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For Release: Wednesday, May 21, 2014

DEC Issues Emergency Declaration for Yates and Ontario Counties

to Expedite Recovery Efforts Following Severe Storms on May 13 and 14

General Permits Will Allow for Rapid Repairs

To assist in recovery efforts following heavy rains and flooding last week, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today issued an emergency declaration for Yates and Ontario counties that will allow recovery work to be performed under a general permit.

Under the emergency declaration, DEC's Region 8 office will be able to issue general permits or emergency authorizations for the cleanup of debris or the repair and restoration of structures damaged during the storms.

"In emergency situations, time is crucial and quick actions are often necessary," Commissioner Martens said. "Governor Cuomo issued a disaster declaration for these storms and directed DEC to assist in recovery efforts. The ability to perform work under a general permit will be an important tool to help communities address damages, minimize impacts and get to work immediately."

DEC encourages landowners to contact the Region 8 office as soon as possible if they need a general permit for emergency repair work.

State Environmental Conservation Law regulates specific activities related to repairs, reconstruction or restoration of structures, property and public infrastructure. However, the law allows DEC to issue general permits following natural disasters when a large number of people will have to perform similar types of projects.

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