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For Release: Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DEC Issues New General Permits for Temporary Stream Crossings for Timber Harvesting

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced the issuance of two general permits under the authority of Environmental Conservation Law to provide expedited approvals of stream crossings for timber harvesting. For activities that do not fit either general permit, applicants must apply for an individual permit.

"The temporary bridges and culverts authorized by these general permits present only minimal potential impacts to the stream, and routinely get a DEC permit," said DEC Commissioner Martens. "These general permits will provide time and work savings to both loggers and DEC and demonstrate how, under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State can be open for business while still being a responsible steward of the environment."

The logging and forest management industry in New York State directly employs nearly 6,000 New Yorkers. The sale of standing timber to the forest products industry provides more than $250 million annually to rural forest land owners across the state. The forest products manufacturing sector employs approximately 50,000 people, half of these jobs directly related to the manufacture of forest products harvested from state forest lands. The annual payroll from these jobs is more than $1.5 billion and the value of shipments from the wood products industry in New York is $6 billion.

The two general permits include:

GP-0-13-002: The placement, construction, maintenance and removal of stream crossings for timber harvesting only and limited in scope to:
Temporary Bridges - placed bank-to-bank with a bridge length no greater than 30 feet long, limited to no more than one crossing per 1,000 feet of stream course, and removed upon completion of work.
Temporary Arch Culverts - a single arch bottomless culvert only, in streams no greater than 4 feet wide, limited to no more than one crossing per 1,000 feet of stream course, and removed upon completion of work.

GP-0-13-004: The placement, construction, maintenance and removal of stream crossings for timber harvesting only and limited in scope to:
Temporary Bridges - placed bank-to-bank with a bridge length no greater than 50 feet long, limited to no more than one crossing per 1,000 feet of stream course, and removed upon completion of work.
Temporary Culverts - a single culvert only, in streams no greater than 8 feet wide, limited to no more than one crossing per 1,000 feet of stream course, and removed upon completion of work.

These permits do not authorize: a) permanent crossings of any type; b) stream fords except any equipment access ford associated with an approved bridge or culvert; c) crossings located within state regulated Freshwater Wetlands and adjacent areas; d) crossings at locations containing state listed Threatened and Endangered species; e) crossings over Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers; and f) multiple culverts installed side-by-side.

For both of these general permits, applicants will submit a simple Request for Authorization, supplemented by a project location map, site photographs, project sketch plan, and a Permission to Inspect Property Supplement Form.

When applying for GP-0-13-002, if DEC does not contact the applicant regarding any environmental concerns within five business days of receipt of the Request, the project can proceed; otherwise the project cannot proceed until all concerns are resolved. When applying for GP-0-13-004, no work is authorized until DEC provides authorization that may include site-specific specifications.

Additional information regarding these general permits and the associated Request for Authorization is available on the DEC website. For other specific questions, contact DEC's Division of Environmental Permits at 518-402-9167 or email deppermitting@dec.ny.gov.

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