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For Release: Thursday, July 22, 2021

DEC Issues Regional Authorization to Expedite Storm Recovery Projects

Emergency Authorization for Delaware, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, and Schoharie Counties Will Expedite Permitting to Help Region Recover from Recent Storms and Flooding

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued an emergency authorization to help communities in Delaware, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, and Schoharie counties rebuild critical infrastructure after severe storms and flash flooding last week. 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.

"DEC stands ready to help these storm-ravaged communities heal after severe weather events," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "This regional authorization is an important step to expedite the critical work necessary to bring communities and infrastructure back on-line and restore quality of life."

DEC's Region 4 Office has a standing General Permit, which authorizes specific regulated activities, including emergency stream repair work in protected waterbodies following a natural disaster. General Permits help communities rebuild by avoiding the process of seeking individual site-specific permits. Parties must apply to DEC for coverage under the permit before beginning work in a stream, including but not limited to: stream restoration; backfilling; stabilization; or infrastructure repair that would create a disturbance to the stream. DEC considers such coverage on a case-by-case basis.

DEC allows pumping out flood waters from residential structures without a permit. If possible, property owners are advised to pump water to a grassy area so that solids can settle out before entering nearby waterbodies. In the event that any water encountered during the flood recovery is impacted by petroleum, chemicals, or other hazardous materials, property owners are advised to immediately contact DEC's Spill hotline (1-800-457-7362) prior to addressing any flood waters.

For more information, go to DEC's website. To assist with permits needed from recent flooding impacts and for a determination on whether proposed work requires a DEC permit or approval, please contact the Regional Permit Administrator, Kate Kornak, at Kate.kornak@dec.ny.gov or 518-357-2459 for projects in Montgomery, Rensselaer, and Schoharie counties. For projects in Delaware and Otsego counties, contact the Deputy Regional Permit Administrator, Martha Bellinger, at martha.bellinger@dec.ny.gov or 607-652-7741.

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