Public hearing dates have been set to discuss the January 1, 2025, rule changes affecting freshwater wetlands jurisdiction and classification in New York.

The hearings will be held virtually on WebEx at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sept. 10th, and in person at 1:00 p.m. on Sept. 12th at 625 Broadway in Albany. Written comments will be accepted until Sept. 17th. More information will be available on the New York Department of Environmental Conservation website.

The purpose of the rule changes is to implement specific amendments to the Freshwater Wetlands Act adopted in April of 2022. The changes are intended to expand protections to previously unprotected wetlands throughout the state, fundamentally altering the statutory framework of Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law. In order to clarify statutory provisions and guide the Department of Environmental Conservation’s implementation, 6 NYCRR Part 664, Freshwater Wetlands Maps and Classification, will be repealed and replaced with a new Part 664, Freshwater Wetlands Jurisdiction and Classification. In addition, the action would repeal Part 662, Interim Permits, which the DEC no longer uses.

Text of the proposed changes can be obtained from Roy Jacobson, Jr., Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233, (518) 402-8924, or by email from wetlandregulatorycomments@dec.ny.gov. Written comments can be made to the Division of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233, (518) 402-8924, or by email to wetlandregulatorycomments@dec.ny.gov.

If you need help with a matter concerning these changes, please reach out to an attorney in our Environmental Practice Group, including Frank C. Pavia at 585-419-8709 and fpavia@harrisbeach.com; Amelia McLean-Robertson at (315) 214-2028 and arobertson@harrisbeach.com; Gene J. Kelly at (518) 701-2740 and gkelly@harrisbeach.com; John J. Anzalone at (516) 880-8108 and janzalone@harrisbeach.com; Anthony P. Luisi at (518) 701-2726 and aluisi@harrisbeach.com; or to the Harris Beach attorney with whom you most frequently work.

This alert is not a substitute for advice of counsel on specific legal issues.

Harris Beach has offices throughout New York state, including Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Saratoga Springs, Syracuse and White Plains, as well as Washington D.C., New Haven, Connecticut and Newark, New Jersey.