March 11, 2024

David Plante
Deputy Director for Regulatory Programs
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
1133 State Rt. 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977

Re. General Permit for Certain Minor Regulated Activities in Wetlands, GP 2024 G-1

Dear Mr. Plante,
   This General Permit for minor activities in wetlands replaces a very similar one that has been in place for over 20 years. It should be helpful to Agency Members and to the general public if Agency staff would better summarize in writing this track record, meaning the results of that 2002 General Permit (2002G-3AAR), and characterize its 20 years of use and levels of success in achieving goals with minimum alteration of wetlands impacted, and with success, or lack thereof, in wetland compensation mitigation.

Also missing at the present time are clear written paragraph(s) by a member of the Resource Analysis and Scientific Services staff addressing the improvements of this wetlands General Permit, and why Agency RASS staff believe it necessary and important to substitute it now for the 2002 General Permit. Comparing the two General Permits, one can discern several potential improvements made. However, Agency RASS staff should be asked to comprehensively address and submit this question in writing.

Even activities in wetlands that the Agency staff, via this General Permit, deem minor with minimal, temporary impacts requiring full wetland restoration or, in certain instances, wetland mitigation can and do conflict with the clarity of the APA’s Freshwater Wetland Act responsibilities under Part 578 of Agency regulations.

Part 578.10 of the Agency regulations provide such clarity. Wetlands rated 1, or Value 1 wetlands are under Part 578.10 those special wetlands where activity must “be compatible with preservation of the entire wetland; and would not result in degradation or loss of any part of the wetland and its associated values.” To quote APA’s website, the Agency has “stricter standards for activities in high value wetlands . . . development is generally prohibited in wetlands with a value rating of ‘1.’”  

Given that stricter standard, this General Permit, GP 2024 G-1, should not apply to minor activities, however temporary, in Value 1 wetlands because APA regulations so strictly prohibit any impacts that would result in the loss of any part of these rare and most important wetlands.

Thank you for considering our comments.

David Gibson
Managing Partner

Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve
P.O. Box 9247
Niskayuna, NY 12309


Cc:  Agency Members and Designees
Barbara Rice, APA
Ben Amos, APA
Joe Zalewski, DEC