Established by state statue in 1973, the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency is charged to preserve wetlands and watercourses and to regulate activities in and around them. It is mandated to assure adequate, non-polluted water supplies and to prevent damage to streams and their adjoining wetlands and natural ecosystems.
If your proposal is to develop land which contains wetlands/watercourses, or if your development is proposed to drain into a wetland, or your proposed activity is located within 100 feet of a wetlands or watercourse, or it otherwise determined by the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency (IWWA) to likely impact a wetland, you may need to apply for a wetlands permit from the IWWA before or at the same time application is made to the Planning and Zoning Commission, or Zoning Board of Appeals.
The IWWA must render a decision on the wetlands application before the other Commissions/Board can render their decision.
Whether or not your property contains wetlands or whether or not your proposal may be regulated by the IWWA can be discussed with the Assistant Planner/ Authorized Wetlands Agent.
A wetland/watercourse delineation may be required. This is a process in which a Connecticut licensed soils scientist is hired by the applicant to field locate the boundaries of wetland soils and watercourses on your site, which would then be and plotted on your site plan by a land surveyor or engineer.
If you have wetlands on your property or your activity may impact a wetland, there are four possible ways that your proposal can be reviewed and/or proposed:
1. Administrative Ruling.
The Authorized Agent will make a site visit and determine that there will be no wetlands impact and no further application will be required, or will determine that the activity is within his/ her authority to review and act upon administratively.
2. Referral to the IWWA
The Authorized Agent may refer your project to the IWWA. At a meeting, the IWWA will decide if you will be required to submit a permit application.
If your proposed activity is within a wetlands or watercourse, or is determined likely to impact a wetland/watercourse, you will be required to obtain a wetlands permit.
Please contact the Authorized Agent for assistance meeting/ understanding application requirements.
The IWWA has 65 days from the date of receipt of an application to render a decision on your application.
The IWWA may hold a public hearing on your application if any of the following is determined by the Agency:
- The proposal is deemed “a significant activity” by the Agency (see Section 7.5 of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Regulations)
- The Commission decides a Public Hearing would be in the public interest as it relates to wetlands; or
- A petition requesting a Public Hearing is submitted by 25 persons or more within 14 days of the date of receipt of an application.
The IWWA must hold a Public Hearing within 65 days of the date of receipt of an application and close the Hearing within 45 days. A decision must then be made within 35 days after the Public Hearing.
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