Lands and Forests Emergency, Proposed & Recently Adopted Regulations – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

NYS DEC Accepting Comments on Proposed Changes to Conservation Easement Regulations

by Patricia Salkin

The NYS DEC will take comments through February 13, 2016 on proposed changes to the Conservation Easement Regulations – NYCRR Part 529. The purpose of the proposed new regulations is to provide standards and a procedure for DEC staff to utilize when modifying or extinguishing a conservation easement administered by the Department. The proposed new standards and procedures are as follows:

  1. a) The standards for the modification of a DEC conservation easement include:
  2. A modification of a DEC conservation easement, other than a modification to the stated purpose(s) as set forth in a DEC conservation easement, must not alter, and must be consistent with, the stated purpose(s) of the DEC conservation easement; and
  3. A modification of a DEC conservation easement must not affect the perpetual nature of the DEC conservation easement; and
  4. The modification must comply with all other existing policies, laws or regulations, including the specific requirements of the provisions of ECL section 49-0307, in effect at the time of the modification; and
  5. The proposed modification of a DEC conservation easement shall not result in any net loss of benefits to the state, as determined by the department in its sole discretion, including: consideration of any change in the level of public recreational opportunities or any change to the limitations or restrictions on the development, management or use of the property, or any other real property owned by or under the control of the grantor, for the purpose of preserving or maintaining the scenic, open, historic, archaeological, architectural, or natural condition, character, significance or amenities of the area where the property is located in a manner consistent with the public policy and purpose set forth in ECL section 49-0301.

(b) The standard for the modification of the purpose(s) or the extinguishment of a DEC conservation easement shall require a finding by the department that the DEC conservation easement can no longer substantially accomplish its original purpose(s) or any of the purposes set forth in the ECL section 49-0301.

Section 592.4 Procedures

The Department must comply with the following procedures for the modification or the extinguishment of a DEC conservation easement.

(a) Written notice to grantor and entities entitled to third party enforcement rights. The department must provide written notice of the proposed modification or extinguishment of a DEC conservation easement to the grantor and entities designated in the DEC conservation easement as having third party enforcement rights by certified mail, return receipt requested to the address on file with the department for the respective entities; and

(b) Public notice, comment period, non-adjudicatory hearing.

 

  1. Public Notice.
  2. For modification only of DEC conservation easement. The department must publish public notice in the ENB of the department’s intent to modify a DEC conservation easement including a general summary of the proposed modification(s) and the opportunity for the public to submit written public comments to the department. The public comment period shall begin on the date the notice of the public comment period appears in the ENB; or
  3. For modification to the purpose(s) or extinguishment of DEC conservation easement. The department must publish public notice of its intent to modify the purpose(s) or extinguish a DEC conservation easement in the State Register, the ENB and in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county where the property is located. The public notice shall include the facts supporting a finding that the DEC conservation easement can no longer substantially accomplish its original purpose(s) or any of the purposes set forth in the ECL section 49-0301 and the date of a non-adjudicatory hearing to be held at least thirty (30) calendar days after the date of the publication.
  4. Public comment period. The department must provide for a public comment period for thirty (30) calendar days to accept public comments related to the proposed modification to, or extinguishment of, a DEC conservation easement. The department may provide for the receipt of public comment through the use of meetings, exchanges of written material, or other means during the public comment period.
  5. Non-adjudicatory public hearing. For proposals which include the modification of the purpose(s) or extinguishment of a DEC conservation easement, the department must conduct a non-adjudicatory public hearing to be held during the public comment period to provide the public with an opportunity to be heard on the modification of the purpose(s) or the extinguishment of a DEC conservation easement.

(c) Commissioner’s determination only for modification to the purpose(s) or extinguishment of DEC conservation easement.

  1. For any proposed modification to the purpose(s) or the extinguishment of a DEC conservation easement, the Commissioner must make a written determination that the conservation easement can no longer substantially accomplish its original purposes. The proposed modificaton to the purpose(s) or extinguishment of a DEC conservation easement following closure of the public comment period, shall consider the following reasons in support of the determination: (1) why the DEC conservation easement can no longer substantially accomplish its original purpose(s) or any of the purposes set forth in ECL section 49-0301, and determine if it should therefore be extinguished or modified; (2) if modified, the proposed modification to the purpose(s) set forth in the DEC conservation easement will comply with the requirements of section 592.3 of this Part and be consistent with the policies and objectives set forth in ECL section 49-0301; and (3) if a DEC conservation easement is modified or extinguished pursuant to this Part, it shall be set forth in an instrument which complies with the requirements of ECL section 49-0305.
  2. The Commissioner must publish the determination and a summary of the determination in the ENB. The recording of a deed or other conveyance document in the county clerk’s office where the DEC conservation easement is located must be filed no earlier than one hundred twenty (120) calendar days after the notice of the Commissioner’s determination appears in the ENB.

Comments may be sent to:

Jim Sessions, Forester

Division of Lands and Forests

625 Broadway

Albany, NY 12233-4250

ConservationEasements@dec.ny.gov

 

For more information see: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2359.html

IRS Completes the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015

IRS Completes the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2015

Identity theftphone scamsphishing and return preparer fraud: They are all on the IRS Dirty Dozen list of tax scams this year. Learn more about the Dirty Dozen in this YouTube video.

Review the details of each scam here.

Identity theftphone scamsphishing and return preparer fraud: They are all on the IRS Dirty Dozen list of tax scams this year. Learn more about the Dirty Dozen in this YouTube video.

Review the details of each scam here.

25 hidden iPhone features that are really, truly hidden | Fox News

By  Zach Epstein  Published January 22, 2016  BGR

***

Each of the tips that follow below, however, are completely hidden. There is no indication that these functions exist in iOS, and we guarantee that most users don’t know about them. In fact, we also guarantee that even the savviest iPhone owners among you will find at least one or two things you didn’t already know. In fact, ran this list past a friend who works at Apple and there were a few things that even he didn’t know.

***

Read entire list of 25 features here.

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NSA’s top hacking boss explains how to protect your network from his attack squads • The Register

28 Jan 2016 at 04:06, Iain Thomson

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Usenix Enigma The United States National Security Agency (NSA) is a notoriously secretive organization, but the head of its elite Tailored Access Operations (TAO) hacking team has appeared at Usenix’s Enigma conference to tell the assembled security experts how to make his life difficult.

Rob Joyce has spent over a quarter of a century at No Such Agency and in 2013 he became head of TAO, with responsibility for breaking into non-US computer networks run by overseas companies and governments. Joyce’s presentation on network security at the event boiled down to one piece of advice.

“If you really want to protect your network you have to know your network, including all the devices and technology in it,” he said. “In many cases we know networks better than the people who designed and run them.”

***

Read entire article here.

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Siri, Alexa and Other Virtual Assistants Put to the Test – The New York Times

Tech Fix

By  BRIAN X. CHEN JAN. 27, 2016

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All the so-called Frightful Five tech behemoths — Apple, Microsoft, AmazonFacebook and Google, now part of Alphabet — now offer virtual assistants, which handle tedious tasks in response to voice commands or keystrokes, on various devices. Apple‘s Siri is the best known, having been available since 2011, but Microsoft now has CortanaFacebook is testing one called M, and Google builds its voice assistant into its search apps.

***

Read comparison results here.

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Education Credits–AOTC and LLC

Higher Education Credits

Your clients may qualify for either of two education tax credits if they paid for higher education for themselves or immediate family members. Both the American Opportunity Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) may reduce the amount of taxes they owe, but only the American Opportunity Credit is partially refundable. 

The AOTC is worth up to $2,500 per year for an eligible student. This credit applies for the first four years of higher education. Forty percent of the AOTC is refundable. The LLC is worth up to $2,000. There is no limit on the number of years that a taxpayer can claim the LLC for an eligible student.

Taxpayers must complete Form 8863, Education Credits, and file Form 1040 or 1040A to claim these credits. 

Note to Tax Pros: An institution of higher education school should provide your client Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, showing expenses paid for the year. The amounts shown on the form may be different than the amount your client actually paid. When figuring the credit, be sure to verify whether the client paid any additional qualified education expenses not shown on the form. Form 1098-T contains information needed to complete Form 8863.

Learn more by visiting the IRS education benefits and EITC Refundable Credits Web pages or reading Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

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Revised NYS Bulk Storage Regulations – Webinar Update

Update – Public Webinars on Revised New York State Bulk Storage Regulations  – Next Webinar February 1, 2016

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued new petroleum and chemical bulk storage regulations that became effective October 11, 2015.

DEC hosted a webinar on November 23, 2015 that provided an overview of the Petroleum Bulk Storage (PBS) regulations.  DEC hosted a second webinar on January 11, 2016 that focused on the requirements for Underground Storage Tanks regulated under 6 NYCRR Subpart 613-2.  A file of the presentation and a link to the recording of the webinar are now available on DEC’s Revised Bulk Storage Regulations Webinar Page. 

The third webinar in the series will be held on February 1, 2016 and will focus on the requirements for Underground Storage Tanks regulated under 6 NYCRR Subpart 613-3.  Details and login information are also available on DEC’s Bulk Storage Webinar Page

A Future webinar will focus on requirements on tanks regulated under Subpart 613-4.

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