Do I need a Wetlands Permit?

A regulated wetland includes watercourses and bodies of water such as streams, ponds and flowing ditches and the land adjoining them. Wetlands also include any area on the land that contains wetland soils and/or vegetation.  The Town agencies that regulate any activities or construction near or in wetlands and water bodies, depending on the City or Town, are called the Inland Wetland Commission, Environmental Impact Commission, Conservation Commission or by some other name. These Commissions issue permits for activities within a wetland or water body and for certain areas up hill of a wetland or water body. These commissions will sometimes regulate activities if they believe it may impact a wetland or water body regardless of how far away.  In some cases, especially as it may regard to tidal wetlands, the US Army Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction. 

In order to determine if you have wetlands on your property, a professional Soil Scientist will need to visit the site and identify the wetland boundaries by testing the soil and placing numbered plastic tapes around what has been determined to be the wetland perimeter. A surveyor will then locate these tapes and perform a Topographic Survey. For most projects you will need the services of a professional Civil Engineer to provide a site plan showing how the proposed buildings and improvements can be built without unduly impacting the wetlands. The site plan will show what you want to do on the property. Depending on what your project is and its impact of the wetlands or water bodies you may need the services of a Landscape Architect.

The process to obtain a permit for regulated activity can vary. For simple projects with no impact the permit may, in some cases, be obtained from the Wetland Enforcement Officer. For more complex or for projects that will have impacts on a wetland, an application to the Commission will be required. If a project is determined to have a major impact the commission will hold a public hearing. For most projects you can expect to have to engage the services of a professional Civil Engineer, Surveyor, Soil Scientist and sometimes an attorney.

CCA can provide the Civil Engineering, Land Surveying and other services you will need to get your project approved.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions at or 203-775-6207 and ask to speak with one of our Professional Engineers.