Wetlands Rulemaking

Wetland Map Edit Proposal

The Department of Environmental Conservation is requesting comments on the proposal to update the Vermont Significant Wetlands Inventory (VSWI), generally determine wetland types as Class II, and revise the Vermont Wetland Rules to clarify map update and determination procedures. 

See the below links to view draft materials and submit comments by Friday July 1, 2022. After receiving comments, the Department will review and provide a responsiveness summary.  Next, the Department will decide whether to initiate Rulemaking to start formal process of adopting those edits.  The Rulemaking filing would be placed on formal public notice through the Secretary of State and public hearings would be held.

The Agency recognizes the importance of providing maps to the public, so that landowners can avoid impacts to significant wetlands.  The updated map is intended to clarify the location of existing significant wetlands and provide better predictability for landowners.  The interactive draft VSWI map, linked below in allows the public to comment on specific proposed wetland mapping.  
Any unauthorized activity or construction in a significant wetland prior to its mapping is still a violation of the Wetland Rules.  The Agency will investigate complaints of unauthorized activity in significant wetlands, including newly mapped significant wetlands, as those complaints are received.  Generally, reports of ongoing unauthorized activity or construction within significant wetlands, including recently mapped wetlands, will receive priority with the goal of preventing further disturbance within the wetlands.  Please do not submit wetland rule violation complaints in the comment section of the draft maps, complaints should be made here.  Also, please note that land used to grow food or crops before the Wetland Rules were established are considered exempt, even in areas of mapped wetland. Please refer to our Vermont Farming Activities in Wetlands and Buffers Document for more details on this issue.

Authority:  The Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources has the authority to revise the Vermont Significant Wetlands Inventory map to reflect wetland determinations. 10 V.S.A §916.  According to 10 V.S.A §905b (810) B and §914, the Secretary may reclassify wetlands in general and determine whether a wetland is Class II or Class III.  Finally, the Secretary has the authority to adopt Rules in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act which are necessary for the proper administration of the Agency’s duties.  10 V.S.A §905b (17).  

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