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P/C/I SPDES Permit Program: Jurisdiction of Other Agencies

New York State Department of Health - Approval of Plans

District offices of the new York State Department of Health (DOH), county health departments, or in some cases, city health departments, must approve plans for wastewater disposal systems before they can be built. Many counties have specific type of designs which must be used for approval to be granted.

Engineering plans of the project must be certified by a New York State licensed professional engineer, and at minimum, they must show:

  • A profile and a schematic of the sewage treatment system
  • Soil permeability test results
  • Relationship of the treatment system to landforms, water wells, and other structures on the property

System design plans must be submitted directly to the appropriate health department for plan approval. DEC may also require a copy of these plans as part of our review of the project. Issuance of a permit for the quantity of wastewater and discharge limits of contaminants by DEC does not automatically guarantee that the system will be approved by DOH. Likewise, DOH plan approval does not guarantee a SPDES permit; since DEC has other environmental jurisdictions and issues to consider as part of the application review. Therefore, you should contact the appropriate health department early in the planning process to ensure concurrent review by DEC and DOH.

In Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the DEC has delegated the entire SPDES P/C/I program to the city or county health departments. In these cases, submission of the application and plans should be made directly to the appropriate health department, and not to DEC.

New York State Department of State -Sewage Works Corporations

If a sewage treatment system is intended to serve a number of separately owned dwelling units or facilities, the parties involved must first form a 'sewage works corporation' under the provisions of Article 10 of the New York State Transportation Corporation Law. This law specifies that any such corporation must be approved by both the local governing body (town, city, or village board, etc.) and the department of health (state, county, or city) having jurisdiction in that area. The corporation must be registered with the Department of State, and a performance bond must be posted with the local governing body.

Homeowners associations and owners of condominiums often fall into this category of needing to form a sewage works corporation. A pre-application conference can help determine if such a corporation is needed.

New York State Department of State Coastal Consistency Determinations

If your project is in a coastal area and a federal approval is required, the federal agency must obtain a Coastal Consistency Certification from the New York State Department of State before it can give its approval. If such a certification is needed, you will be informed of this by the federal agency involved. usually the Corps of Engineers. who will need to make the Coastal Consistency Certification a part of its permit decision. If a federal approval is not required, DEC will need to make the Coastal Consistency Certification as part of its permit decision.

In New York, coastal areas covered by this program include the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound, Arthur Kill. Kill van Kull, Harlem River, East River, Hudson River South of the federal dam in Troy, Niagara River, St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and all connecting waterbodies. bays, harbors, shallows, and marshes.

This consistency program will also apply to some designated inland waterways in New York where local waterfront revitalization programs have been developed. Again, you will be informed if a certification must be prepared and whether any further information will be required from you.

Adirondack Park Agency (APA)

If the project you are planning is located within the boundaries of the Adirondack Park. the APA may have jurisdiction under one or more regulatory program, depending on the exact location of the project. Inquiries relating to SPDES projects within this area should be made directly to the APA at its headquarters. For questions involving projects in the Adirondack Park contact:

Adirondack Park Agency
P. 0. Box 99
Ray Brook, New York 12977
(518) 891-4050

Local Governments

In addition, county, city, town or village building permits, flood plain permits, or other approvals may be necessary. You should check with the appropriate offices. DEC will require you to inform them of any other local approvals needed for your project and note them on the Environmental Assessment Form. This will enable a coordinated review among all affected agencies.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA)

If a project may have a significant impact on historical structures or archaeological sites protected by the State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA). the DEC must evaluate this impact. If your application is for a major project. the application materials to be submitted should include a Structural and Archaeological Assessment Form (SAAF). Please fill out the SAAF according to the instructions attached to it. In some cases. additional data in the form or a cultural resource survey, including a field study of archaeological or historic resources, may be needed.

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