Uniform Procedures Act (UPA)
What is the Uniform Procedures Act?
The procedures for administering the Department of Environmental Conservation's key regulatory permits are standardized in the Uniform Procedures Act, Article 70 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL). The Act provides time frames and procedures for:
- filing and reviewing applications
- providing public notice
- holding public hearings
- reaching final decisions
The Act is intended to:
- ensure a fair, timely, thorough review
- eliminate inconsistent procedures
- encourage public participation
The Department's regulation for implementing UPA is 6 NYCRR Part 621, Uniform Procedures Regulations.
Emergencies dictate a prompt response to events that immediately threaten life, health, property, general welfare or natural resources. Under these circumstances, 6NYCRR Part 621.12 provides for expedited project review and issuance of an Emergency Authorization. Prior to commencing any action or project, an applicant must notify the Department's Regional Permit Administrator and provide:
- a description of the proposed action;
- a location map and plan of the proposed action;
- reasons why the situation is an emergency based on the immediate protection of life, health, general welfare, property or natural resources;
- actions to be taken to minimize environmental impacts; and
- any additional information requested by the Department.
If prior notice is not possible, immediate action may be undertaken by a state or local government agency, but that agency must notify the Department's Regional Permit Administrator within 24 hours of taking action. The notification must provide the Department a basis on which to issue an Emergency Authorization.
The Department will issue a decision to grant or deny the Emergency Authorization within two business days of receipt of the required information. The Department must:
- Make a "Finding of Emergency" stating why immediate action is needed (generally speaking an emergency declaration by New York State or a local government fulfills this criteria although the Department can make its own finding); and
- Determine that the project will be carried out in a manner which causes the least change, modification or adverse impact to life, health, property or natural resources. Conditions may be placed in the Emergency Authorization and enforced to assure compliance with the Emergency Authorization and other regulatory standards that normally apply.
Emergency Authorizations can only be issued for a period of up to 30 days and renewed for up to an additional 30 day period. Project continuation beyond that 60 day period requires a full and complete application for permit and be subject to all procedural requirements for review.
More about Uniform Procedures Act (UPA) :
- Uniform Procedures Act (UPA) Permit Profiles - Uniform Procedures Permit Profiles
- How Does One File for a DEC Permit? - The framework for processing environmental protection permits is defined in Article 70 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, the Uniform Procedures Act (UPA).
- UPA Time Frames - Timeframes for processing UPA permit applications
- Application Forms for DEC Permits - Application forms for Uniform Procedures Act Permits
- Division of Environmental Permits Policy Documents - Policy Documents for the Division of Environmental Permits
- Guide to Permit Hearings - A permit hearing offers the public an opportunity to participate in DEC project review. This document gives an overview of the DEC permit hearing process.
- Guide to Permit Hearings in Spanish - Una audiencia para obtener permiso ofrece al público una oportunidad de participar en el análisis del proyecto de DEC. Este documento ofrece una perspectiva general del proceso de audiencia de DEC para obtener un permiso.