Great Lakes High Water USACE- Buffalo District Permit Guidance
New York State:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Buffalo District, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Department of State (DOS) have issued guidance regarding permits available for the purpose of shore protection to safeguard existing functional erosion control structures, roads, bridges, infrastructure, and property along the shorelines of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Saint Lawrence River including affected portions of associated bays and tributaries.
On May 8, 2020, the DEC issued a NEW General Permit (GP-0-20-004) for the purposes of shore protection to safeguard existing functional erosion control structures, roads, bridges, infrastructure, and property along the shorelines of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Niagara River, St. Lawrence River and associated embayments and tributaries. The new GP is similar to the prior GPs GP-0-17-006, GP-0-18-002 and GP-0-19-003. The GP-0-20-004 expires on May 7, 2025.
Details of the GP and instructions for applicants can be found at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/120369.html
Projects that qualify for the General Permits will also qualify for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
Nationwide Permit (NWP) No. 3, 13, and/or 19 and have received Coastal Consistency Certification from the New York State Department of State (DOS), except as noted below.
All GP applications must be submitted to the DEC who will determine if the GP applies. If the GP applies, no coordination with the USACE or DOS is required except for the following circumstances, as certain activities may require USACE pre-construction notification or approval under the Federal Endangered Species Act.
Before starting work, contact the USACE by sending a copy of the GP application package to: LRB.NewYork.RegActions@usace.army.mil for approval for any project that involves the following activities:
a.) Tree removal in: all Towns in Jefferson County; in the Towns of Sandy Creek and Richland, Oswego County; and in the Towns of Hammond, Morristown and Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence County.
b.) Activities in federally-regulated wetlands in the Towns of Huron and Wolcott, Wayne County.
c.) Activities in federally-regulated wetlands in Cayuga and Oswego Counties.
d.) Activities within sandy shorelines in the Towns of Sandy Creek and Richland, Oswego County.
e.) Activities within federally-regulated wetlands or sandy shorelines in the Towns of Henderson and Ellisburg, Jefferson County.
f.) Projects that involve the placement of stone below the mean high water line in excess of an average of one cubic yard per running foot of shoreline. Note for 1(f): The GP application package must also be sent to the NYS DOS along with a Federal Coastal Assessment Form for concurrence.
To ensure permit compliance, please review the terms and conditions of the USACE Nationwide Permits 3, 13 & 19, which contains updated DEC Water Quality Certification and DOS Coastal Consistency information for use with the GP. It can be accessed HERE.
NOTE: Projects that subsequently receive a DEC “STANDARD ACTIVITY PERMIT SAP-0-19-001: 2017-2018 LAKE ONTARIO/ST LAWRENCE RIVER FLOODING”, which allows for completion of projects that previously received a DEC GP but expired before completion of the authorized work, will continue to qualify for Nationwide Permit (NWP) No. 3, 13, and/or 19 and do not require additional review by USACE or DOS.
Projects not qualifying for the GP
If your project does not qualify for the GP a Joint Application for permit and Federal Coastal Assessment Form must be submitted to DEC, USACE, and DOS. The permit application forms can be found at: https://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/New-York-Permit-Information/ and