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Federal Regulatory Programs

Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Sections 9 and 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) regulates the disposal of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, states have the authority to review and approve, condition, or deny all Federal permits or licenses that might result in a discharge to waters of the state, including wetlands. Review authority extends to licenses granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for hydroelectric operations and to nationwide permits issued under Section 404 for dredge and fill projects.

Before a federal activity can be permitted or authorized, the state must issue a Section 401 Water Quality Certificate, certifying that the proposed activity will not violate water quality standards, and that it complies with other appropriate requirements of New York State law. During the review of the project, the State may impose conditions to the certificate to ensure water quality is protected, and that any environmental impacts are minimized. If a Section 401 Water Quality Certificate is issued with specific conditions, these conditions become part of the Federal permit.

Types of activities covered under the Section 401 Water Quality Certificate include; the placement of dredge and fill material in waters of the United States; construction of dams and dikes; erosion control or property protection devices such as rip-rap and bulkheads; and fill for recreational, industrial, commercial, residential, and other uses. Activities exempt from Section 404, and therefore Section 401, include established, ongoing farming activities such as plowing, harvesting, seeding, minor drainage, and cultivating; and maintenance of irrigation ditches, farm ponds, stock ponds or farm roads, in accordance with best management practices.

For more information about federal regulatory programs (including Section 404), contact the Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, related wetlands publications such as the federal delineation manual are available in PDF format.

The Army Corps Offices for wetlands protection purposes, are listed below. See the DEC Region Map for county location information.

For DEC Regions 1-3:
US Army Corps of Engineers
New York District
ATTN: Regulatory Branch, Room 1937
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278-0090
For DEC Regions 1, 2: 917-790-8511
For DEC Region 3: 917-790-8411

For DEC Regions 4-5:
US Army Corps of Engineers
New York District
Upstate Regulatory Field Office
ATTN: CENAN-OP-RU, Bldg. 10,
3rd Floor North
1 Buffington Street, Watervliet Arsenal
Watervliet, NY 12189-4000
518-266-6350 (Permits Processing Team)
518-266-6360 (Permits Compliance and Enforcement)

For DEC Regions 6-9:
US Army Corps of Engineers
Buffalo District Office
ATTN: Regulatory Branch
1776 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14207-3199