Community DevelopmentWatershed Management

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Bail Seggos is encouraging New Yorkers to review and comment on the development of proposed regulations that would further protect freshwater wetlands statewide. DEC released the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) to begin developing regulations to implement the new law that expands the number of wetlands regulated by DEC.

Freshwater wetlands are lands and submerged lands, commonly called marshes, swamps, sloughs, bogs, and flats, that support aquatic or semi-aquatic vegetation. New York’s Freshwater Wetlands Act was enacted in 1975 to regulate activities near larger wetlands, greater than 12.4 acres, and smaller wetlands considered to be of unusual local importance. Starting in January 2025, the scope of the regulated smaller wetlands of “unusual importance” will be expanded to wetlands that meet one of the 11 specific criteria in order to provide additional fish and wildlife habitat and to protect communities rom flooding. The ANPRM seeks feedback on the potential criteria that will be used to classify these newly protected wetlands.

Starting in January 2025, the scope of regulated smaller wetlands of “unusual importance” will be expanded to wetlands that meet one of 11 specific criteria in order to provide additional fish and wildlife habitat and to protect communities from flooding. The ANPR seeks feedback on the potential criteria that will be used to classify these newly protected wetlands.

Find more information about the public comment period and view the ANPRM on DEC’s website. Submit comments by February 19, 2024