • Freshwater wetland adjacent areas, which include all lands within a distance of 100 feet from a regulated freshwater wetland.
  • Wetlands boundaries are determined by DEC. Applicants should contact DEC to see if their property contains wetlands and can request a jurisdictional determination to see if a project on a lot containing wetlands is in or out of DEC’s jurisdiction. An applicant can coordinate with DEC to have them locate and flag the wetland boundary on an individual property or project site.

Regulated Activities

  • Filling, draining or excavating, grading and dredging
  • Constructing buildings, roadways, septic systems, bulkheads, dikes, dams and docks
  • Clear-cutting timber and other vegetation

Protection of Waters Permit

Applicable Regulations:  6 NYCRR, Part 608

Regulated Areas

  • Navigable waters (seaward of mean high tide), protected streambeds or banks (up to top of bank)

Regulated Activities

  • Modification or disturbance of the bed or banks of protected streams that are classified C(t) and above, including removal of sand or gravel.
  • Filling or dredging in navigable waters
  • Construction, reconstruction, or modification of certain docks, mooring areas or other structures in navigable waters

Water Quality Certification

Applicable Regulations:  6 NYCRR Part 608.9

Regulated Areas

Regulated Activities

  • Any discharge into the waters of the United States.
  • In practice, however, 401 Water Quality Certifications are generally limited to discharges of dredged or fill material regulated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act or construction and operation of hydroelectric or major interstate transmission facilities licensed by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

NYS Department of State

  • A consistency determination from NYS DOS is necessary prior to the issuance of federal funding or authorization.
  • Jurisdiction: Any federal action within or affecting the coastal area of New York State.

NYC Department of City Planning

  • Oversees the NYC Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP), reviewing applications for consistency with the WRP, and advising state agencies such as NYS DOS on waterfront projects.
  • Administers the WRP in conjunction with the NYC Planning Commission, in its capacity as the City Coastal Commission.
  • NYC Waterfront Revitalization Program covers the entire New York City shoreline

 

inlandwaterways2

This graphic shows the approximate location (and relationships) of the geographical areas which feature most prominently in the regulation of New York City’s inland waterways and freshwater wetlands. Terms are defined below.

What does it mean?

Adjacent Area (AA)

Shall mean any land immediately adjacent to a tidal wetland within [certain limits, see 6 CRR-NY 661.4 for source text and diagrams].

Source:  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Mean High Water (MHW)

Average height of the daily high waters over a 19-year period. For semidiurnal or mixed tides, the two high waters of each tidal day are included in the mean. For diurnal tides, the single daily high water is used to compute the mean.
Source: US Army Corps of Engineers, Low Cost Shore Protection: A Property Owner’s Guide, 2004

Mean Low Water (MLW)

Average height of the low waters over a 19-year period. For semidiurnal and mixed tides, the two low waters of each tidal day are included in the mean. For a diurnal tide, the one low water of each tidal day is used in the mean. Mean Low Water has been used as datum for many navigation charts published by the National Ocean Survey, but it is being phased out in favor of Mean Lower Low Water for all areas of the United States.
Source: US Army Corps of Engineers, Low Cost Shore Protection: A Property Owner’s Guide, 2004

Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM)

The line on the shore in non‐tidal areas established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as a clear, natural line impressed on the bank, shelving, changes in the character of soil, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, the presence of litter and debris, or other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding area.
Source: US Army Corps of Engineers New York District, Regulatory Program Applicant Information Guide, 2014

Spring High Water (SHW)

The average height of the high waters of the spring tides is called spring high water or mean high water springs (MHWS)
Source: NOAA Special Publication NOS CO-OPS 1, TIDAL DATUMS AND THEIR APPLICATIONS

Upland

Beyond the FEMA designated 100 year flood plain.
Source:  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, In-Water and Riparian Management of Sediment and Dredged Material, November 2004

Wetlands

Under the Clean Water Act, the term wetlands means “those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.”
Source:  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, In-Water and Riparian Management of Sediment and Dredged Material, November 2004