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Region 4 Environmental Permits

Contact Information

Regional Permit Administrator - William J. Clarke
NYS DEC Region 4 - 1130 North Westcott Rd
Schenectady, NY 12306-2014
Phone: (518) 357-2069
Fax: (518) 357-2460
Email: dep.r4@dec.ny.gov

The Schenectady Permits office serves the following counties: Albany, Columbia, eastern Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Schoharie and Schenectady

Sub-Office Deputy Regional Permit Administrator - Martha Bellinger
65561 State Highway 10
Stamford, NY 12167
Phone: (607) 652-7741
Fax: (607) 652-3672
Email: dep.r4@dec.ny.gov

The Stamford Permits sub-office serves the following counties: Delaware, Otsego, and western Greene

Protection of Waters and Freshwater Wetlands General Permits

Region 4 Division of Environmental Permits (DEP) has developed General Permits designed to reduce the time needed to review and approve more routine activities that meet regulatory standards and protect natural resources and water quality. All applications are submitted to the Region 4 DEP office for review and approval and are for either Environmental Conservation Law Article 15 (Protection of Waters) or Article 24 (Freshwater Wetlands) permits. These general permits include the Protection of Waters and Freshwater Wetlands General Permit.

Protection of Waters General Permit

This permit allows the Department to expedite the authorization of certain low impact regulated activities proposed within regulated waterbodies that disturb the bed or banks of 300 feet or less, or within regulated Freshwater Wetlands (including the 100 foot wetland adjacent area (AA)). Authorizations are issued in accordance with the approved plans submitted with the application form (which would include a location map and project site photos) and permit conditions that protect natural resources and water quality. The following activities are covered by this permit:

  1. Construction of the following: deck/patio/porch (AA only), garage/carport/shed (AA only), septic system (AA only), driveway (AA only), seasonal docks, culvert/bridge replacement/repair, utilities for single residence, individual residential well, dry hydrant installation, existing boat launch replacement, swimming pool (AA only), utility line stream crossings, new rip rap (less than 300 feet, not in a wetland), and raised walkways (with no fill)
  2. Highway Maintenance and Repair (300 feet or less, with minor impacts to wetland/AA)
  3. Emergency Stream Repair (as a result of natural disasters): including stabilization, debris removal, gravel removal, bridge/culvert repair and replacement, and realignments
  4. Stream Restoration/Stabilization/Rip Rap (300 feet of stream bank or less)
  5. Stormwater/Drainage Systems (modification of existing stormwater or drainage systems)
  6. Municipal Utilities (installation of water/sewer/electrical with temporary impacts)
  7. Pesticides (pesticide application for control of weeds, mosquitos, or utility right-of-way management, conducted in the adjacent area of private residence (individual homeowners only)
  8. Landscaping (minor fill and grading in pre-disturbed (lawn) areas - AA only)
  9. Additions (addition to an existing structure that does not result in any increase in bedrooms, bathrooms or any room that may cause an increase in discharge to the septic system - AA only)
  10. Ponds (dredging of existing ponds or creation of a recreational pond)
  11. Habitat Enhancement (waterfowl/wildlife habitat creation projects with no wetland fill)
  12. Temporary Access Roads (temporary access roads where impacts are temporary in nature - AA only)
  13. Vegetation Cutting:
    1. Selective Cutting, but not eliminating vegetation Wetland adjacent area (less than 1/4 acres, two or fewer times per year)
    2. Freshwater wetland (less than 1/4 acre, once per year)
    3. Clear Cutting Vegetation, other than trees Wetland adjacent area (less than 1/4 acre, at least 25 feet from wetland edge)
    4. Clear Cutting Trees Wetland adjacent area (less than 1/4 acre, not for future development).

Freshwater Wetlands General Permit

Freshwater Wetlands are protected under Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law of the State of New York. DEC requires permits for certain activities in, and within 100 feet of, the boundary of wetlands 12.4 acres or larger that are shown on freshwater wetlands regulatory maps. Smaller wetlands are regulated under federal law (Section 404 of the Clean Waters Act) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

One of the many benefits of wetlands is valuable wildlife habitat. Therefore, Region 4 Wildlife staff are responsible for much of the Freshwater Wetlands Program. Region 4 Wildlife staff review permit applications for potential impacts to wetlands, identify and delineate wetland boundaries in the field and amend wetland maps to reflect field conditions.

To determine if an area is in or adjacent to (within 100 feet of) a freshwater wetland, first check the Environmental Resource Mapper which is accessible from the link on the right. Or you can view the DEC regulatory wetland maps at the county, town, city or village clerk's office for the area where the wetland is located, or contact the regional DEC office for the area. These maps are a scale of one inch to 2000 feet, and show only approximate locations of wetland boundaries. In some cases, it is difficult to determine the actual location of the property boundaries relative to the wetland boundaries. If the property appears to be in or near a wetland on the map, the next step is to contact the regional DEC office to request a wetland determination or delineation (see web link on right for form). Wildlife staff will arrange to meet with the property owner at the site and determine whether there is wetland on the property and either point out the boundary (determination), or flag the boundary of any DEC wetland (delineation). There is no charge for this service.

Prior to undertaking any project that may be within or adjacent to a wetland, contact both the DEC Region 4 Office at (518) 357-2069, and the US Army Corps of Engineers at (518) 266-6350, to determine if the wetland regulations apply.

The Wetland Determination/Delineation Form is available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format (see link on right). To obtain a paper copy of this document, please contact the DEC Region 4 Office at (518) 357-2069.

Shoreline General Permit

This wetland (Article 24) permit reduces the time the Department needs to authorize certain low impact regulated activities that are proposed along the shoreline of certain regulated lakes.

The type of activities covered by this permit include the construction of porches, decks, sheds, fences, in-kind replacement of septic systems, minor additions, in-kind replacement of bulkheads and retaining walls, and the placement of rip rap or shoreline stabilization measures. These activities have been found not to have a significant environmental effect and any approvals granted contain permit conditions and approved plans to protect lake water quality and aquatic resources. An application form, Environmental Assessment Form, project description, sketch plans, location map, and photos are submitted to the Department.

The Region 4 lakes covered by this permit include:

  • Albany County - Onderdonk Lake
  • Columbia County - Queechy Lake, Robinson Pond and Kinderhook Lake
  • Otsego County - Otsego Lake, Canadarago Lake
  • Rensselaer County - Snyders Lake
  • Schenectady County - Mariaville Lake, Duane Lake
  • Schoharie County - Bear Gulch Pond

Timber Harvesting/Stream Crossing General Permit

This permit allows the Department to authorize stream crossings (Article 15) for the purpose of hauling timber from logging operations while protecting the stream bed and banks, water quality and fishery resources. A short application form, which includes a project description and location map, is submitted to the Region 4 Division of Environmental Permits office. A DEC Forest Ranger will then meet with the applicant on-site and issue the permit if the project meets regulatory standards.