N.Y. Navigation Law Section 32
Location of structures in or on navigable waters


Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision two of § 46-A (Regulations of vessels)section forty-six-a of this chapter, no wharf, dock, pier, jetty, platform or other structure built on floats, columns, open timber, piles or similar open-work supports, temporary or permanent, shall be constructed, installed, repaired, modified, expanded or otherwise placed by any person in the navigable waters of the state or in a navigable channel or replaced by any person in such waters or channel on or after the effective date of this section after having been removed from such waters or channel for a period in excess of thirty days so as to interfere with the free and direct access to such waters from the property, wharf, dock or similar structure of any other person unless written permission is obtained therefor from such other person.


In case any written complaint shall be filed with the commissioner of general services and he shall have cause to believe, or in case the commissioner himself shall have cause to believe, that any person is violating the provisions of this section or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall cause a prompt investigation to be made.


The commissioner shall have the power, after hearing on due notice, to make and serve an order, setting forth the findings of fact and conclusions therefrom, directing any person constructing, installing, repairing, modifying, expanding or otherwise placing or using any such structure to either move or remove the said structure or to reconstruct, repair or modify the same within such reasonable time and in such manner as shall be specified in said order, and it shall be the duty of every such person to obey, observe and comply with such order and the conditions therein prescribed. The commissioner is authorized to adopt, amend, repeal and enforce such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary to govern administrative procedures applicable to hearings under this section.


It shall be unlawful for any person to fail, omit or neglect to comply with such order or to fail to move, remove, reconstruct, repair or modify said structure as provided in the order within a reasonable time as designated by the commissioner.


Any person who fails, omits or neglects to comply with or otherwise violates any such order shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than one hundred dollars for such violation and an additional civil penalty of not more than one hundred dollars for each day during which such violation continues, to be assessed by the commissioner.


The commissioner is hereby authorized to commence an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with any order made and to recover any penalty assessed pursuant to the provisions of this section.


Any civil penalty or order issued by the commissioner under this section shall be reviewable in a proceeding under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules.


The provisions of this section shall not apply to marine terminals including piers, wharves, docks, bulkheads, slips, basins and other structures or facilities used in the transportation of waterborne cargo or passengers in interstate or foreign commerce.

Source: Section 32 — Location of structures in or on navigable waters, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/NAV/32 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).

Dec. 2, 2023

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 32’s source at nysenate​.gov

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