OPPOSING LEGISLATION NYS S1725A-2023, “Class C Stream Bill”
The Cattaraugus County Soil and Water Conservation District strongly opposes proposed legislation contained in S1725A-2023, commonly referred to as the “Class C Stream Bill.”
Under the proposal, Class C waterways would be added to the current list of protected stream classifications AA, A, B, C(T) and C(TS) stream. Each of these protected stream classifications require a permit if activities disturb the banks, stream bed, or involve dams and impounding structures, docks or the dumping of fill.
Many agricultural operations throughout Cattaraugus County routinely conduct maintenance and other work that impacts stream banks and would be adversely affected. The proposal would add an estimated 40,000 additional miles of streams to require permitting issued by an existing understaffed NYSDEC. The legislation will add substantial delays to routine, proposed and emergency maintenance and projects resulting in economic harm. Farming operations, in particular, are significantly impacted by timing and windows of opportunity; of which the proposed legislation significantly restricts. Waiting for permits to be issued will be detrimental to their crops, operations, and have an overall negative impact on the economy
The District strongly urges this legislation be vetoed and not made into law.