Development Near a Wetland

Typical Projects

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Development Near a Wetland

Construction projects in or near wetlands often adversely affect the environment in some way. Even renovation work near jurisdictional waters and/or wetlands can impact a fragile wetland ecosystem. Stormwater runoff is also a chief concern and cause of damage.

proj_wetland

If a project exceeds compatible land use regulations, applicants are required to examine alternative sites and project designs that avoid and reduce impacts to wetlands or develop plans to create or improve wetlands or wetland functions to compensate for unavoidable impacts to the environment.

Development Near a Wetland Project Details

Permits and Authorizations You’ll Need

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps)

Permits needed

An individual permit may be required. Nationwide Permits may apply to certain kinds of construction activities and structures. No review is required for renovation of buildings outside of wetlands.

First steps

Submit a Joint Application to the Army Corps so that reviewers can determine: a) whether your project meets the Nationwide Permit thresholds, or b) whether an individual permit is required.

Learn more: Army Corps permitting

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC)

Permits needed

Some combination of the following NYS DEC permits are generally required for building and development near wetlands:

  • Tidal Wetlands or Freshwater Wetlands
  • Protection of Waters – Excavation & Fill in Navigable Waters
  • Section 401 – Clean Water Act – Water Quality Certification
  • Coastal Erosion Hazard Area – (dependent on location)

Exempt

Private walkways are usually exempt from permitting

First Steps

  1. Does your property contain wetlands?
    Please see the links (below) on what to include and where to send a letter requesting a determination of whether or not a property contains a jurisdictional wetland:

    • Submit a letter with the street address and block and lot number of the property to: Region 2 (NYC) Environmental Permits: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/89000.html
    • For properties located within Breezy Point, include an aerial map showing the location of the lot.
  2.  Is your project location and scope within jurisdiction?
    The DEC may need to do a jurisdictional determination. Send the following to the NYS DEC Region 2:

    • Cover letter with project description
    • Joint Application Form
    • Permission to Inspect Property Form
    • Tax Map and/or Property Survey or Existing Conditions Map, if available.
    • Plans showing the proposed conceptual site design, project location within the property, limits of construction/disturbance including how they are accessing the site and storage of materials.
  3. Do you need a wetland boundary delineation?
    • Contact DEC to see if you need a wetland boundary delineation. DEC will coordinate with applicants/surveyors for a site visit to delineate wetland boundaries.
  4. Check on the legal status of all existing structures on the property, and resolve outstanding issues/disputes.
  5. Compatible projects design: The easiest and most efficient path to obtaining a permit is the submission of an application for a project that is designed to be compatible with agency (NYSDEC) policies and land use regulations. Note that adjacent area projects that do not comply with agency regulations, or where the scope is complex, may experience a longer review process, depending on the project scope, level of complexity and compliance with land use regulations.
  6. If your project is complex, DEC may coordinate a pre-application meeting with you and your project team. Be prepared to discuss project scope and bring concept plans.
  7. Submit a Joint Application with required NYS DEC materials. To find out what to include in your application, see the: DEC’s Waterfront Activities Application Checklist

Learn more: NYS DEC permitting

New York State Department of State (NYS DOS)

Review needed

A NYS DOS Coastal Zone consistency review is required for new construction of most structures. DOS reviews are not required for many projects which qualify as Nationwide Permits.

First steps

Contact the NYS DOS to discuss your project scope and requirements.

Learn more: NYS DOS Coastal Management Program 

New York City Department of City Planning (NYC DCP)

Review possible

A Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP) consistency review may be required.

First steps

Contact the NYC DCP to discuss your project scope and requirements.

Learn more: NYC DCP Waterfront Revitalization Program

Related Permits

Your project may require need other NYC DEC permits:

  • SPDES (State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Permit
  • Stormwater Permit for Construction Activities
  • Water Withdrawals

Once the above agencies have approved your project, you’ll also need to obtain any necessary building and construction permits from NYC Department of Buildings.

For more information, see Related Permits

Project-Specific Application Requirements

The following are specific application requirements for development near a wetland.

Project Description

Your project description must explain why it is necessary to build in the chosen area, and include:

  • Proof that the construction of the riprap is not likely to cause any measurable increase in erosion at the development site or other location; and that it prevents or minimizes adverse effects to natural protective features, existing erosion protection structures, and natural resources such as significant fish and wildlife habitats
  • Include a descriptive narrative for complex projects, such as those involving more than one activity, where variances are involved, or for residential subdivisions. If your project exceeds compatible use actions and thresholds, NYS DEC will generally require mitigation of unavoidable impacts to the environment. For more about NYS DEC Land Use regulations, see:

Guidelines on Drawing Information/
Content for Development in Tidal Wetland Adjacent Areas

See DEC’s Drawing Checklist for Development in Tidal Wetland Adjacent Area for a list of what to include on each drawing listed below:

  • Drawing Set Cover Sheet (recommended for projects with numerous drawings)
  • Site Location & Vicinity Map
  • Site Photos and Photo Location Map
  • Existing Site Conditions Map
  • Proposed Site/Project Plan
  • Cross Sections and Details

Agency Contacts

Army Corps

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NY District
Regulatory Branch, Room 1937
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278-0090

Phone: (917) 790-8511
Fax: (212) 264-4260

NYS DEC

Regional Permit Administrator
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Region 2
1 Hunter’s Point Plaza
47-40 21st Street
Long Island City, NY 11101-5401

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (718) 482-4997
Fax: (718) 482-4975

NYS DOS

Consistency Review Unit
Office of Planning and Development
New York State Department of State
Suite 1010
99 Washington Avenue
One Commerce Place
Albany, NY 12231-0001

Email: [email protected]
Phone (518) 474-6000
Alternate: (518) 474-6572

NYC DCP

Michael Marrella
Director of Waterfront and Open Space
New York City Department of City Planning
120 Broadway, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10271

Email: [email protected]
Phone (212) 720-3626

Resources

Land Use Regulations near Wetlands

Procedural requirements for specific types of activities near wetlands are listed on the following website pages on Westlaw:

Stormwater Management

New York State Stormwater Management Design Manual
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Technical manual for engineers, designers, and other professionals

Conserving Natural Areas and Wildlife in Your Community: Smart Growth Strategies for Protecting the Biological Diversity of New York’s Hudson River Valley
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Chapter 10: Stormwater Management for People and Wildlife includes introductory techniques for stormwater management