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ENB - Region 4 Notices 7/31/2013

Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer Counties - The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), as lead agency, has determined that the proposed Hudson River Estuary Habitat Restoration Plan will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. The action involves the adoption of the Hudson River Habitat Restoration Plan which identifies priority habitat types for restoration in the Hudson River estuary based on three (3) criteria: 1) habitats that are important to the overall health of the ecosystem; 2) habitats that have been degraded or destroyed on a large scale by human action; and 3) habitats for which there are existing feasible opportunities for restoration. The criteria resulted in four (4) priority habitats for restoration: 1) intertidal habitats; 2) shallow water habitats; 3) shorelines; and 4) tributary stream habitats. The plan identifies five (5) restoration actions intended to restore the four priority Hudson River habitats: 1) preserve existing estuary habitat; 2) restore side channels, including tidal wetlands, vegetated shallow waters, back waters and intertidal habitats; 3) promote and implement fish passage, dam removal and culvert right-sizing in tributaries; 4) promote and implement use of ecologically enhanced shoreline treatments; and 5) implement programs to control invasive plant species including preventing new introductions.

The plan is identified as a Type I action under SEQR consistent with 617.4(b)(1)- "the adoption by any agency of a comprehensive resource management plan". The plan will serve to set priorities and guide partnerships with state and federal agencies, municipalities and non-governmental organizations to restore habitats in the Hudson River estuary on an ecosystem scale, and will not have a significant adverse environmental impact on the estuary. Detailed site specific and restoration design information has not been developed. Individual projects implemented under the restoration plan will be subject to full permitting processes including SEQR review. The draft plan can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/4920.html.

The project is located in the Hudson River Estuary from Troy, New York to the Tappan Zee Bridge in the Counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Westchester, Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer, New York.

Contact: Daniel Miller, NYS DEC - Hudson River Estuary Program, P.O. Box 315, Staatsburg, NY 12580, Phone: (845) 889-4745, E-mail: Hrep@dec.ny.gov.

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