Dam Construction
An Environmental Permitting Fact Sheet

Program Overview

This program, administered by the Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse's Inland Water Resources Division, regulates the construction, alteration, repair or removal of dams, dikes, reservoirs and similar structures, which by breaking away or otherwise may endanger life or property. In making a decision on a dam construction permit, DEEP must consider the impact of the proposed construction work on: the environment; the safety of persons and property; the inland wetlands and watercourses in accordance with the provisions of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act; and the need for a fishway in accordance with CGS Section 26-136. Upon completion of the work to the satisfaction of DEEP, DEEP will issue a certificate of approval to the owner of the dam to be filed on the land records. The certificate of approval may contain such terms and conditions DEEP deems necessary to protect life and property.

Authorizing Statutes

Sections 22a-401 through 22a-411 of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS)

Who Must Apply

Any person or agency proposing to construct a dam, dike, reservoir or similar structure, or to repair, alter or remove an existing dam, dike reservoir or similar structure, must first obtain either a permit from the commissioner or a determination that such permit is not required. A permit is required if the structure, by breaking away or otherwise might endanger life or property. Additionally, any other work that may affect the integrity of such a structure, such as excavation adjacent to the dam, may require a dam construction permit.

Required Application Documents

Permit Application Form for Inland Water Resources Division Activities (DEP-IWRD-APP-100), and various technical documents in support of the application. Supporting documents include, but are not limited to, engineering design and environmental reports, plans and specifications describing the work and its impact on the environment, dewatering and water handling plans, an operations and maintenance plan, and an emergency operations plan. A checklist of application documents is included on form DEP-IWRD-APP-100. Permit Application Transmittal Form (DEP-APP-001); Applicant Compliance Information (DEP-APP-002).

Review and Processing

Upon receipt of the application and a certified copy of the Notice of Application, the application is reviewed for sufficiency. If the application is sufficient, a detailed technical review is initiated. These reviews consist of an evaluation of the technical documentation provided in the application as well as an assessment of the site and the anticipated effects of the proposed activity. The application may also be reviewed by DEEP's Fisheries and Wildlife Divisions and the staff of the Natural Diversity Data Base program. If Department staff have questions or require additional information about the proposed project, they will contact the applicant or his designated agent. Upon completion of this technical review, a tentative determination to grant or deny the permit application will be made by the Commissioner. A Notice of Tentative Determination will be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the affected area and public comments will be solicited on the tentative determination. In some cases, a public hearing may be held. After completion of the technical review and consideration of any public comments, and subsequent to the close of any hearing, DEP will issue a final decision on the permit application.

Public Participation

The applicant is responsible for publishing a Notice of Application in a newspaper of general circulation in the affected area when the application is submitted to DEEP. Once this notice is published, the applicant must send a copy of the notice to the Chief Elected Official of the municipality in which the regulated activity is proposed, and send a copy of the notice, along with the Certification of Notice Form – Notice of Application (DEP-APP-005A), to DEEP. After the technical review, DEEP will publish a Notice of Tentative Determination to grant or deny the permit. At that time, if permit issuance is proposed, a draft permit with proposed terms, limitations, and conditions is prepared and made available for review and comment. DEEP may hold a hearing on the application at its discretion. However, a hearing must be held if DEEP receives, no later than thirty days after publication of such notice, a petition signed by at least twenty-five persons. DEEP may require an applicant to post a sign on the site or to provide any other reasonable form of notice necessary to apprise the public and abutting landowners of the proposed activity.

Average Processing Time

For this permit program, processing time for a typical application, based upon recent experience is less than 120 days.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future processing timeframes.  In order to increase the efficiency of application processing, we recommend that you utilize the pre-application assistance process, assure that your application package is properly completed at the time of submittal, and that you promptly reply to any requests for information.

Permit Duration

In general, permits require that authorized activities must be initiated within one year after issuance of the permit and be completed within two years thereafter.

Contact Information

Dam Safety Program
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127

This overview is designed to answer general questions and provide basic information. You should refer to the appropriate statutes and regulations for the specific regulatory language of the different permit programs. This document should not be relied upon to determine whether or not an environmental permit is required. It is your responsibility to obtain and comply with all required permits.

Fact Sheet: DEEP-IWRD-FS-101

Users Guide to Environmental Permits

Content Last Updated June, 2013