Procedure for Evaluating Petitions to Adopt, Amend or Repeal Surface Water and Wetland Rules

15 November 2013
DEC is issuing this "Procedure for Evaluating Petitions to Adopt, Amend or Repeal Surface Water and Wetland Rules" to provide guidelines for potential petitioners and other persons or entities interested in DEC's surface water and wetlands rulemaking. This procedure is intended to promote clear, transparent and consistent decision-making and assist petitioners and interested entities in submitting petitions during this interim period until the Secretary adopts a Department rule to supplant the NRB's Rules of Procedure. This procedure replaces the interim procedure of the same name signed on January 30, 2013.

Permit Information

Any activity within a Class I or II wetland or buffer zone which is not exempt or considered an "allowed use" under the Vermont Wetland Rules requires a permit. In order to obtain a permit, an applicant must show that they are unable to perform the activity outside of the wetland or buffer zone and that they are not lowering the quality of the wetland's protected functions and values.

Wetland Functions and Values: Open Space and Aesthetics

water, shrubs, and grasses of a valley wetland
Wetlands bring visual richness and variety to the landscape.
Many wetlands are visually rich environments because of their ecological interest and diversity. Historically, writers, artists, and photographers have been drawn to wetlands trying to capture the beauty on canvas and paper. Open wetlands, such as marshes, are often considered to be more attractive than shrub or forested wetlands.

Wetland Functions and Values: Recreational Values and Economic Benefits

Three people canoeing in a wetland, using binoculars and taking photographs
Wetlands provide endless opportunities for popular recreational activities, such as hiking, boating, hunting, fishing, trapping and birdwatching. Almost everyone likes being on or near the water, and the presence of so many fascinating lifeforms makes our wetlands especially enjoyable treasures.

Wetland Functions and Values: Education and Research in Natural Sciences

Wetlands researchers conducting researchWetlands can provide tremendous opportunities for education and research. They are good systems to study for several reasons, one of which is that they are discrete ecosystems with easily defined boundaries. They also can exhibit a high diversity of habitats and species. By examining the types of pollen in layers of peat moss taken from bogs, we can learn about historical changes in climate and vegetation over thousands of years.


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