Note: Most states have enacted laws and regulations to protect wetlands. In many cases, these rules are established to define the state's role in the "§404 permit/§401 certification process." This process involves the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and your state environmental agency. To learn more about the wetlands permitting process go to the CICA Wetlands Regulations/Permit page.
How Are Wetlands Activities Regulated by Vermont? Vermont's Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) and the Water Resources Board (WRB) regulate wetlands. Each year the Vermont Significant Wetland Inventory map is revised to reflect new wetland designations made during the previous year.
Mitigation Measures. The compensation of wetlands shall therefore only be considered when the applicant has shown, first, avoidance, minimization and restoration are
not practicable alternatives, and second, the applicant has quantitatively evaluated each of the wetland functions and can show that there will be no net loss of significant wetland functions or acreage.
Wetlands. Wetlands are defined as areas "inundated by surface or ground water with a frequency sufficient enough to support significant vegetation or aquatic life that depends on saturated or seasonally saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction."
Wetland Categories. Wetlands are divided into three classes. Class one wetlands are exceptional and irreplaceable based upon their contribution to Vermont's natural heritage. Class two wetlands are areas that are either significant alone or when viewed in conjunction with other wetlands. Class three wetlands are areas that do not merit protection from the Board because they have not been evaluated or, when last evaluated, they did not deserve protection. Certain activities in a class one or two wetland can occur without any review provided that the configuration of the wetland's outlet or the flow into or out of the wetland is not altered and that no draining, dredging, filling, or grading occurs.
Regulated Wetland Activities. ANR regulates any activity that does not constitute an allowed use within the wetland or adjacent buffer zone. Instead of issuing permits, the ANR identifies allowed uses of wetlands and authorizes the Secretary of the ANR to issue conditional use determinations.
Exempt Wetland Activities. Farming activities involving the cultivation or other use of land for growing food or livestock, fiber, Christmas trees, maple sap, horticulture, fish farms, or bees for profit are exempt from rules promulgated by the WRB. Activities in Class three wetlands also are not regulated.
Water Environment Federation. The WEF Web site provides access to a wetlands related technical discussion area, as well as publications and other information on wetlands.
Wetlands Regulation Center. The Wetlands Regulation Center Web site contains information on laws, policies and regulations concerning activities regulated under Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Association of State Wetland Managers. The Association of State Wetland Managers Web site provides information on wetlands news and events, including new regulations/legislation, upcoming conferences and events, publications, and more.
Society of Wetland Scientists. The Society of Wetland Scientists Web site provides access to on-line scientific wetlands journals and a wetlands discussion forum, as well as information on upcoming wetlands conferences and events.
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