Town of East Hampton, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of East Hampton 5-15-1981 by L.L. No. 1-1981. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Conservation easements — See Ch. 16.
Environmental Preservation Fund — See Ch. 22.
Beaches and parks — See Ch. 91.
Community preservation — See Ch. 112.
Environmental quality review — See Ch. 128.
Farmland preservation — See Ch. 134.
Nature Preserve — See Ch. 182.
Open space preservation — See Ch. 193.
Recycling — See Ch. 204.
Vegetation protection — See Ch. 234.
Waterways — See Ch. 246.

§ 180-1 Title.

This local law shall be known as the "Town of East Hampton Natural Resources Law."

§ 180-2 Definitions.

As used in this local law, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACTION
Any act of commission or omission, past or present.
CODE
All of the duly enacted ordinances, local laws and regulations of the Town.
DEPARTMENT
The Town of East Hampton Department of Natural Resources.
[Added 8-6-1999 by L.L. No. 19-1999]
DIRECTOR
A Town employee, designated by the Town Board to be the head of the Department of Natural Resources, who shall be selected in accordance with the civil service laws of the State of New York.
[Added 8-6-1999 by L.L. No. 19-1999]
GROUNDWATER
All subsurface water within the Town.
HE or HIS
Whenever masculine pronouns are used, the feminine shall be implied where appropriate.
NATURAL FEATURES, RESOURCES OR SYSTEMS
All components of the natural environment, including, without limitation, aquifers, water bodies, drainage courses, freshwater and tidal wetlands, dunes, bluffs, beaches, escarpments, woodlands, shrublands, grasslands, large trees, glacial erratics, unique or unusual plants and trees, wildlife habitat and scenic views or overlook areas and all combinations thereof.
[Added 8-6-1999 by L.L. No. 19-1999]
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity.
SURFACE WATER
All surface waters, fresh and salt waters and wetland areas within the Town.
TOWN
The full geographic jurisdiction of the Town of East Hampton, exclusive of any incorporated village therein, including the lands and waters of the Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of East Hampton, Long Island, New York, to which the lawful regulatory authority of the Town may extend.

§ 180-3 Purpose and policy.

[Amended 8-6-1999 by L.L. No. 19-1999]
The natural features, resources and systems of East Hampton Town are vast in number and diverse in type. The stewardship of the flora, fauna, ground and surface waters, endangered species, distressed and problem wildlife, and other various natural features must be paid attention to if such natural features, resources and systems are to thrive. Planning tools such as inventories, monitors and mappings; educational tools such as outreach and training; and field-related tools such as inspections, restorations and maintenance activities shall be used by the Department to pursue the Town's policy of preserving, protecting and conserving its natural features, resources and systems.

§ 180-4 Administration.

[Amended 8-6-1999 by L.L. No. 19-1999]
There shall be in the Town of East Hampton a Department of Natural Resources. The administrative head of such Department shall be the Director, who shall be qualified by suitable education and environmental training and experience to perform his duties.

§ 180-5 Power and duties.

[Amended 8-6-1999 by L.L. No. 19-1999]
A. 
Powers. The authority of the Department shall be as provided in this local law, and shall be focused on the preservation, protection and conservation of the Town's natural features, resources and systems, both by providing leadership and by providing assistance to other departments, entities and individuals.
B. 
Duties. The duties and responsibilities of the Department shall include:
(1) 
Identification and assessment of natural resources. The significant natural features, resources and systems of the Town shall be identified and assessed. Various planning tools, such as inventories, monitorings, databases and GIS mappings shall be utilized. Such identification and assessment efforts shall be coordinated with the Department of Planning provided for pursuant to Chapter 50 of this Code.
(2) 
Long-range planning. Long-range plans shall be developed and strategies implemented for the conservation and enhancement of such identified significant natural features, resources and systems.
(3) 
Identification and review of contaminants and harmful actions. Contaminants, including but not limited to sewage, petroleum and toxics, and actions which have caused or are likely to cause impairment, damage or destruction to the Town's natural features, resources and systems shall be identified and reviewed.
(4) 
Referral of findings. Findings pertaining to contaminants and to harmful or potentially harmful actions shall be reported to the Town Supervisor, to the Ordinance Enforcement Department provided for pursuant to Chapter 45 of this Code, and to any and all local, county, state or federal agencies with jurisdiction or other interest in such matters.
(5) 
Assistance in enforcement. Assistance shall be rendered, as requested, to said Ordinance Enforcement Department in connection with violations or alleged violations of § 180-7 of this chapter. Such assistance may include, without limitation, the provision of technical support and expertise, field work, affidavits and live testimony.
(6) 
Water testing. Groundwater and surface water testing may be performed in accordance with a work program consistent with generally accepted scientific standards and practices.
(7) 
Septic systems. Septic system inspections shall be conducted by a sanitation inspector under the direction of the Director and in coordination with the Building Inspector pursuant to Chapters 102 and 210 of this Code.
(8) 
Rare and endangered species. Services aimed at protecting and managing rare and endangered species will be rendered.
(9) 
Distressed and problem wildlife. Services directed toward distressed and problem wildlife shall be made available, on an emergency basis, where not provided by the private sector. Such services shall be coordinated as appropriate with the Town's animal control officers.
(10) 
Education and grants. Educational meetings and programs shall be provided. Public information on measures needed to carry out the purposes and policies of this chapter shall be made available. With Town Board approval, grants for funding projects may be sought and, when awarded, shall be undertaken and completed.
(11) 
Coordination. The Department shall coordinate with the Department of Planning.
(12) 
Other entities. Upon Town Board approval, the Department may provide assistance to the Town Trustees, Village of East Hampton, other levels of government, and nongovernmental agencies and organizations regarding environmental grants, contracts, permits and the like; the Department shall keep the Town Board informed regarding the Department's efforts pertaining to such activities.
(13) 
Proposed amendments. Amendments to the Town Code to fulfill the policy and purpose of this chapter shall be proposed to the Town Board.
(14) 
Records and reports. The Director shall maintain records of the Department's activities and shall submit a written quarterly report about such activities to the Town Board. Written reports shall be prepared and written results shall be compiled regarding the Department's grant projects, its efforts to identify and assess natural resources, its long-range planning, its testing programs, and the like. Such written reports and results shall be made available to the various Town departments and to the public.
(15) 
Environmental Impact Statements. At the request of the Town Board, the Department shall assist other agencies of the Town in the preparation and review of draft Environmental Impact Statements involving actions which may have a significant effect on the Town's natural resources. The Director shall compute the actual expenses incurred by the Department and hours worked by the Director and other employees of the Department in assisting with the preparation or review of draft environmental impact statements prepared by or for an applicant before a Town agency, in order to permit the recovery of these costs as authorized by Chapter 128 of this Code.

§ 180-6 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 104-6, Duties, as amended 5-1-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992, was deleted 8-6-1999 by L.L. No. 19-1999.

§ 180-7 Protection of natural resources.

It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, to cause or allow the discharge of toxic or radioactive substances, industrial waste, sewage or other contaminants into the air, water or earth in quantities, of characteristics or for such duration which cause or are likely to cause detriment to health, safety, welfare, property, surface water or groundwater.

§ 180-8 Exemptions.

For the purpose of this local law, any discharge, including but not limited to discharge of sewage into an approved disposal system, discharge from home heating systems, discharge from internal combustion engines, discharge of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or other agricultural chemicals, shall be deemed not a violation of § 180-7, provided that such discharge was made in compliance with an applicable county, state or federal standard, regulation or law.

§ 180-9 Procedure regarding violations or alleged violations.

[Amended 8-6-1999 by L.L. No. 19-1999; 9-6-2012 by L.L. No. 13-2012]
Upon receiving a complaint or upon his own initiative, the Director may commence the following procedure:
A. 
Referral. Where the Director has cause to believe, whether upon complaint or upon his own information, that any person may be in violation of § 180-7 of this chapter, or of any other provision of this Code, which violation may have caused or may be likely to cause impairment, damage or destruction to natural resources, the Director shall refer the matter to the Building Inspector, Town Chief Investigator, any Ordinance Enforcement Officer or any other duly authorized administrative official of the Town to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Investigation. Upon request of the Building Inspector, Town Chief Investigator, any Ordinance Enforcement Officer or any other duly authorized administrative official of the Town to enforce the provisions of this chapter, the Director and the Department staff shall assist the Ordinance Enforcement Department in the investigation of an alleged violation of § 180-7 of this chapter, providing technical support and expertise, field work, and related help as needed.
C. 
Notice of violation. After investigation, a long-form information or any other appropriate legal documentation shall be prepared by the Building Inspector, Town Chief Investigator, any Ordinance Enforcement Officer or any other duly authorized administrative official of the Town to enforce the provisions of this chapter regarding any action that the official has reasonable cause to believe violates this chapter, or any other provision of this Code, which violation may have caused or may be likely to cause impairment, damage or destruction to natural resources. In connection with such enforcement proceeding, the Director and Department staff shall provide the official with assistance as requested, such as the provision of affidavits and live testimony.

§ 180-10 Enforcement.

[Amended 8-6-1999 by L.L. No. 19-1999]
A. 
General. This chapter shall be enforced by the Town Ordinance Enforcement Officers, with the assistance of the Department Director and staff, as set forth herein.
B. 
Penalties. Any person, firm, corporation or other entity that commits a violation of this chapter shall be punishable in the following manner:
[Amended 9-5-2003 by L.L. No. 27-2003]
(1) 
For a conviction of a first offense, the violator shall be guilty of a violation pursuant to the Penal Law, the imposition of a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or a term of imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both.
(2) 
For the conviction of each subsequent offense, the violator shall be guilty of a misdemeanor pursuant to the Penal Law, punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 or a term of imprisonment not more than six months, or both.
(3) 
In lieu of or in addition to these punishments, any offender may be punished by being ordered to restore the affected property to its condition prior to the offense, insofar as that is possible. Any such order shall specify a reasonable time for the completion of such restoration, which shall be effected under the supervision of the approving authority.
C. 
Continuing violation. After the date on which the Building Inspector, Ordinance Enforcement Officer, or other responsible Town official shall have provided notice of a violation or a stop-work order to the offender, each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense.
[Amended 9-5-2003 by L.L. No. 27-2003]
D. 
It is the purpose of this local law to provide additional and cumulative remedies to preserve, protect and conserve the natural resources of the Town. Nothing in this local law nor anything done by virtue of it shall abridge, repeal or alter private or civil rights of action and remedies nor reduce, transfer or abolish the powers or duties of the Town's elected and appointed officers, boards or agencies.

§ 180-11 Validity.

The invalidity of any section or provision of this local law shall not invalidate any other section or provision thereof.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 104-12, When effective, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 5-1-1992 by L.L. No. 8-1992.