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Emergency Declarations and Authorizations

Emergency Declarations

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued an emergency declaration on August 20, 2021, to help communities in Steuben County rebuild critical infrastructure after severe storms and flash flooding. The action authorizes DEC to expedite necessary permit reviews for work to repair infrastructure and structures on and over waterways, restore waterway channel capacity, and perform other activities necessary to restore public safety. To advance these efforts, DEC will conduct site visits, meet with property owners and local leaders, and offer technical guidance to review all emergency permit applications received.

For assistance: Please contact the DEC Regional Permit Administrator Thomas Haley, 6274 East Avon-Lima Rd., Avon, NY 14414-9519, call 585-226-5400, or email , to assist with permits needed from recent flooding impacts and for a determination on whether proposed work requires a DEC permit or approval.

Emergency Authorizations

Emergencies are events that immediately threaten life, health, property, general welfare or natural resources, and require a prompt response. ECL §70-0116, as implemented by 6 NYCRR §621.12 (leaves DEC's website), allows DEC to waive the procedural requirements of the Uniform Procedures Act (UPA); ECL Article 70, as implemented by 6NYCRR Part 621 (leaves DEC's website), to issue emergency authorizations for actions which are immediately necessary to respond to emergencies.

How to Request an Emergency Authorization

Prior to commencing any action or project, you must notify DEC's Regional Permit Administrator and provide:

  1. A description of the proposed action;
  2. A location map and plan of the proposed action;
  3. Reasons why the situation is an emergency based on the immediate protection of life, health, general welfare, property or natural resources;
  4. Actions to be taken to minimize environmental impacts; and
  5. Any additional information requested by DEC.

If prior notice is not possible, a state or local government agency may take immediate action, but must notify the DEC's Regional Permit Administrator within 24 hours of taking action. The notification must provide DEC a basis on which to issue an Emergency Authorization.

DEC will issue a decision to grant or deny the Emergency Authorization within two business days of receipt of the required information. The Department must:

  • Make a "Finding of Emergency" stating why immediate action is needed (generally speaking an emergency declaration by New York State or a local government fulfills this criteria although DEC can make its own finding); and
  • Determine that the project will be carried out in a manner which causes the least change, modification or adverse impact to life, health, property or natural resources. Conditions may be placed in the Emergency Authorization and enforced to assure compliance with the Emergency Authorization and other regulatory standards that normally apply.

Duration of Emergency Authorizations

Emergency Authorizations can only be issued for a period of up to 30 days and renewed for up to an additional 30 day period. Projects that continue beyond the 60-day period require a full and complete application for permit and will be subject to all procedural requirements for review.

More about Emergency Declarations and Authorizations:

  • General Permits for Storm Recovery - Information to determine whether your project may be covered by a general permit for storm recovery; additional guidance materials and the necessary forms.
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    Albany, NY 12233-1750
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