DEC proposing new regulations to help control invasive species

— The state Department of Environmental Conservation, in coordination with the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, has announced it is proposing new regulations to help control invasive species, including aquatic invasive species, and will accept public comments until Dec. 23.

“These regulations, once implemented, are expected to help control invasive species, a form of biological pollution, by reducing the introduction of new and spread of existing populations, thereby having a positive impact on the environment,” according to the DEC.

The proposed regulation was published in the New York State Register on Oct. 23.

The proposed regulations include a list of prohibited species which shall be unlawful to knowingly possess with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport or introduce; a list of regulated species which shall be legal to possess, sell, purchase, propagate and transport but may not be knowingly introduced into a free-living state; and require a permit for research, education and other approved activities involving prohibited species and release of regulated species into a free-living state. The rulemaking also specifies the criteria used in making such classifications and a means for future classification of species. The proposed regulations also establish grace periods for certain prohibited species to allow businesses to plan the management of existing stock.

Public comments on the proposed rules should be sent to should be sent to Leslie Surprenant, NYS DEC, Invasive Species Coordination Unit, 625 Broadway, Floor 5, Albany, NY 12233 or via email to invasivesregs@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

In addition to the public comment period, the DEC will hold four public hearings in December in Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany and Stony Brook. The Syracuse hearing will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the Martha Eddy Room at the state fairgrounds, 581 State Fair Blvd.

NYS DEC staff will be available one half hour before the start of the hearings to answer questions.

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