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General Permit for Stream Activities, GP-0-20-002

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued a statewide general permit for various activities in state-regulated streams, navigable waters, and wetlands. The Stream Activities General Permit (GP-0-20-002) (PDF) has been issued for a five-year term in response to the ongoing need for affected property owners to stabilize stream banks, repair culverts and bridges, repair utility lines, and undertake other routine projects within regulated New York State waters, with certain exclusions. The permit is effective May 21, 2021 through May 20, 2026. The permit authorizations include ECL Article 15 Stream Disturbance; ECL Article 15 Excavation & Fill in Navigable Waters; ECL Article 24 Freshwater Wetlands; and State Section 401 Water Quality Certification.

The general permit includes the following activities:

  1. In-place repair, replacement or re-setting of existing culverts and bridges.
  2. Installation of a single new culvert or bridge to serve a single-family residence on an approved building lot, with no impact to state-regulated freshwater wetlands or adjacent areas.
  3. In-place repair and replacement of existing bank stabilization structures.
  4. Bank stabilization up to 500 linear feet using vegetation-based or bioengineering techniques (e.g., toe-wood structures, fascines, root-wads, brush mattresses, live-staking, etc.).
  5. Bank stabilization up to 150 linear feet using rip-rap or similar materials, where use of vegetation-based or bioengineering techniques are not feasible.
  6. Installation or repair of in-stream grade control structures consisting of rock or other natural materials (e.g., j-hooks, rock vanes, rock riffles, etc.).
  7. Debris, gravel, and streambed material removal not exceeding 100 linear feet of the water course to remove blockages and restore natural stream channel dimensions and flows.
  8. Installation or maintenance of dry hydrants for fire protection.
  9. Repair of existing utility lines and associated structures (e.g., water, sewer, telecommunications, etc.).
  10. Repair or installation of utility lines to serve a single-family, two-family, or three-family residence.
  11. Temporary access or dewatering measures necessary to complete other activities authorized by this general permit.
  12. Maintenance or repair of existing boat ramps, and access sites.

The permit is not applicable in the following areas:

  1. Any tidal waters of New York State, including those brackish and fresh waters north of the former Tappan Zee Bridge not designated and regulated as tidal wetlands under Article 25 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL).
  2. Coastal Erosion Hazard Areas designated by the state pursuant to Article 34 of the ECL.
  3. Any locations determined by the Department where a proposed project is likely to result in a taking of a species listed as threatened or endangered in New York State, as taking is defined in 6 NYCRR Part 182, or likely to result in adverse impacts to freshwater mussel species designated by the New York Natural Heritage Program as S1 or S2. General information on the locations of these species can be found on DEC's Environmental Resource Mapper by opening the map, zooming to the project location, and turning on the layers entitled 'Rare Plants or Animals' and "Imperiled Mussels.
  4. Any location where a proposed project may affect a property listed on the National or State Registers of Historic Places, or has been determined by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to be eligible for listing on the State Register of Historic Places.

Authorization Procedure

Anyone proposing to undertake an activity that is included in the permit must submit a Joint Application Form (PDF) to the DEC regional office that covers the county where the project is located. No work may begin under the general permit until the DEC regional office reviews the proposal and provides a countersigned copy of the general permit that authorizes the work.

Certain bridge and culvert projects included in the general permit are also subject to consideration of risks related to climate change under the Community Risk and Resiliency Act (CRRA). (See Condition 4.i of the general permit). For those projects, applicants must also complete the CRRA Analysis Attachment (PDF) and submit it with the Joint Application Form.

Submitted application materials will be reviewed by DEC to determine whether the project qualifies for coverage under the general permit and if it can be approved. If the project can be approved under the general permit, DEC will provide a countersigned copy of the general permit authorizing the project. Only after receiving approval may work begin under the permit.

If the project does not qualify for coverage under the general permit, or cannot be approved under the general permit, an individual permit is required.


For additional information on applying for coverage under this general permit, please contact the Division of Environmental Permits at the DEC regional office where the project is located.

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