Inland Wetlands and Watercourses
An Environmental Permitting Fact Sheet

Program Overview

This program, administered by the Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse's Land and Water Resources Division, regulates activities undertaken by state agencies in or affecting inland wetlands or watercourses. In making a decision on an inland wetlands and watercourses permit application, DEEP must consider, among other things, the impact of proposed activities on the environment including wildlife and fisheries habitats, flooding and flood hazards, and whether there are alternatives to the proposed action that will cause less environmental impact.

Authorizing Statutes

Sections 22a-36 through 22a-45a of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS)


Sections 22a-39-1 through 22a-39-15 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (RCSA)

Who Must Apply

Any state agency or instrumentality, except a local or regional board of education, proposing to conduct any operation within or use of a wetland or watercourse involving the removal or deposition of material, or any obstruction, construction, alteration or pollution of such wetlands or watercourses must apply to DEEP. Note: all other persons, including boards of education and municipalities proposing activities in or affecting wetlands or watercourses must obtain a permit from the municipal wetlands agency in the town wherein the proposed activity is located. Regulated activities include, but are not limited to, filling, dredging, clearing, grubbing, grading, piping, culverting, channelizing, diverting, damming, dewatering or otherwise temporarily or permanently altering wetlands and watercourses.

Required Application Documents

Permit Application Form for Land and Water Resources Division Activities, and various technical documents in support of the application. Supporting documents include, but are not limited to, engineering and environmental reports, plans and specifications describing the proposed activity and its impact on the environment, and documentation of the alternatives to the project which have been considered. A checklist of application documents is included on the form.


There are no application fees required for state agency applicants.

Review and Processing

Upon receipt of the application and a certified copy of the Notice of Application, the application is assigned to a project coordinator and reviewed for sufficiency. If the application is sufficient, a detailed technical review is initiated. This review consists 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 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, DEEP will issue a final decision on the permit application.

Unique Processing Features

When the proposed activity is upon an inland wetland or watercourse and any portion of such wetland or watercourse is within 500 feet of the boundary of another municipality, the applicant shall, in accordance with CGS Section 22a-42c, give written notice of the application by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the inland wetlands agency of such other municipality on the same day the application is filed with DEEP.

When the proposed activity is located within a water company watershed, the applicant shall, in accordance with CGS Section 22a-42f, provide written notice of the application to the affected water company. Such notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall be mailed within seven days of the date of the application.

Public Participation

The applicant is responsible for publishing a Notice of Application 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, at the applicant's expense, a Notice of Tentative Determination to grant or deny the permit. If permit issuance is proposed, a draft permit with proposed terms, limitations, and conditions is prepared and made available for review and comment, and notice of the formal hearing on the application is published. Under limited circumstances, DEEP may also publish notice of its intent to waive the hearing requirement. However, if DEEP receives a petition signed by at least twenty-five persons requesting a hearing no later than thirty days after publication of notice of DEEP's intent to waive the hearing, DEEP must hold a hearing on the application. 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 180 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

Permits generally require that authorized activities be completed within three years after issuance of the permit. Permits typically allow a one year extension of the permit, upon written request by the permittee, if activities authorized by the permit have been substantially initiated but will not be completed by the expiration date of the permit. Permits typically limit the number of extensions to no more than two.

Contact Information

Land and Water Resources Division
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. 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-104

Users Guide to Environmental Permits

Content Last Updated June, 2013