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Municipal General Permit GP-5-12-001

Municipal General Permit Cover Letter (PDF 27 KB)

Municipal General Permit GP-5-12-001 (PDF 1.7 MB)

Municipal General Permit Authorization Form (PDF 79 KB)

This web page provides a summary of the Municipal General Permit GP-5-12-001 that was issued in March 2012 and replaces GP-5-06-001 which has expired. Some modifications have been made to the permit so please review the cover letter and the permit carefully. A copy of both the permit and the cover may be obtained using the links above.

The General Permit applies to certain municipal-sponsored projects involving regulated streams, navigable waters, and freshwater wetlands in the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 5, and is intended to streamline the permit process.

Projects that comply with the Authorized Activities and the Permit Conditions of the General Permit are considered to be environmentally sound and may be authorized. Such projects may be undertaken, upon completion and submittal of the Municipal General Permit Authorization Form, without going through the individual permit process.

Below is a summary of the Authorized Activities and Permit Conditions of the Municipal General Permit.

Authorized Activities

Projects designed and constructed for County and Municipal offices and are located in:

  1. navigable waters of the state; and/or
  2. non-navigable waters of the state classified AA, AA(T), A, A(T), B, B(T) and C(T); and/or
  3. regulated NYS Freshwater Wetlands and their 100-foot Adjacent Area not within the Adirondack Park

All projects are limited to the following threshold:

  1. Construction or placement of a single-span bridge with no central supports, including associated bank and substructure erosion protection that involves streambed/bank disturbance which totals less than one hundred (100) lineal feet
  2. New installation, replacement or repair of a single arch, box, elliptical or round culvert and associated headwall protection that involves streambed/bank disturbance which totals less than seventy (70) lineal feet, provide the replacement or repair does not consist of slip-lining.
  3. The implementation of instream stabilization, habitat or feature techniques.
  4. The implementation, construction or replacement of non-vertical erosion protection structures, not in conjunction with any other activity listed herein, that involves stream bed/bank disturbance which totals less than one hundred (100) lineal feet.
  5. Restoration, maintenance, replacement, substantial reconstruction, modification or expansion of existing functional structures, other than culverts, or facilities located in (a) navigable waters, (b) protected streams and (c) freshwater wetlands and adjacent areas, including but not limited to utility lines, bridges, roads, highways, railroad beds or paved areas; provided the activity involves less than one quarter (1/4) acre of new disturbance in the regulated freshwater wetland and/or adjacent area.
  6. Installation of dry hydrants for fire protection purposes.

Permit Conditions

Project Segmentation Prohibited

This General Permit shall be applied to single and complete projects. It shall not be used for any activity that is part of an overall project for which an individual permit is required.

Creosote, Pentachlorophenol and Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)

Creosote, pentachlorophenol and chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) treated wood is prohibited for in-water and above water use.

Precautions Against Contamination of Waters

Precautions shall be taken to preclude contamination of any wetland or waterway.

Prohibition Period for In Stream Work

Stream work, as well as any work that may result in suspension of sediment, is prohibited beginning October 1, and ending April 30, unless project-specific approval is granted by DEC.

Floodplain Regulations

The project must meet all local and federal floodplain regulations and, if applicable, a written approval from the floodplain administrator must be kept on file.

Notice of Intent to Commence Work

Notice shall be provided to the regional permit administrator at least three days prior to beginning work on the project.

Conformance with Plans

Project plans for the authorized activity must be kept on file at the municipality office.

No Machinery in Waterbody or Wetland

No machinery may enter a waterbody or wetland without prior written approval from DEC.

Siltation Prevention Measures

Prevention measures such as silt fencing, sediment traps or settling basins, shall be installed and maintained during the project to prevent movement of silt and turbid waters from the project site and into any wetland or waterbody.

Erosion Controls

Staked straw bales, silt fence or other DEC approved erosion control measures must be installed on the downslope edge of any disturbed areas before any disturbance of the ground occurs and are to be maintained in a functional condition until all disturbed ground is heavily vegetated or otherwise stabilized.

Bridge and Culvert Size

The minimum bridge span (abutment to abutment) and culvert diameter or span shall be equal to, or greater than, 1.25 times the channel bed width. If this condition cannot be met, an individual permit will be required. All culverts shall be designed to meet appropriate hydraulic capacity and structural integrity criteria.

Culvert Slope

For streams which have a slope of three percent (3%) or less at the project area, the embedded culvert shall be installed with a zero percent (0%) slope. For streams which have a slope of more than three percent (3%) at the project area, a bottomless culvert or bridge must be installed. An individual permit is required for projects which deviate from this condition.

Embed Culverts

All culverts with bottoms, including round culverts, must be installed so that at least twenty percent (20%) of the vertical height is embedded below the existing stream bed at the outlet end of the culvert. Streambed material that was excavated to accommodate culvert placement shall then be spread evenly throughout the entire bottom of the new culvert. If this is not practical, material must be spread in the culvert at the inlet and outlet ends gradually up to streambed elevation to promote natural deposition. Culverts with bottoms, including round culverts, shall not be installed if the placement is on bedrock.

Channel Geometry

The stream channel bed width, depth and bank height immediately upstream and downstream of the project site shall be consistent with the average channel bed width of the stream. There shall be no widening or constriction of the stream channel bed through the road crossing, and no berms shall be constructed on the stream or river banks.


Only that excavation minimally necessary for proper placement of the permitted structure is authorized. Excavation, including but not limited to dredging of other waterway or freshwater wetland bottom sediments, for any purpose other than those authorized by this General Permit is expressly prohibited.

Clearing of Vegetation and Snags

Clearing of vegetation and snags shall be limited to that material which poses a hazard or a hindrance to the construction activity.

Install All Culverts in the Dry

This may require constructing a cofferdam and/or pumping or piping stream flow around the work area.

Cofferdam Specifications

Any temporary cofferdam shall be constructed of materials such as sheet piling, sandbags or clean #1 or larger stone that will not contribute to turbidity or siltation of the water body. Sandbags shall be of the filter fabric type, double bagged and individually tied to prevent sand leakage. They shall be placed and removed manually to prevent spillage. Only clean sand, free of debris, silt, fine particles or other foreign substances, shall be used to fill the bags. The cofferdam shall be entirely removed immediately upon completion of work.

Maintain Water Flow

During periods of work activity, flow immediately downstream of the work site shall equal flow immediately upstream of the work site.

Temporary Diversion Channel

A temporary diversion channel, culvert, or pump-around shall be constructed to prevent running water in the work area. If a diversion channel is used, its sides and bottom shall be protected by rock riprap or other suitable nonerodible materials to prevent scour and erosion. The area of the temporary diversion shall be restored to its original condition following completion of the work.

Turbid Discharges

Visibly turbid discharges from work activities or de-watering operations shall not enter the stream, navigable water or wetland. Any such discharge must first be retained in an appropriately maintained upland settling basin; filtered through crushed stone, sand, straw bales, silt screening (maximum opening size of U.S. Sieve Number 20), et cetera; or directed to a grassy upland area a sufficient distance from the stream to prevent change in turbidity of the receiving water.

Concrete Leachate

No wet or fresh concrete or leachate shall be allowed to escape into any wetlands or waters, nor shall washings from ready-mixed concrete trucks, mixers,or other devices be allowed to enter any wetland or waters. Only watertight or waterproof forms shall be used. Wet concrete shall not be poured to displace water within the forms.

Riprap Placement Specifications

All stone riprap shall be placed rather than dumped. It shall be installed at a 1 to 2 (vertical to horizontal) slope or flatter. During the bank sloping operation, soil shall not be pushed or placed into the streambed or the flowing water and shall not result in flow constriction. Stone riprap shall be placed on a layer of filter material such as gravel, small rock and/or woven filter cloth to provide positive drainage and soil stability. The placement of riprap shall not impede the movement of aquatic life. Riprap shall not be consolidated with concrete or by any other means.

Fill and Riprap at Culvert

Only compacted, clean earthen fill shall be used as backfill and as fill around the culvert to minimize water infiltration around the culvert. Both ends of the culvert shall be adequately riprapped to prevent erosion and culvert failure during periods of high water flow.

Protect Stream, Wetland and Buffer from Road Runoff

Roads, driveways and/or parking areas shall be graded to direct runoff away from streams, freshwater wetlands and/or adjacent areas where possible. The road banks within 50 feet of the stream shall be adequately protected with riprap or seeded and mulched within 2 days of completion of the crossing.

Stabilize Disturbed Areas

All disturbed stream banks below the normal high-water elevation must be graded no steeper than 1 to 2 (vertical to horizontal) and adequately stabilized with stone riprap (native stone preferred). All other areas of soil disturbance, above the ordinary high water elevation or elsewhere, shall be seeded with an appropriate perennial grass seed and mulched with straw within two 2 days of final grading. Mulch shall be maintained until suitable vegetative cover is established. Destroyed bank vegetation shall be replaced with shrub willow or silky dogwood plantings for example.

Materials Disposed at Upland Sites

Any demolition debris, excess construction materials, and/or excess excavated materials shall be immediately and completely disposed of on an approved upland site more than 100 feet from any waterbody, including freshwater wetlands. These materials shall be suitably stabilized so as not to re-enter any water body, wetland, or wetland adjacent area.

Silt Screen

If turbidity may be created as a result of this project, a silt screen curtain (maximum openings of U.S. Sieve No. 70) continually weighted across the bottom and suspended on floats or staked upright must be positioned to surround the work site. The curtain must remain in place for at least 12 hours after completion of the project or longer, if necessary.

No Impedance to Aquatic Organisms

Structures must not impede upstream and downstream migration of aquatic organisms

Return Stranded Fish

Any fish remaining in the dewatered area shall be returned to the stream, lake or wetland.

Other Agency Approvals

This Municipal General Permit does not eliminate the need to obtain approvals from other local, state or federal agencies.

Conditions Prevail Over Plans

If any condition of this permit conflicts with the approved plans, the permit condition shall prevail over the plans.

No Interference With Navigation

There shall be no unreasonable interference with navigation by the work herein authorized.

State not Liable for Damage

The state of New York shall in no case be liable for any damage or injury to the structure or work herein authorized which may be caused by or result from future operations undertaken by the State for the conservation or improvement of navigation, or for other purposes, and no claim or right to compensation shall accrue from any such damage.

State May Order Removal or Alteration of Work

If future operations by the State of New York require an alteration or removal to work herein authorized. No claim shall be made against the state of New York on account of any such removal or alteration.

State May Require Site Restoration

If upon the expiration or revocation of this permit, the project hereby authorized has not been completed, it may be required to remove all or any portion of the uncompleted structure or fill and restore the site to its former condition.

Prohibited Streams and Rivers

The General Permit is not valid for use in the following regulated watercourses:

  • Great Chazy River from I-87 (Northway) downstream to Lake Champlain
  • West Branch Au Sable River in its entirety
  • Boquet River from the falls north of County Route 22 in Wadhams downstream to Lake Champlain
  • Au Sable River from Rainbow Falls downstream to Lake Champlain
  • Saranac River from Kents Falls downstream to Lake Champlain
  • Raquette River from Lower Falls downstream to the boat ramp off Routes 3 and 30 (Town of Harrietstown)
  • Sacandaga River from the dam at the DEC campground just north of the West Branch confluence, downstream to the Great Sacandaga Lake
  • West Stony Creek from the State Forest Preserve boundary downstream to the Sacandaga River
  • Sacandaga Lake outlet (to Lake Pleasant) in its entirety
  • Batten Kill from the NY/VT border downstream to Center Falls

For information or questions

Contact the appropriate DEC Region 5 Environmental Permits office, based on the county where the project is located.

In Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton Counties:

NYSDEC Division of Environmental Permits
1115 NYS Route 86
PO Box 296
Ray Brook, NY 12977
Phone: (518) 897-1234
Fax: (518) 897-1394

In Fulton, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington Counties:

NYSDEC Division of Environmental Permits
232 Golf Course Road
Warrensburg, NY 12885-0220
Phone: (518) 623-1281
Fax: (518) 623-3603

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