Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commissions  
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Inland Wetlands and Watercourse Commission


What's New


Legal Issues

State Model Regulations


This Commission reviews and acts upon applications for work affecting wetlands and watercourses.





New Wetlands Legislation. Public Act 12-151 went into effect October 1, 2012. This public act affects the timeframe of certain inland wetlands permits. An advisory memo has been mailed to all municipal inland wetlands agencies explaining the public act and noting how to amend regulations. A flow chart of the various permit timeframes was sent with the advisor.



Municipal Inland Wetland Commissioners Training Program 2012
The court cases presented during Segment 2 workshops can be found here.
The presentation outline on enforcement can be found here.


Inland Wetlands 2008 Status and Trends Report. The report is based on data DEEP receives from municipal inland wetlands agencies. The report can be found here. Municipal agencies are required to report to the DEEP information on the actions they take. The information is reported to the department on the Statewide Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Activity Reporting Form. The form can be found here.

Municipal land use commissions, contractors, town planners, engineers, farmers, and homeowners can now easily download soil information. The new US Department off Agriculture (USDA) Web Soil Survey site provides secure public access to the national soils information system. Click here to view site.

Soil surveys are needed for most land conservation activities, as well as private and commercial land development. With the new online SOIL SURVEY INFORMATION almost anyone in Connecticut can look up soils information for their specific location.

USDA designed the website with three easy-to-use features – Define, View, and Explore. When viewers access the web soil survey, they are asked to define a geographic area. Once a location is defined and projected on the screen, the viewer is offered the choice to print the map and related information, save it to their hard drive, or download the data for use in a geographic information system.

The viewer can also explore the designed location and receive information on soil suitability in relationship to usage. This provides the viewer flexibility in developing a report to address a specific need – whether it is to design a road, plant a field, or create a wetland for wildlife habitat.


Regulating Tree-Cutting
Cutting on Wetlands and Other Preserved Land Connecticut’s preserved lands are under siege, according to, Preserved But Not Protected, a recent report by Connecticut’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The most common problem is illegal tree-cutting, but there are many other illegal actions to conservation lands owned by the state, municipalities, land trusts and other private entities. While evidence for encroachment of public and preserved land is easy to document there is a lack of legal recourse available to defend against them. Below are two articles on a recent Connecticut Supreme Court case involving the illegal cutting of 340 trees in wetlands on land owned by the East Haddam Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy. Both articles and CEQ’s Special Report are instructive for both Inland Wetlands and Conservation Commissions.

pdf CT DEP Victorious before the State Supreme Court: Mellon Tree-Cutting Subject to CEPA Relief. By Assistant Attorney General Janet P. Brooks
pdf The Habitat Fall 2005 Damages for Wetlands Violations: Lesson from Ventres v. Mellon, by Mark K. Branse, Esq; The Habitat, Fall 2005
  Preserved But Not Protected, Connecticut’s Council on Environmental Quality; 2005 Special Report .


Funding "Third Party" Inland Wetlands Technical Experts
CACIWC has received numerous requests for information on the how commissions can legally contract with a “third party” technical expert to review development applications at the expense of the applicant. Below are two articles with information to assist commissions in making a decision regarding “expert witnesses”: Who Pays the Piper . . . Funding Professional Reviews in Wetlands Applications, by Mark K. Branse, Esq, and, Errors as a matter of fact: trouble with experts, in Connecticut’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses: Permit Denials, by the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office.

pdf Who Pays the Piper . . . Funding Professional Reviews in Wetlands Applications,
by Mark K. Branse, Esq
pdf Errors as a matter of fact: trouble with experts, in Connecticut’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses: Permit Denials, by the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office.
Excerpt from The Habitat, Fall 2004


Commissioner Training: Introduction to Stormwater Treatment. Municipal Inland Wetland Commissioner’s Training Program, Cheryl Chase, P. E. DEP Inland Water Resources Division. (This is a large file)

Upland development can impact the physical characteristics of wetlands and watercourses. To learn more click on:
Resources for Assessing Upland Development Impacts on Wetlands and Watercourses

ATVs and other Motorized “off road” Vehicles Threaten Function and Value of Open Space and Wetlands. Click on

Motorized Trespassers Threaten and Destroy Open Space Value and Function.
By Tom ODell, Chairman Westbrook Conservation Commission
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) has compiled a comprehensive list of information related to federal, state and municipal ATV regulations.


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