How It Works

How It Works

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Typical Timeframes

There are several steps in the process of getting waterfront permits and authorizations. Agencies are required to respond in a timely fashion, but processing time may depend on such factors as: the nature and complexity of a project, the completeness of an application, how responsive the applicant is, and how much time is necessary to complete the review required by law.

Waterfront applications that are incomplete or poorly prepared are often delayed. See our Advice section for tips on making sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Unless your project qualifies as a Type I SEQR project, and/or will require public notice procedures (and consequently longer timeframes), you can use the following guidelines, which apply to most projects.

Timeframes for Initial Review of Your Application

Once the agencies receive your application, there is a period of initial review. A full project review begins after each agency determines that your application is complete.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

requires a minimum of 15 days to determine whether it is complete and to request additional materials.

NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

may issue a Notice of Incomplete Application (NOIA) and request a resubmission if the application is incomplete or more information is needed.

NYS Dept. of State

begins a review upon receipt of all required application materials.

NYC Dept. of City Planning

usually reviews applications under the Waterfront Revitalization Program within the other agencies’ review timeframes.

Timeframes for Full Project Review and Determination

Once the agencies receive all of your materials and judge your application to be complete, they use the following timeframes as a guideline to review the content of the project and issue a determination:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The time it takes Army Corps to review your project depends on several factors, including the type of permit the project qualifies for, whether the project is routine or controversial, and the procedures required as a matter of law to evaluate each permit application. Army Corps’ timeframes for reviews, from submitting a complete application to obtaining permission, are as shown below.

Contact your U.S. Army  Corps Project Manager to determine timeframes specific to your project review.

  • Nationwide Permits: Approximately 60 days (provided there is a complete application that provides sufficient information to make a Nationwide Permit verification).
  • Individual Permits: At least 90 days. Public notice is issued within 15 days of receiving a complete application.
  • Public comment period: Normally 15-30 days.
NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

NYS DEC must notify applicants within certain timeframes about a determination. The following timeframes are regulated by the Uniform Procedure Act:

  • Most projects: Within 45 days
  • Large projects requiring public notice: Within 90 days
  • Large projects with public notice: A public hearing must be held within 90 days. A final decision must be made within 60 days of receiving a final hearing record.
NYS Dept. of State

Reviewing applications for consistency under the Coastal Management Program, the NYS DOS will provide determinations for:

  • Most projects: Within 30-60 days after receipt of all necessary materials.
  • Large projects: Within 6 months after receipt of all necessary materials. 
NYC Dept. of City Planning

NYC DCP usually reviews applications under the Waterfront Revitalization Program within the other agencies’ review timeframes.