NYSDEC to Revise Uniform Procedures Act (UPA) Regulations
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is proposing revisions to the Uniform Procedures Act (UPA) regulations which are codified in 6 NYCRR Part 621. As of August 17, 2022, the public comment period has begun, where the NYSDEC is accepting input on the proposed rulemaking via e-mail or physical mail. On Thursday, October 20, 2022, two public comment hearings will be virtually held before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), where participants will have a chance to make a statement.
What is the Uniform Procedures Act?
The UPA establishes a framework for the timely and consistent review of applications for regulatory permits, including establishing specific time periods for department action. Under the UPA, a permit holder is allowed to request a permit renewal, reissuance, or other modification as long as sufficient supporting information is provided.
Furthermore, the UPA sets forth procedures to encourage public participation in review and decision-making processes and promote transparency. Some examples of activities covered under the UPA include protection of waters, water supply and transport, air pollution control, and freshwater/tidal wetlands.
What are some important changes to 6 NYCRR Part 621?
- Updated definitions of several terms within 6 NYCRR 621.2
- General requirements for applications under 6 NYCRR 621.3
- Part 621.3 has been revised to more specifically outline portions of environmental applications. For example, requirements for location maps, construction drawings, and operational manuals are explicitly defined within this revised section.
- When reviewing applications, the NYSDEC is now required to consider:
- impacts on statewide greenhouse gas emission limits
- future physical climate risk
- environmental justice concerns per the Environmental Justice Act of 2019
- Applications are not considered to be complete until the applicant/property owner provides consent for the NYSDEC to inspect the project site or facility
- The chief permit administrator shall be responsible for determining if a permit application is complete prior to initiating department review
- Public comment hearings are allowed to be conducted either virtually or in-person at the discretion of the NYSDEC
Walden has extensive experience securing environmental permits and helping our clients navigate the often-complicated processes associated with local, state, and federal compliance. Give us a call today at 516-559-6976 to learn more about how we can assist with your next project.