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For Release: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

DEC Seeks Comment on Expanded General Permit for Bulkhead Removal and Replacement Projects

New Permit Streamlines Approval Procedure for Areas throughout Long Island

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finalized a draft General Permit that establishes new guidelines for bulkhead replacement and repair projects throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

Commissioner Seggos said, "After Superstorm Sandy, Governor Cuomo directed DEC to help New Yorkers build back stronger and better than before. To expedite storm recovery efforts, DEC issued a General Permit for bulkhead repair and we expanded this effort in 2014. DEC is now releasing the 2018 Draft General Permit, which will further streamline permitting processes for more Long Island residents while still protecting the environment."

The public comment period on the proposed draft General Permit closes on August 2, 2018. The new draft permit builds upon the success of General Permit -Tidal Wetland Bulkhead with Dredging, which in 2014 established streamlined permit issuance guidelines for bulkhead projects on the south shore of Nassau and Suffolk counties, west of the Robert Moses Causeway. Since its adoption, DEC has issued permits for more than 1,066 bulkhead replacement projects. In addition, DEC has cut permit issuance times as a result of these new permitting guidelines.

The proposed new draft General Permit provides expedited permit procedures for bulkhead projects throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties, excluding coastal erosion hazard areas, high energy wave areas, areas within 10 feet of vegetated tidal wetlands and submerged aquatic vegetation, and marsh island communities within the bays of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The permits allow for the removal and replacement of functional and lawfully existing bulkheads, including returns and parallel capping boardwalks in the same location; the replacement of a bulkhead 18 inches higher in elevation than the existing bulkhead; and limited maintenance dredging associated with the bulkhead replacement.

In addition, the proposed new draft General Permit allows replacement of appurtenant bulkhead structures, such as mooring structures and stormwater infrastructure associated with bulkhead replacement, and the landward replacement and re-sheathing of bulkheads. The current permit only specified an in-place replacement. The 2014 permit only applied to the south shore of Nassau and Suffolk counties, west of the Robert Moses Causeway.

The public is encouraged to submit comments on the draft permit to region 1 permits office or mail to Elyssa Hopkins, DEC, Environmental Permits, 50 Circle Road, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11790. People with questions can call 631-444-0365. DEC will only accept written comments and all comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on August 2, 2018.

Where to Find Information on Bulkhead Replacement Projects

DEC will review and approve requests for authorization under the General Permit before activities can be undertaken.

The current General Permit for bulkhead replacement and repair projects expires on March 11, 2019. Projects authorized under this permit must be completed by March 11, 2019. New Yorkers with projects authorized under the current permit that will not be completed by March 11, 2019, or who intends to modify existing plans, must seek DEC authorization.

Go to DEC's website for the General Permit and the associated request for authorization form.

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