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 Illinois? Illinois regulates wetlands indirectly through its Interagency Wetland Policy Act of 1989. The Act implements the state's Wetland Mitigation Policy that instructs each agency to preserve wetlands as a priority when they develop construction or land management plans.
Wetlands. The statute defines wetlands as land that has a "predominance of hydric soil and that is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions."
Regulated Wetland Activities. All construction activities which restrict a river, lake, or stream's capacity to carry flood flows that may result in channel instability and increased flood damages. The floodway of the river, lake, or stream must serve a tributary area of 640 acres or more in an urban area, or 6,400 acres or more in a rural area.
Exempt Wetland Activities. The Act, however, does not apply to construction activities costing less than $10,000, the clean up of contaminated sites authorized under the specific federal and state laws, or to projects receiving loan assistance provided to local governments under the provisions of the Illinois Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund. The following activities are also exempt from the permit requirement: 1. Installation of field tile systems, tile outlet structures, or any water or sediment control construction activity; 2. Installation of irrigation equipment in any floodway land (overbank) area; 3. Work on private lakes that could not impact a dam or transverse the lake; 4. Removal of brush, woody vegetation, trash or other debris; 5. Routine maintenance and repair of existing structures; 6. Maintenance and repair to preserve capacity and function of stream channels, drainage ditches, levees and pumping stations; 7. Maintenance and repair of existing bridge and culvert structures; 8. Widening of bridge decks; 9. Culvert extensions that involve no change in alignment or size reduction from the existing culvert; 10. Removal of bridge and culvert structures; 11. Installation of fences in rural areas.
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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