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Protection of Waters: Application Procedures

Pre-application Assistance

Most "first time ever" applicants will benefit from a pre-application conference, but it is particularly important if your project is:

  • complex
  • multi-residential
  • commercial, or
  • industrial

We strongly recommend pre-application conferences for complex, multi-residential, commercial and industrial projects.

The conference allows the applicant to explain the proposed project to DEC and to get preliminary answers to any questions concerning:

  • project plans,
  • application procedures, other permits, other determinations and other jurisdictions
  • stream classification, extent of banks, and
  • standards for permit issuance.

Schedule your pre-application conference: contact the appropriate DEC regional Division of Environmental Permits office.

Be Smart! - Contact DEC Early in Your Planning

Contact the appropriate DEC regional Environmental Permits office before beginning detailed design and engineering work. Keep initial plans flexible until involved regulatory program staff review your proposal and comment on its conformance with permit issuance standards. On occasion, minor changes in layout can avoid disagreements and delays, and in some cases, even eliminate the need for a permit.

Eliminate multiple mailings, multiple reviews, and misunderstandings - seek clarifications from DEC staff during the planning stages of the project. On submitting the application, provide accurate, complete information.

Application Checklist for Protection of Waters, including

  • Stream Disturbance
  • Excavation and Fill in Navigable Waters
  • Dams and Impoundment Structures
  • Docks, Moorings or Platforms
  • 401 Water Quality Certification

Required items include:

  1. The Joint Application for Permit Form (PDF) (548 KB) and Instructions for completing the Joint Application Form (PDF) (311 KB) are available on the Department's website page.
  2. The Permission to Inspect Property Form (PDF) (25 KB) can be found on the Department's website page.
  3. Location Map: A US Geological Survey (USGS) Quadrangle Map, or equivalent, identifying the project location.
  4. Project Plans:
    • Draw plans at a scale of 1" = 50' or larger, including topography at a contour interval prescribed by the region.
    • The plan must show the existing conditions and the work to be performed.
    • The extent of all fill or excavation and the dimensions of all proposed buildings or structures must be shown on the plans.
    • Refer to Sample Plans (PDF)(4 MB) available of the Department's website page.
  5. Photographs: At least 3 color photographs which clearly depict the site of the proposed activity.
  6. Water depth demonstration. DEC may require a survey of water depths for new boat mooring structures, such as docks, piers & floats.
  7. Other information. DEC staff may determine additional information is necessary to adequately review and evaluate the application, such as engineering or supplemental reports, justifying this proposal over alternative sites and alternative layouts or designs which might avoid or minimize impacts to protect the watercourse.
  8. Additional for Dams and Impoundment Structures. The Joint Application Form Supplement D-1 (PDF) (472 KB) -- Application for Permit for the Construction, Reconstruction or Repair of a Dam or Other Impoundment Structures is available on the Department's website page.
    • Include the following specific information:
      1. Detailed construction plans and specifications done by a licensed professional engineer, or, in the case of farm ponds, by an engineer or conservationist employed by a governmental agency cooperating with a soil conservation district. Hydrologic and other criteria are to be in accordance with the department's "Guidelines for Design of Dams."
      2. The plans and specifications submitted with the application must include the following information sufficiently detailed for department evaluation of the safety aspects of the dam:
        1. A plan showing the proposed dam and dam appurtenances, horizontal and vertical controls, the normal water level in the lake or pond, the limits of the owner's property, the location of drill holes, test pits or other foundation exploration, the location of borrow areas, and topographic contours at the dam and around the anticipated reservoir area, including 2-foot contours to 6 feet above high water level.
        2. A profile along the dam axis from abutment to abutment and a cross section diagram of the dam at its maximum height, showing original, existing, and proposed conditions.
        3. A profile along the center line and a cross section diagram, or diagrams, of the spillways, including stilling basins, outlet work, and other details of the design of the structures.
        4. Specifications for the materials and for the methods of construction.
        5. A description of construction inspection activities, to be performed by the applicant's engineer, to ensure that work is performed in conformance with the approved design.
        6. A record of subsurface investigation and soils information used by the design engineer or conservationist for foundation and borrow assessment.
        7. Any additional drawings needed to clearly show all details of the proposed project.
        8. Samples of foundation, embankment and construction materials need not be furnished unless specifically requested by the Department.
  9. Additional for Docks, Moorings or Platforms. The Joint Application Form Supplement D-2 (PDF) (42 KB) - Application for Permit for the Construction, Reconstruction or Expansion of Docking and Mooring Facilities (Including Platforms and Breakwaters) is available on the Department's website page.
    • Include the following specific information:
      1. Scaled plans, cross-sections and specifications depicting all major structures and the delineated facility perimeters that include a reference point tied to a permanent structure or significant natural features.
  10. Environmental Assessment Form (EAF).
    • In accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR), an application is not complete until a properly completed environmental assessment form has been submitted, a lead agency has been established, and a negative declaration or a conditioned negative declaration has been filed or a draft environmental impact statement has been accepted by the lead agency.
    • Refer to the Department's SEQR website page for additional information on environmental impact assessment.
    • SEQR Forms are available on the Department's website page.
      • If the project is an Unlisted Action, submit a completed Part 1 of a Short Environmental Assessment Form.
      • If the project is a Type I Action, submit a completed Part 1 of a Full Environmental Assessment Form.
  11. Structural / Archaeological Assessment Form (SAAF).
    • In accordance with the State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA), the application is not complete until a determination has been made concerning the impact of the project on properties listed on or eligible for listing on the State or National Register of Historic Places.
    • Submit a completed Structural Archaeological Assessment Form (PDF) (905 KB), available on the Department's website page. In some cases, a cultural resource survey, including a field study of archaeological or historic features may be needed.