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Planning Ahead
A well-planned project will result in an easier and faster permitting process. Important steps in the planning process include:
Identifying regulated waters on the project site. Early identification of regulated waters and their jurisdictional boundaries is essential for informed project planning. National and local wetland maps are helpful tools for early identification of wetlands, but they are not conclusive. While lakes and rivers are easily identifiable, regulated intermittent streams, channelized streams, ditches and ponds can be more difficult, and require additional investigation.
Retaining professional consultant services. Most projects involving wetlands and waterways require the technical expertise of wetland or environmental consultants to determine wetland boundaries, prepare functional assessments and develop mitigation plans.
Exploring alternatives to avoid and minimize impacts. Applications for removal fill permits require demonstration that the activity is the practicable alternative with the least impact to wetlands or waterways. To do this, applicants must have a clear purpose and need, a set of project criteria and explore alternative sites, alternative designs and alternative construction methods to avoid and minimize impacts to meet the project objectives.
Planning to mitigate for unavoidable impacts. If some impacts to wetlands or waterways are unavoidable, the applicant must propose mitigation to replace the functions and values lost as a result of the project.
Pre-design permit scoping. Most projects require permits or approvals from many local, state and federal agencies. Early identification of all the permits and their requirements is essential to avoid costly redesign and project delays.
Pre-application meetings. The Department offers pre-application meetings to assist applicants in planning ahead for a smooth permitting process.
Removal-Fill Guide: Chapter 4 – Planning Ahead
Removal-Fill Guide