N.Y. County Law Section 299-N
County small watershed agency and processing of applications


1.

Designation of an agency. The board of supervisors may appoint or designate a county small watershed agency (hereinafter referred to as the agency), in similar manner as provided in § 251 (County agency)section two hundred fifty-one of this chapter in the case of county water districts, as now in effect or as hereafter amended. However, in any county where the board of supervisors has established or shall establish a soil conservation district pursuant to the soil conservation districts law, the soil conservation district shall serve as such agency. The agency shall undertake studies and assemble data relating to the need for a small watershed project (hereinafter referred to as the “project”), pursuant to said “Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act” and the need for the establishment of a county small watershed protection district (hereinafter referred to as the “watershed district”).

2.

Procedure for approval of project applications and establishing priorities therefor. If the agency, after study and investigation, is of the opinion that it would be in the public interest and for the protection of public health and welfare to undertake a project, it shall, with the approval of the board of supervisors, make application to the secretary of agriculture of the United States for assistance pursuant to section three of the said “Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act”. Before such application is forwarded to the secretary of agriculture of the United States for approval, it shall be submitted to and approved by the water resources commission (hereinafter referred to as the “commission”) prior to submission of the application to the secretary of agriculture. At the same time that an application is submitted to the commission, a copy thereof shall be forwarded by the agency to the state soil conservation committee, which shall, within thirty days after receipt of the copy of the application, submit any advice or comments to the commission. The commission is authorized to establish and amend a priority list for projects, and to establish rules and regulations for the handling and processing of applications, plans and projects. Such applications to the commission shall be accompanied by an outline of the project in general form indicating the purpose, size, scope and location of the contemplated project, the proposed works and facilities, and, when available, preliminary estimates of the total maximum cost of the project and the amount and nature of requested federal aid and local costs. The approval of the application by the commission shall not be deemed to be final approval of the project, or approval of detailed plans and specifications for the project, or to authorize the construction of any project works or facilities. The commission shall not be required to hold a hearing on such an application but, before disapproving any application, it may cause a public hearing to be held on the application to hear any and all interested parties.

3.

Approval of watershed work plan.

(a)

Upon completion of a watershed work plan which shall contain an outline of the proposed project, including preliminary plans, estimates, cost allocations and other data as provided in section three of the said “Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act,” the agency, if it, after a study of the data, still is of the opinion that the project should be undertaken, shall have the watershed work plan reviewed and approved by the county engineer or another properly licensed professional engineer retained for such purpose, and after such review and as approved, shall, subject to authorization by the board of supervisors, submit the watershed work plan to the commission for approval, disapproval or modification. At the time of submitting the watershed work plan to the commission, the agency shall forward copies thereof to the soil conservation committee.

(b)

The water resources commission shall cause a public hearing to be held on the watershed work plan in accordance with the provisions and procedures provided by section four hundred fifty-one of the conservation law in respect to public hearings on water supply applications. The commission shall with all convenient speed and within ninety days after the final hearing either approve, disapprove or modify the watershed work plan. In reaching its decision, it shall be the duty of the commission to review the watershed work plan and other data and the evidence taken at the hearing, with due regard being given to the allocation of the water resources of the state to the various interests desiring to utilize such resources for the general benefit of the public. In approving the watershed work plan as submitted, or as modified by the commission, the commission shall determine that the watershed work plan includes the necessary works of improvement and that the proposed works of improvement, will have no adverse effect on the general and equitable uses of the water resources of the state in areas which might be affected thereby.

(c)

After approval by the commission, the watershed work plan as submitted or as modified, shall be the final complete watershed work plan for the project. The watershed work plan shall set forth the general scope and intent of the project but not necessarily include maps, plans and specifications in sufficient detail for contracting for and the construction of the works of improvement.

4.

None of the works of improvement included in the final watershed work plan shall be undertaken or constructed or put into operation until detailed maps, plans and specifications therefor have been submitted to the commission for approval. The commission need not hold a public hearing on such an application but may call upon the watershed district or its administrative head or body to furnish such further information or proof as the commission may require. The commission shall determine whether the detailed maps, plans and specifications provide for the proper and safe construction of all work connected with the project. The commission may approve or disapprove the detailed maps, plans and specifications, or modify them and, as so modified, approve them. When approved or modified and approved, the detailed maps, plans and specifications shall be the final construction plan.

5.

Modifications. Should it subsequently become necessary or desirable at any time either before or after the formation of a watershed district or the construction and completion of a project that the watershed work plan be modified in a substantial manner in scope or intent as specified in this subdivision five, or that the final construction plan be modified in a substantial manner, such modifications must be submitted to the board of supervisors and, if approved by the board, to the commission for such further action or approval as it may deem necessary or advisable before such modifications are put into effect. A change in scope or intent requiring modification of the watershed work plan and the action and approval prescribed by this subdivision five shall mean (1) a change in the multi-purposes and features of the project, or

(2)

a change affecting flood water storage which requires approval of committees of the Congress of the United States under the provisions of the “Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act”.

6.

Hearing expenses. The expenses of any hearing and determination required to be held and made by the commission shall be a charge against the county or counties and such county or counties shall, upon certification by the commission, pay such expenses to the persons entitled thereto.

Source: Section 299-N — County small watershed agency and processing of applications, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/CNT/299-N (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Jul. 20, 2024).

Accessed:
Jul. 20, 2024

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 299-N’s source at nysenate​.gov

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