Department of Environmental Conservation

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Division of Environmental Permits

The Permit Management System

The Division of Environmental Permits manages a system of permits known as the UPA permits. These permits, under the Uniform Procedures Act or UPA, protect New York's air, water, mineral, and biological resources. Administering these permits requires that we inform the public concerning:

  • permit applications;
  • opportunities to provide information concerning a particular application,
  • opportunities to review and comment on any environmental impact statements and other documents that may become part of the application.
  • participation in any hearings concerning these applications.

We conduct comprehensive environmental analyses and assure timely and consistent decisions which balance environmental protection with social and environmental considerations. Our mission is: "To manage the Department of Environmental Conservation's permit system, provide related public information, perform comprehensive environmental analyses to assure timely and consistent decisions so that protection of the environment is balanced with social and economic considerations."

We receive your applications for those permits the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) requires for environmental protection and which are processed according to the Uniform Procedures Act (UPA).

After conducting a Department-wide coordinated review of the application, the environmental analyst assigned as project manager to your permit application issues a decision on your application. This usually consists of a permit issued with conditions for conserving natural resources and environmental quality.

Should an applicant seek approval of an action that the Department cannot reconcile with the laws protecting natural resources and environmental quality, the application is denied. The UPA, implemented according to Part 621 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations, provides the recourse of a hearing when an application is denied.

SEQR responsibilities: In addition to the permitting responsibilities described above, we oversee the Department's implementation of the State Environmental Quality Review Act. We also help other state agencies and local governments carry out their responsibilities under SEQR. We help local governments make environmental assessments. SEQR is implemented according to Part 617 of the New York Code of Rules and Regulations.

We provide regulatory oversight for the Department, striving for increased regulatory efficiency and plain language.

Note to Prospective Applicants: We will arrange a pre-application conference at your request. During this conference you present your proposed project to the environmental program staff who later review your permit application. We will help you understand the regulatory requirements which may constrain your project to protect the environment. If you avail yourself of this opportunity to acquaint our staff with your proposal, they will be better able to help you plan to meet these regulatory requirements while reaching your own objectives.

Benefits to the Public: "One-stop shopping" for all permits required for a project; better compliance with environmental laws and rules because of public understanding of requirements. Clearer, simpler DEC regulations, without redundancy, inequities or unneeded requirements on regulated parties.

More about Division of Environmental Permits:

  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Environmental Permits
    4th Floor
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1750
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