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Part 501: Use Of Flood Control Lands

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§501.1 Definitions

As used in this Part, the following words and phrases shall have the indicated meanings.

(a) Commissioner shall mean the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation.

(b) Department shall mean the Department of Environmental Conservation.

(c) Emergency shall mean a condition or activity which presents an imminent danger to the health, safety or welfare of the people of the State or results in or is likely to result in irreversible or irreparable damage to natural resources.

(d) Flood control works shall mean any completed flood control project or a portion thereof, formally turned over to the state, including but not limited to levees, floodwalls, channel improvements, ponding areas, pumping stations, drainage structures, reservoirs, dams, quarries, gravel pits, borrow pits and spoil banks.

(e) Flood control land shall mean any land or interest in land acquired for flood control purposes.

(f) Governmental body shall mean a local government, a public corporation or authority, or any other agency or instrumentality of the State or any local government.

(g) Lawn maintenance equipment shall mean devices or tools which are used exclusively for maintenance of lawns but not including any device or tool which during normal use could substantially damage the sod.

(h) Regulated activity shall mean any change in or addition to land or any structure thereon, including but not limited to, any activity which results in destruction of trees, shrubs and other vegetation, changing any feature of the existing landscape, addition of gutters, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots or spaces, outdoor lighting, installation of utilities, or operation of a motor vehicle or snowmobile.

(i) Motor vehicle shall mean a vehicle operated or driven by any power other than muscular power except:

(1) vehicles that run only upon rails or tracks; and

(2) invalid chairs being operated or driven by an invalid.

(j) Snowmobile shall mean any self-propelled vehicle designed for travel on snow or ice, steered by skis or runners and supported in whole or in part by one or more skis, belts or cleats.

(k) Permittee shall mean a holder of a permit issued pursuant to this Part.

(l) Person shall mean any individual, public or private corporation, political subdivision, government agency, department or bureau of the State, municipality, industry, copartnership, association, firm, trust, estate or any other legal entity whatsoever.

(m) Tenant shall mean any person who occupies the land, or any improvements thereon, of another pursuant to agreement with the owner of such land.

§501.2 Applicability

These regulations apply to issuance of a permit for any regulated activity on flood control lands under the jurisdiction of the department.

§501.3 Permits Required

No person shall undertake any regulated activity on flood control lands without having first obtained a permit. No permit shall be required for the operation of lawn maintenance equipment on such lands nor shall a permit be required of an owner or lessee for entry on flood control lands for purposes of access to agricultural lands adjacent to flood control land where there exists no reasonable alternate means of access and provided further that such use for access does not impair the integrity of flood control facilities or impede their maintenance and operation.

§501.4 Application for Permit

An application for permit accompanied by the required nonrefundable fee shall be filed with the regional office of the department on forms supplied by the department and shall contain such information as the commissioner shall require in order to determine whether the proposed activity will impair the operation of flood control works or impede the maintenance thereof, including access for operation and maintenance. Maps, plans, drawings and similar supporting information shall be on sheets not to exceed 30 by 48 inches. Review of the application and supporting information shall begin only after all necessary information has been furnished by the applicant. The nonrefundable fees shall be as follows:

(a) $25 for applications for permits for residential property when the applicant is the owner or tenant; and

(b) $75 for all applications other than subdivision (a) of this section.

§501.5 Issuance of Permit

(a) The commissioner will issue a permit if he determines that the proposed activity will neither impair the operation of any flood control works or impede the maintenance thereof, including access for operation and maintenance. The issuance of a permit under this Part is for purposes of Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law a type II action. However, the applicant for a permit is still responsible for compliance with Article 8 if it is otherwise applicable.

(b) The permit shall contain such conditions, including the term thereof, as the commissioner deems necessary to insure that the proposed activity will neither impair the operation of any flood control works or impede the maintenance thereof, including access for operation and maintenance. No person shall fail to comply with the provisions of this permit.

(c) No permit may be assigned or transferred without prior written approval of the commissioner.

§501.6 Revocation of Permits

The commissioner may, after notice and an opportunity to be heard is given to the permittee, suspend or revoke a permit if he determines that any condition of the permit has been, is being, or is about to be violated or that the permitted activity will impair the operation of any flood control works or impede the maintenance thereof, including access for operation and maintenance; provided, however, that in an emergency the commissioner may suspend or revoke a permit without giving a prior notice or an opportunity to be heard, if such notice and such opportunity to be heard are given within a reasonable time after suspension or revocation of the permit.

§501.7 Permits for Regulated Activities

(a) An applicant for a permit for a regulated activity shall furnish the department a certificate of insurance on a form provided by the department and in the amount determined by the department to be sufficient to cover potential damages.

(b) The permittee shall notify the department of the date of the commencement of the work authorized by the permit at least seven days prior to such commencement.

(c) The permittee shall promptly notify the department of the completion of the work authorized by the permit.

(d) An appropriate nonrefundable fee shall accompany each application for a permit; provided, however, that the permit fee may be waived by the commissioner if the applicant is a governmental body, or the commissioner determines, upon an affidavit setting forth sufficient information regarding the applicant's income and property, that the applicant is unable to pay the fee.

(e) The permittee shall replace or repair flood control works, monuments or other markers on flood control lands, disturbed by the activity authorized by the permit, in a manner satisfactory to the department.

(f) The permittee may, in the commissioner's discretion, be required to post a bond, undertaking or other acceptable surety to insure compliance with all conditions of the permit and proper restoration of the flood control lands disturbed as the result of the authorized activity.

(g) The work performed by the permittee pursuant to the permit shall not interfere with the operation and maintenance of any flood control works.

(h) Whenever the authorized activity is conducted, the permit or copy thereof shall be in the possession of the permittee, or his representative, present at the site of the activity. Upon a request by an employee of the department or any person empowered to enforce this Part, the permit or copy thereof shall promptly be displayed.

§501.8 Permit Term

(a) A permit for a regulated activity shall specify an expiration date. The permit may be extended only upon written request by the permittee to the department's regional office at least one month before expiration. The permittee shall furnish such information as the department may require to determine if the extension shall be granted. After review of the request for extension, the permittee will be given written notice as to whether or not the permit is to be extended.

(b) If, during the term of this permit, the permittee fails to engage in the permitted activities or fails to use the permitted facilities, in whole or in part, for a continuous period of more than two years, the permit and all authorizations under the permit shall be deemed abandoned and the permit shall automatically expire.

(c) Upon expiration of the permit, or if the permit is abandoned, relinquished, suspended or revoked, the facilities authorized by the permit shall be removed or modified by the permittee, at the permittee's expense and as directed by the department, so as to protect the integrity of the flood control works or to restore the flood control works to their original condition or other condition satisfactory to the department.

§501.9 Permits for Operation of a Snowmobile or Motor Vehicle

(a) A fee of $25 shall be charged for the issuance of a permit to operate a snowmobile or motor vehicle on flood control lands; provided, however, that no fee shall be charged for a permit which authorizes operation of a vehicle solely on lands owned or leased by the permittee or members of his/her immediate family if the vehicle is owned or leased by the permittee or members of his/her immediate family.

(b) Such permit shall be valid for a period of not more than one year.

(c) A permittee shall not operate any snowmobile or motor vehicle in such a manner as to interfere with the operation or maintenance of any flood control works or disrupt, disturb or damage any flood control works or operations.

(d) A permit shall authorize only the permittee named on the permit to operate the snowmobile or motor vehicle, the serial number and description of which is specified on the permit, in the geographical area described in the permit; provided, however, that a group permit for the purpose of conducting an organized activity may be issued to the sponsor of such activity without requiring names of all the participants or serial numbers and descriptions of their vehicles.

(e) The holder of a group permit shall:

(1) acquaint the participants in the activity of the pertinent rules, regulations and permit conditions;

(2) furnish the department with a certificate of insurance for the activity or with certificates of insurance for each participant in the amount required pursuant to subdivision (g) of this section; and

(3) be personally liable for any damages not collectible as the result of failure to comply with department's insurance requirements.

(f) A permit shall be carried by the permittee whenever operation of his vehicle would be in violation of this Part without it; provided, however, that the sponsor or his representative, present at the site of the authorized activity, shall have a group permit in his possession.

(g) The permittee shall furnish the department proof of compliance with the State minimum liability insurance requirements for the vehicle for which the permit is to be issued; provided, however, if state law does not provide for compulsory insurance for the permittee's vehicle, the commissioner may require a certificate of insurance in the amount sufficient to cover potential damages.

(h) The permittee shall comply with all laws, rules and regulations governing the motor vehicle or snowmobile.