Administrative Review and Permitting Process for Wetland Permit Applications

Information on Administrative Review

What is administrative review?  It is an initial check to see if the form has been filled out, required documents submitted, and fees are correct.  Around 60% of all applications do not pass the initial check!  To make sure your application makes the first cut, use the below check list before submitting your application.

Administrative Review Checklst

The following administrative review checklist identifies items that are critical to complete application review for wetland permits

  • Application is filled out on current version of application form
  • All required application sections are filled out
  • The application is signed by all appropriate parties
  • Adjoining property owners have been notified and certification checkbox has been checked (Individual Wetland Permit Applications/Amendments and Wetland Determinations)
  • Wetland and buffer zone impact numbers are consistent throughout the application
    • Impact numbers listed on page 1 (fees page), Section 19.1 and 19.2, and site plans should all reflect the same numbers
  • Correct fee amount is included
    • Check is made payable to the “State of Vermont”
  • Application Attachments
    • Location Map
      • Needs to be separate from any site plans
      • Recommend using the Vermont Natural Resource Atlas using the topography map base layer, roads, and VSWI wetlands
    • Delineation forms (Individual Permit)
      • Should include one for upland and one for wetland for each impacted wetland
    • Site Plans
      • Must include wetland delineation and buffer zones, limits of disturbance, erosion controls, building envelopes, and any permanent memorialization
    • Shapefiles for any wetland required to have a wetland determination
    • Multiple Wetland Excel Table (Multiple Wetland Permit Applications)
    • Wetland Evaluation Forms (Multiple Wetland Permit Applications and Wetland Determinations)

 

  • If any of the checklist items are missing or incomplete, the application is deemed administratively incomplete and sent back to the applicant for review and resubmittal
  • The applicant will have 60-days to submit missing items and application corrections
  • In concurrence with Section 9.2 of the Vermont Wetland Rules, an application can be dismissed without prejudice if the information requested to process the application is not received within 60-days of the request

​Application Submittal Information

If submitting the application via US post, include a check in the correct fee amount made payable to the “State of Vermont,” and a CD or flashdrive for applications that contain large files (1 MB or greater) and mail to:

Vermont Wetlands Program
Watershed Management Division
One National Life Drive, Main 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3522

  • Applications can be sent by email to ANR.WSMDWetlands@vermont.gov 
  • If submitting the application by email, please mail a check in the correct fee amount, made payable to “State of Vermont,” and a copy of the Vermont Wetlands Program Application Database Page (page 1) to the address listed above 
    • If you have submitted the application by email, please do not send a copy through the mail

**Please note** When submitting the application by email, make sure to send it to the email address provided above.  Sending the application to the District Ecologist or Administrative staff may cause a delay in application processing

Application Fee Information

Current wetland permit fees
Application Type Fee
Individual Permit $240 + review fees
General Permit Authorization $240 + review fees
Administrative Amendment and Permit Transfers $50*
Permit Extension $240
Individual Permit Minor Amendment $120
Individual Permit Major Amendment $240 + net review fees
Wetlands Determination None
Other Fee Types Fee
Review Fees $0.75/sqft wetland impact $0.25/sqft buffer
After the Fact Fees $1.50/sqft wetland (restoration may be required)
Minimum $50
Cropland Conversion $200
Application Revision $100
* Fee exemptions for municipalities and Vtrans no longer apply as of 7/1/15
* no fees for typographical error corrections

Refund Policy: Fees cannot always be returned

  • If an application is modified, withdrawn or denied after technical review has commenced, all fees are retained
  • If an application is withdrawn prior to administrative review, all fees will be refunded
  • If an application is withdrawn after administrative review but prior or commencement of technical review, deemed administratively incomplete and returned to the applicant, or determined that a permit is not required; administrative fees are retained and, and application review fees will be refunded

Public Noticing Information

Public Notice Periods for Each Application Type
Application Type Notice Period Abutter Notification
Individual Permit 30 Days Yes
General Permit Authorization 14 Days No
Administrative Amendment or Permit Transfers None No
Permit Extension 14 Days Yes
Individual Permit Minor Amendment 14 Days Yes
Individual Permit Major Amendment 30 Days Yes
Wetland Determination 30 Days Yes
  • If abutter notification is required, it must be done at the time of application submittal to the Wetlands Program
  • Applications which require abutter notification include a copy of the official notice that needs to be sent to abutting property owners.  It is included as the last two pages of the application
  • The application includes a checkbox section on the signature page to certify that abutting property owners have been notified
  • Once an application has been deemed administratively complete it is posted on the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) website and all interested parties are notified
  • Once and application has been deemed technically, the public comment period will begin
    • Technically complete application, copy of draft permit, and any supporting documents are posted on the ENB
    • All interested parties are notified automatically through the ENB 
  • Once a permit decision has been made, it is posted to the ENB and remains available for viewing until the end of the 30-day appeal period

For more information on the Environmental Notice Bulletin, go here https://dec.vermont.gov/permits/enb

Common Reasons for Administrative Incompleteness

  • The applicant doesn’t certify that abutting property owners had been notified
  • The application is missing appropriate signatures
  • An incorrect fee is calculated due to inconsistencies with wetland and/or buffer zone impacts
  • After the fact wetland impacts were not accounted for
  • The application is filled out on the wrong form
  • The application is missing required attachments
  • Submitted attachment information is not included in the application
  • A site visit by the District Wetland Ecologist has not been completed (not required for general permit applications)
  • Shapefiles were not provided for the wetland determination

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Who should I contact if I’m having trouble with the application forms or questions about submittal?
A:  You can contact the Wetlands Program by either sending us an email at ANR.WSMDWetlands@vermont.gov or by giving us a call at 802.490.6195. 

Q:  Who are abutting property owners?  Are they determined by the location of the impacted wetland(s)?
A:  As stated in Act 150 and the Vermont Wetland Rules an abutting property owner is a person who owns land in fee simple, if that land: Shares a property boundary with a tract of land where the proposed or actual activity regulated by the department is located or; Is adjacent to a tract of land where such activity is located and the two properties are separated only by a river, stream, or public highway.  Abutters are no longer considered those who are within or adjacent to the affected wetland area or buffer zone.  Go to our website here: https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/wsm/wetlands/docs/APOExampleGuide2018.pdf for more information.

Q:  When do I notify abutting property owners?
A:  Abutting property owners need to be notified at the time or prior to application submittal using the official form included within the application.  The official notification form can also be found on our website here: https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/wsm/wetlands/docs/DEC-Adjoiner-Form-Template.pdf  The application includes a section on the signature page where you can check off and certify that all abutting landowners have been given notice of the applications submittal.  Abutter notification is not required for general permit applications.

Q:  Do I still need to notify town clerks and regional planning commissions?
A:  No.  Applicants are no longer required to distribute complete copies of the application to town clerks or regional planning commissions once the application is deemed technically complete. Town clerks and regional planning commissions automatically receive notification of application submittal and commencement of public notice through the Environmental Notice Bulletin.   

Q: Can I pay the application review fee with a credit or debit card?
A:  No. Currently, the state of Vermont Wetlands Program only accepts check or money order payments for application review fees

Q:  Can I submit the application by email or by providing a link to a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) site?
A:  Yes.  The Wetlands Program encourages the submittal of the application in a digital format.  Applications can be emailed to the Wetland Program general email address ANR.WSMDWetlands@vermont.gov.  If you are sending a link to an FTP site such as Dropbox, please ensure that appropriate Wetlands Program staff will be able to access it.  If you are submitting an electronic version of the application, it is not necessary to mail in a complete hard copy. We only need you to mail in a copy of the application database page and the fee check.

Q:  I’ve submitted my application and fee.  When will I hear from the Wetlands Program?
A:  Once a complete application has been received, it may take up to 14 days to receive a confirmation of receipt and decision of administrative review.

Q:  How long will it take to get my permit?
A:  The quality and completeness of the application is the most critical factor in determining how long an application takes to process.  In general, Individual Wetland permits can take from 3-6 months and Authorizations under the Wetland general Permit can take from 1-3 months to process from the receipt of complete application to issuance of permit decision.

Q:  I applied for an authorization under the Wetland General Permit and the application includes a wetland determination.  Will this delay receipt of my permit?
A:  Authorizations under the Wetland General Permit have a 14-day public comment period.  Wetland Determinations have a 30-day public comment period.  You should first receive the Authorization under the Wetland General Permit shortly after the 14-day comment period followed by the wetland determination after the 30-day comment period.

Q:  I just received my permit by email.  Are there any reporting forms I need to fill out?
A:  Yes.  Included with your permit is a Final Issuance Notice document.  That document needs to be recorded in the land records at the town clerk’s office with 30-days of the issuance of the permit.  Once the Final Issuance Notice is recorded you will need to fill out and submit the Wetland Permit Town Recording Form.  That form, along with the permit work start notification and the wetland permit work completion certification form are on ANR online.  Those forms can be found here - https://anronline.vermont.gov/   Permittees will need to register an account.  The forms need to be submitted electronically to us using ANR Online.

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