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Part 627: Wetlands Restoration Projects

Contents:

Sec.

§627.1 Definitions

(a) Wetlands restoration project shall mean a municipal project to renovate dikes, levies, ditches, berms and other water level regulation works; to establish vegetation, plants, and shrubs, or such other necessary or desirable work to achieve optimum productivity of wetlands.

(b) Wetlands shall mean lands and lands under water which may be permanently, temporarily or intermittently covered with fresh or saltwater and commonly referred to as flood basins or flats, meadows, marshes, shrub swamps, wooded swamps, swamps or bogs.

(c) Municipality shall mean a city, county, town, village or an improvement district within a city, county, town or village, or any combination thereof.

(d) Cost shall mean the cost of an approved project including engineering and architectural services, plans and specifications, consultant and legal services and other direct expenses incident to such project less any Federal assistance received or to be received.

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

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

(g) Governing body shall mean

(1) in the case of a town, a town board;

(2) in the case of a county outside the City of New York, the county board of supervisors or other elective governing body; or

(3) in the case of a city or village, the local legislative body thereof, as the term is defined in the Municipal Home Rule Law.

§627.2 Application Procedure for State Assistance

(a) A municipality shall make application for State assistance to be applied to the cost of a municipal wetlands restoration project on forms provided by the department. A separate application shall be made for each wetlands restoration project.

(b) Each application for State assistance shall be accompanied by a duly certified resolution adopted by the governing body of the municipality which shall set forth the authority of the municipality to make application for such State assistance and further shall name the individual, in his official capacity, who shall be authorized to sign said application as well as any contracts between the State and the municipality which may be required in order to qualify the municipality for State assistance.

(c) The municipality shall provide the commissioner with such supporting documentation as may be necessary to demonstrate that on completion of the wetlands restoration project the wetlands so restored shall not be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of or used for any purpose inconsistent with the character or environmental value of such wetlands.

§627.3 State Requirements

(a) All contract documents prepared by the municipality relative to the wetlands restoration project for which State assistance is requested shall conform to all State and local laws, ordinances, and rules and regulations.

(b) The municipality shall make reasonable efforts to secure Federal assistance for the project.

(c) The municipality shall secure the approval of the commissioner before applying for Federal assistance, in order to maximize the amounts of such assistance received or to be received for all projects in New York State.

(d) At the request of the commissioner, the municipality shall provide him with additional information, documents, transcripts or other evidentiary material which may be required for determining the eligibility of the municipality to make such application for a State grant or which supports the effort of the municipality to obtain Federal aid relative to such application for State assistance or which may support the municipality's claim to its right, title and interest in the municipal wetlands for which the State grant is requested.

(e) The municipality shall dedicate in perpetuity the wetlands to be restored to assure their preservation and shall maintain the wetlands in the condition to which they have been restored.

(f) The wetlands so restored shall not be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of or used for any purpose inconsistent with the character or environmental value of such wetlands.

(g) The municipality shall make reasonable assurance that it shall provide the department access to the wetlands restoration project site for purposes of inspection.

§627.4 Approval of Projects

(a) In addition to the standards and criteria set forth in law, the commissioner shall give due consideration in reviewing application for State assistance to those projects which can be carried out most expeditiously and which when completed will best carry out the purposes for which the wetlands are to be restored, protected and enhanced.

(b) Recognizing that projects for wetlands restoration will have varying potentials for restoring, protecting and enhancing such wetlands and the priority of any such types of projects depends upon the specific situation, the commissioner shall give consideration to projects that will:

(1) repair damage done by pollution and protect against future pollution;

(2) repair or prevent physical damage;

(3) initiate and maintain water level control;

(4) provide for vegetation management and control of organisms that detract from the natural values of wetlands; and

(5) improve the interspersion of plant communities.

§627.5 Payments

(a) Installment payments of the State share of the cost of a municipal restoration project shall be made upon the request of the municipality, and may be made as follows:

(1) a first installment of approximately one third of the State grant when not less than one third of the project is completed and approved;

(2) a second installment of approximately one third of the State grant when not less than two thirds of the project is completed and approved;

(3) a third installment of approximately one third of the State grant when the project is completed and approved;

(4) upon written request by the municipality and evidence of necessity by the municipality, the commissioner may adopt a different schedule of payments; or

(5) five percent will be retained from each payment and the final payment will be released only after approval of final audit, contingent upon correction of deficiencies, if any, either in existence at the final inspection or that may have developed subsequent to final inspection.

(b) Any cost of work completed after the final inspection will not be considered as part of the eligible project cost.

(c) The total grant payments for any project shall not exceed the actual cost of restoration or the estimated reasonable cost, whichever is the lesser.

(d) In the event that the municipality fails to comply with any of the requirements of the Environmental Conservation Law or rules and regulations of the commissioner applicable to the wetlands restoration project, the commissioner may upon reasonable notice withhold, in whole or part, further payments to the municipality pending compliance.

§627.6 Conditions

(a) In addition to the terms required by law, contracts for wetlands restoration projects shall include whatever other terms the commissioner may deem just and reasonable in order to carry out the purpose of restoring, protecting and enhancing such wetlands.

(b) Wetlands restoration projects shall be based on sound economy of design, implementation and maintenance.