Wetlands Mapping and Protection Act

Summary

 ALEC’s model Wetlands Mapping and Protection Act is designed to permit a state to define the procedures, guidelines, and administration of a wetlands program for the state.  Key components of the bill include: a wetlands mapping program and classification of wetlands.

Model Legislation

{Title, enacting clause, etc.}

Section 1. {Title} This act shall be known and may be cited as the Wetlands Mapping and Protection Act

Section 2. {Definitions} The following words and phrases when used in this Act shall have the meaning given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(A) “Department.” The department of {insert appropriate state agency}.

(B)        “Director.” The {insert Director or Secretary} of the department of {insert appropriate state agency}.

(C)        “Fill Material.” Soil, rocks, sand, waste of any kind, or any other material which displace soil or water or reduces water retention potential.

(D)       “Minor drainage.” Includes ditching and tiling for the removal of excess soil moisture incidental to the planting, cultivating, protecting, or harvesting of crops or improving the productivity of land in established use for agriculture, horticulture, silviculture, or lumbering.

(E)              “Municipality.” A city, village, township, county or any other legally recognized municipal entity.

(F)               “Person.” An individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association, municipality, this state, and instrumentality or agency of this state, the federal government, or an instrumentality or agency of the federal government, or other legal entity.

(G)             “State Wetlands.” Those wetlands which are owned by, controlled by, or under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state or a state agency.

(H)             “Wetlands.” Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequence and duration sufficient to support, and under normal circumstance do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, commonly known as hydrophytic vegetation and which hav a predominance of hydric soils.

Section 3. {Wetland Mapping and Classification.}

(A)             Wetlands inventory.

(1)   Identification. No later than three (3) years after the effective date of this act, the department shall complete an inventory of all wetlands within the state identifying each wetland according to the classification system established in this section.  All state and local agencies are hereby directed to cooperate with the department in developing the inventory.  At its discretion, the department may contract with a qualified public, non profit, academic or other public or private organization to help prepare the inventory and related county maps.

(2)   Mapping. The inventory shall be placed on maps setting forth the boundaries of each wetland as accurately and at a scale sufficient to inform property owners, the public and the department of their presence which would meet the department’s permit application requirements for delineating wetlands.  Wetland inventory maps shall be prepared for each county in the state.  The department shall make the maps available to the public as described in this section in a central repository.

(3)   Hearing and public notice.  Upon the completion of each county wetland inventory map, the department shall hold a public hearing in each county in order to afford an opportunity for any person to propose additions or deletions from the inventory map. The department shall give written notice of such hearing to each owner of record, shown on the latest completed tax assessment rolls, of land designated as wetlands on the inventory map, by certified mail at least 30 days prior to the hearing.  Notice to the property owner shall include notice of the hearing or hearings, information explaining the area designated and its classification, and an indication of where more information and the draft inventory map is available for review.  Failure to give notice shall not change any rights the property owner has under this act.  Copies of the inventory map shall be made available to the public for inspection at least 30 days prior to the hearing.  The department shall also publish a notice of the hearing and the availability of the map in at least two newspapers of general circulation within the county and in the {state bulletin} giving at least 30 days notice of the hearing.

(4)   Final map.  After considering the testimony given at the public hearing and any other facts which may be deemed pertinent, the department shall prepare a final wetlands inventory map for the county. A copy of the final map shall be filed in the office of the clerk of each county and with each municipality within that county.  In addition, the department shall also give notice by certified mail to each property owner owning property that has been designated a wetland.  Notice of the availability of the final wetlands inventory map shall also be published in at least two newspapers of general circulation within the county and in the {insert state bulletin}.

(5)   Updates.  The department shall periodically update, correct, and otherwise maintain the wetlands inventory maps and make them available to the public.  Notice of updates to the wetlands inventory maps shall be made in the same manner as described in subsections (A) (3) and (A) (4) of this section.

(6)   Detailed delineations. Property owners or a local government may request the department to delineate a wetland boundary area more precisely under procedures established in subsection (C) of this section. Any such delineations or wetlands delineated through the permit application process shall be automatically considered part of the inventory map and physically added to the appropriate county map as soon as practicable.  Notice of the delineation shall be given to each county and municipality affected by the change.

(7)   Petition. The department shall establish a procedure for wetland property owners to petition the department to change the classification system of wetlands they own.  The process shall include:

(a)                Submission of information substantiating the request for the change by the property owner, such as a change in the condition or characteristics of the wetland that cause it to not longer meet the criteria established in subsection (B) of this section.

(b)               Providing notice of the proposed change and an opportunity for comment to the county and municipality in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the wetland is located for a period of 30 days.

(c)                Publication by the department of a notice in the (state bulletin) of the petition, including the local of the wetland and any other pertinent information, for a period of 30 days.

(d)               The department shall have 15 days to determine if the petition is complete.  Within 60 days of the determination that the petition is complete, the department shall issue its decision.

(e)                Appropriate changes shall be made to the wetlands inventory map issued by the department without undergoing additional public review.

(8)   Affect.  The final wetlands inventory map issued by the department shall be the wetlands delineation upon the department or any local government pursuant to the {planning code} makes decision concerning regulated activities affecting wetlands.  When a final wetlands inventory map is issued, the department or any local government may not prosecute any person for violations of this act that relied on the wetlands inventory map to undertake any regulated activity. Only changes made as a result of petitions filed under subsection (7), letters of interpretation issued pursuant to subsection (C), or wetlands identified through the review of individual permit applications would supersede this subparagraph.

(9)   Incomplete Mapping.  In areas where the department fails to complete the wetlands inventory map by the deadline in subsection (A) (1), the department or its certified agents shall provide applicants for permits or landowners with a fee letter of interpretation as outlined in subsection (C) until the inventory map is finalized.

(10)                       Property access. The department shall have access to property at reasonable times for the purpose of completing the inventory required by this section.  If access is denied by the property owner, the provisions of subsection (C) and paragraphs (8) and (9) of this subsection and Section 6 and Section 7 would not apply to the property owner denying access.

(B)              Wetlands classification system.

General. The department shall use the following classification system for wetlands which distinguishes among wetlands of exceptional value, intermediate value, and ordinary value in reviewing regulated activities.

(1)   Exceptional value. Wetlands of exceptional value exhibit any of the following characteristics:

(a)    Wetlands which serves as habitat for fauna or flora listed as “threatened” or “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (7 U.S.C.A. Section 136; 16 U.S.C.A. Sections 4601-9,460k-1, 668dd, 715i, 715a, 1362, 1371, 1372, 1402, and 1531-1543), and {insert appropriate state statute}.

(b)   Wetlands that are hydrologically connected to wetlands that are identified under subparagraph (a) or that are necessary to maintaining the habitat of the threatened or endangered species within the wetlands identified under subparagraph (a)

(c)    Wetlands that are demonstrated to be necessary to maintain the quality or quantity of existing public or private drinking water supplies, including both surface and groundwater sources.

(d)   Wetlands located in areas designated by the department as “natural” or “wild” areas within State forest lands, wetlands located in areas designated as Federal Wilderness areas under the Wilderness Act (116 U.S.C.A. Section 1131-1136) or (other Federal wilderness statutes) or wetland located in areas designated as National Natural Landmarks by the Secretary of the Interior under the Historic Sites Act of 1935 (16 U.S.C.A. Section 461-467).

(e)    Any wetland created to replace or enhance the functions of an existing wetland as a result of a permit decision by the department or as a result of an action by the Trust under this act.

(2)   Intermediate Value. Wetlands that cannot be classified either exceptional value or ordinary value.

(3)   Ordinary value. Wetlands having the following characteristics, unless they have the characteristics outlined in subsection (B) (1) (a) of this section:

(a)    Wetlands constructed for the purpose of treating acid mine drainage, sewage or other waste, if the wetland was part of a treatment facility constructed under a valid permit issued by the department under the {insert appropriated state or federal statute}.

(b)   Wetlands formed in man-made storm water management, drainage or flood control facilities, or erosion and sedimentation control facilities.

(c)    Wetlands formed in any existing man-made field drainage systems, including ponds, constructed for cropping, management, or maintenance operation for crop production, or other agricultural activity.

(d)   Wetlands formed unintentionally as a result of man-mage changed in drainage patterns or animal activity where it is determined no natural wetland existed prior to the man-made or animal made change.

(e)    Wetlands that have been disturbed by permissible activities and which, taken as a whole, no longer exhibit important wetland values.

(f)    Wetlands which have been disturbed by impermissible activities that occurred more than five years prior to the date of enactment of this title and which, taken as a whole, no longer exhibit important wetland values.

(C)              Letter of interpretation.

(1)   Request. Any property owner, local government or person proposing a regulated activity may, any time after the effective date of this act and prior to applying for a permit, request from the department a letter of interpretation of the delineation of the geographic boundaries and classification of a wetland which would meet the department’s permit application requirements for delineating a wetland.

(2)   Content. The request for the letter of interpretation shall include a wetland delineation suggested by the request or along with any supporting documentation, including any wetlands inventory maps developed in compliance with subsection (A) or other information suggesting wetlands are present on the site that may have been missed by the inventory maps.

(3)   Review. The department shall determine whether the letter requesting the interpretation is complete within 20 days of its receipt.  Within 30 days of determining the request to be complete, the department shall issue its letter of interpretation. If the department determines that an on-site inspection is required, the final deadline for issuing the letter of interpretations shall be extended an additional 15 days.

(4)   Affect. The letter of interpretation issued by the department shall be wetlands delineation upon which the department and any local government pursuant to (planning code) makes decisions concerning regulated activities affecting wetlands. When a letter of interpretation is issued to a person by the department, the department or local government may not prosecute any person for violation of this act that relied on the letter of interpretation to undertake any regulated activity.

(D)             Notice of wetlands. Prior to the sale or lease of any property containing wetlands designated on the wetlands inventory map or through a letter of interpretation, the owner of the property shall notify prospective buyers in writing of the presence of such wetlands at least five days prior to consummating the sale or lease of the property.

Secion 4. {Wetlands Buffer.}

(A)             Establishment. Wetlands buffers shall be established and regulated, based on the wetlands value, to protect the functions and values of regulated wetlands from adverse impacts of activities on adjacent lands.

(B)              Rules. The department shall adopt rules that provide ranges of wetlands buffers sized only to the extend necessary to protect the wetlands’ functions and values based on the value of the wetlands type and intensity of adjacent land uses, population density, and the geographic diversity of the state.

Section 5. {Permit Requirements.} Except as otherwise provided by this act or by conditions contained in a permit obtained from the department, a person shall not:

(A) Deposit or permit the placing of fill material in wetland.

(B)  Dredge, remove, or permit the removal of soil or minerals from a wetland.

(C) Construct, operate, or maintain any use or development in a wetland.

(D)Drain surface water from a wetland.

Section 6. {Permit Waivers.} The following uses shall be allowed in a wetland without a permit subhect to {insert appropriate other state or federal statutes}.

(A)             Fishing, trapping, or hunting.

(B)              Swimming or boating

(C)              Hiking.

(D)             Grazing of animals.

(E)              Normal ongoing practices, including farming, horticulture, silviculture, lumbering, and ranching activities, including plowing irrigation, irrigation ditching, seeding, cultivating, minor drainage, harvesting for the production of food, fiber, and forest products, or upland solid and water conservation practices.

(F)               Maintenance or operation of serviceable structures on the effective date of this act or constructed pursuant to this act.

(G)             Construction or maintenance of farm or stock ponds.

(H)             Maintenance, operation, or improvement which includes straightening widening, or deepening of the following which is necessary for the production or harvesting of agricultural products.

(1)   An existing private agricultural drain.

(2)   That portion of a drain legally established pursuant to {insert appropriate streams and flood regulations} which has been constructed or improved for drainage purposes.

(3)   A drain constructed pursuant to other provisions of this act.

(I)                Construction or maintenance of farm roads, forest roads, or temporary roads for moving mining or forestry equipment, if the roads are constructed and maintained in a manner to assure than any adverse effect on the wetland will be otherwise minimized.

(J)                Drainage necessary for the production and harvesting of agricultural products if the wetland is owned by a person who is engaged in commercial farming and the land is to be used for the production and harvesting of agricultural products.  This subsection shall not apply to a wetland which is contiguous to a lake or stream, or to a tributary of a lake or stream, or to a wetland which the department has determined by clear and convincing evidence to be a wetland which is necessary for to be preserved for the public interest, in which case a permit shall be required.

(K)             Maintenance or improvement of public streets, highways, or roads, within the right of way and in such a manner as to assure that any adverse effect on the wetland will be otherwise minimized.  Maintenance or improvement does not include adding extra lanes; increasing the right of way; or deviating from the existing locations of the street, highway, or road.

(L)              Maintenance, repair, or operation of gas, oil, or water pipelines and construction of gas, oil, or water pipelines if the pipelines are constructed, maintained, or repaired in a manner to assure that any adverse effect on the wetland will be otherwise minimized.

(M)            Maintenance, repair, or operation of electric transmission and distribution power lines and construction of distribution power lines if the distribution power lines are constructed, maintained, or repaired in a manner to assure that any adverse effect on the wetland will be otherwise minimized.

(N)             Operation or maintenance, including reconstruction of recently damaged parts, of serviceable dams, dikes, and levees in existence on the effective date of this act or constructed pursuant to this act.

(O)             Construction of tailings basins and water storage areas related to surface or underground mining activities related to the extraction of mineral resources.

(P)               Maintenance or reconstruction of residential structures, commercial structure, or structures related to existing and ongoing agricultural practices as defined in Section 6 (E) of this act, provided that:

(1)   Reconstruction shall be commenced within five years of the damage or destruction;

(2)   Notification shall be required for reconstruction;

(3)   Reconstruction shall not increase the ground floor area and shall be limited to the existing site.

(Q)             Storm water management facilities approved, constructed, or managed for storm water management prior to the effective date of this act.

(R)              Activities and construction necessary on an emergency basis to prevent and immediate threat to public health and safety, or public or private property.

(S)               After the effective date of this act but immediately prior to the approval of a state program under Section 404 of Title 4 of the Clean Water Act of 1977, 33 U.S.C. 1344, where a project solely involves the discharge of fill material subject to the individual permit requirements of Section 404 of Title 4 of the Clean Water Act of 1977, 33 U.S.C. 1344, or is subject to any Federal nationwide or local permits, an additional permit shall not be required by this act.

(T)               Fills that do not exceed 5,000 sq. ft. and are in ordinary wetland areas or isolated wetlands.

(U)             Fills of isolated wetlands.

(V)             Fills of prior converted croplands.

Section 7. {General Permits.}

(A)             Authorization. The department shall issue general permits on a regional or statewide basis for any category of regulated activity the department determines are similar in nature and can be adequately regulated utilizing standardized specifications and conditions using the procedures established in this section.

(B)              Contents. General permits shall specify such design, operating and monitoring conditions as are necessary to adequately protect public health and safety and the environment, under which such projects may be constructed and maintained without applying for and obtaining individual permits. The department may require the registration of any project constructed pursuant to a general permit.

(C)              Public comment. The department shall publish in the {state bulletin} giving the public the opportunity to comment on a proposed general permit for at least 30 days.  The department shall publish the final general permit in the {insert state bulletin}, after considering and responding to the comments it has received.

(D)             Initial permits. Within one year after the effective date of this act, the department shall publish final general permits covering, at a minimum, the following areas and activities:

(1)   Bridges, culverts, and other roads or driveway crossings affecting a cumulative area of one acre of less of wetland.

(2)   The construction and maintenance of utility line crossings, including pipelines for water supply, oil, gas, sewage collection, transportation of liquid, gaseous, liquefiable or slurry substances, and cables, conduits, lines or wires and supporting structures used for the transmission of electrical energy, telephone, telegraph, radio or television signals, located in ground or as aerial crossings, affecting per project an area of less than two acres of wetlands.

(3)   The construction, drilling, or removal of any permitted oil, gas, or water well or well site affecting an area of less than six acres.

(4)   Agricultural practices including grassed waterways, terrace sand diversions, spring developments, agricultural waste facilities, ponds for irrigation, livestock watering and fire protection, incidental or minor drainage on sloping cropland to allow for contour farming, if part of a conservation plan approved by a county conservation district.

(5)   Construction of permanent roads and access ways for the harvesting of forest products affecting one-half acre or less of wetland.

(E)              Restrictions. Not more than one individual use of a general permit shall be authorized in an exceptional value wetland. The department may include a restriction on the individual use of general permits in individual wetlands after considering their cumulative impact. The department may require that wetlands permanently lost as the result of a general permit be replaced in accordance with the standards in Section 12 as part of the standards for a general permit.

(F)                     Implementation schedule. The department may establish a reasonable time when the construction, development, or use it to be completed or terminated. A general permit shall not be valid for more than 5 years.

(G)                   Existing permits. General permits and individual uses of those permits covering regulated activities issued prior to the effective date of this act shall continue to be valid until revised using the procedure outlined in this section.

Section 8. {Notification of Intent or Application for Permit.}

(A)                   No person shall dredge, fill, remove, or otherwise conduct any activity on private wetlands in this state without firm informing the Secretary and receiving approval or permit as applicable. A single form application, as prescribed by the Secreatry, shall serve either as Notification of Intent or Application for Permit and/or License. The form shall be submitted by mail or in person.

(B)                    Application for Permit and/or License.

(1)   The form shall serve as the Notification prescribed in Section 7 for activities requiring a general permit and/or license. The proposed activity specified in the form may proceed upon advice from the Secretary.

(2)   The form shall also serve as the Application for a permit to conduct an activity on private wetland not permitted in Section 5 above, and for license to conduct any activity on state wetlands.\

(C)                    Within thirty days after receipt of the completed form. Notification of Intent or Application for Permit and/or License, the Secretary shall inform the person filing such form by mail whether the proposed activity may proceed under the general permit or whether it shall require a wetlands permit from the {insert appropriate state agency}. In the case of an activity affecting State wetlands, the Secretary shall inform the person of the extent of State wetlands involved and shall indicate the requirements to obtain a license from the department.

Section 9. {Application Procedure.}

(A)                   To obtain a permit for use or development in Section 5, the person desiring the permit shall file an application with the department on a form provided by the department. The application shall include:

(1)   The person’s name and address

(2)   The location of the wetland.

(3)   A description of the wetland on which the use or development is to be made.

(4)   A statement describing the proposed use or development.

(5)   The wetland owner’s name and address.

(6)   In the case of exceptional value wetlands, an environmental assessment, on a form prepared and provided by the department, of the proposed use or development, if such assessment is required by the department, which shall include effects upon wetland benefits and the effects upon the water quality, flow, and levels, and the wildlife, fish, and vegetation within a contiguous lake, river, or stream.

(B)          For the purpose of subsection (A) of this section, a proposed use or development of a wetland shall be considered as a single permit application under this act if this scope, extent, and purpose of use or development are made known at the time of the application for the permit.

Section 10. {Administrative Procedure.}

(A)          After receipt of a permit application under this act, the department shall determine whether the application is administratively complete. For purposes of this section an application is administratively complete if it contains necessary information, maps, fees, and other documents, regardless of whether the information, maps, fees, and documents would be sufficient for issuance of the permit. If the department fails to return the application within the 30 day period established herein, the application shall be deemed administratively complete.

(1)   If the application is not administratively complete, the department shall, within 30 says of receipt of the application, return it to the applicant, along with a written statement of the specific information, maps, fees, and documents that are required to make the application administratively complete.

(B)                    Within 60 days after receipt of the completed application and fee, the department may hold a hearing. If a hearing is held, it shall be held in the county where the wetland on which the permit to apply is located. Notice of the hearing shall be prescribed by the department. The department may approve or disapprove a permit application without a public hearing unless a person requests a hearing in writing within 20 days after the mailing of the notification of the permit application as required by subsection (C), or the department determines that the permit application is of significant impact to warrant a public hearing.

(C)                    If a hearing is not held, the department shall make actual determination to approve or disapprove the permit application within 90 days after the completed permit application is filed with the department.  If a hearing is held, the department shall make a final determination to approve or disapprove the permit application within 90 days after the conclusion of the hearing. The department may approve a permit application, request modifications in the application, or deny the permit application. If the department denies, or requests a modification of the permit application, the department shall send notice of the denial or modification request, and the reasons for the denial or the modifications requested to the applicant. Department approval may include the issuance of a permit containing conditions necessary for compliance with this act. If the department does not approve or disapprove the permit application within the time provided in this subsection, the permit application shall be considered approved, and the department shall be considered to have made the determination required by this act. The action taken by the department may be appealed pursuant to (appropriate statute). A property owner may, after exhaustion of administrative remedies and the other remedies provided in this act, bring appropriate legal action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(D)                   A person who desires notification of pending permit application may make a written request to the department for same. The department shall prepare a biweekly list of the applications made during the previous 2 weeks and shall promptly mail copies of the list for the remainder of the calendar year to the persons who requested notice. The biweekly list shall state the name and address of each applicant, the location of the wetland in the proposed use or development including the size of both the proposed use or development and of the wetland affected, and a summary statement of the purpose of the use or development.

Section 11. {Determination Criteria.}

(A)          The permit for an activity listed in Section 5 shall not be approved unless the department determines that the issuance of a permit is in the public interest, that the permit is necessary to realize the benefits derived from the activity, and that the activity is otherwise lawful.

(B).         Determining whether the activity is in the public interest, the benefit which may be expected to accrue from the proposal shall be balanced against the reasonably foreseeable detriments of the activity. The decision shall reflect the national and state concern for the protection of natural resources from pollution, impairment, and destruction. The following general criteria shall be considered.

(1)   The relative extent of the public and private need for the proposed activity.

(2)   The availability of feasible and prudent alternative locations and methods to accomplish the expected benefits from the activity.

(3)   The extent and permanence of the beneficial or detrimental effects which the proposed activity may have on the public and private uses to which the area is suited, including the benefits the wetland provides.

(4)   The probable impact of each proposal in relation to the cumulative effect created by other existing and anticipated activities in the watershed.

(5)   The probable impact on recognized historic, cultural, scenic, ecological, or recreational values and on the public health or fish or wildlife.

(6)   The size of the wetland being considered.

(7)   The amount of remaining wetland in the general area.

(8)   Proximity to any waterway.

(9)   Economic value, both public and private, of the proposed land change to the general area.

(10)                 The environmental value of any proposed compensatory mitigation measures.

(D)                   In considering a permit application, the department shall give serious consideration to findings of necessity for the proposed activity which have been made by other state agencies.

Section 12. {Wetland mitigation.}

(A)          he state shall establish, by regulation, appropriate wetland mitigation criteria to be used by the department in its review of wetland mitigation proposals.  The criteria shall require that the values and functions of the wetlands lost due to the project are replaced to the maximum extent possible by replacement wetland, and shall prefer that replacement wetlands are located contiguous to existing wetlands. The department shall require that the siting of replacement wetland be located according to the following order of priority to the extent possible:

(1) Adjoining the remaining wetlands on the project site

(2) Within the same watershed and as close to the wetlands lost due to the projects as practical

(3) Elsewhere in the state but as close to the wetlands lost due to the project as practical

(B)          Subject to Subsection (C), replacement wetlands must achieve no net loss of wetland values and functions to be approved by the department. In lieu of an assessment of the values and functions to be lost and replaced, replacement wetlands adjoining the wetlands lost due to the project and having the same vegetation as the loss due to the project will be presumed to achieve no net loss of wetland values and functions if the replacement wetland is at least as large in size as the wetland lost due to the project.

(C)                    The department shall, in lieu of the replacement of wetlands, or in the replacement of wetlands that is smaller in size as the wetland lost, require the enhancement of the values and functions of existing wetland within the same watershed as the wetland lost due to the project.  The enhancement of existing wetlands must produce a net gain in the value and function of wetlands lost due to the project to be approved.

(D)          The department shall require that:

(1) The replacement wetland or enhanced wetland will be completed within one year after the project is substantially complete.

(2) The permit applicant by use of available historical data and appropriate studies, assure, to the satisfaction of the department that at least (%) of the wetland plant species survive in the replacement wetland or enhanced wetland after two growing seasons.

Section 13. {Permit Finalization.}

(A)          A General permit may be revoked or modified if, after opportunity for a public hearing, the department determines that the activities authorized by the general permit have an adverse impact on the environment or the activities would be more appropriately authorized by an individual permit.

(C)              A permit may be terminated or modified for cause including:

(1)   A violation of a condition of the permit

(2)   Obtaining a permit by misrepresentation or failure to fully disclose relevant facts.

(3)   A change in a condition that requires a temporary or permanent change in the activity.

Section 14. {Applicant Cooperation.}

(A)       The department shall require the holder of a permit to provide information the department reasonable requires to obtain compliance with this act.

(B)       Upon reasonable cause or obtaining a search warrant, the department may enter on, upon, or through the premises on which an activity listed in Section 5 and 6 is located, or on which information required is maintained by the department.

Section 15. {Property Assessment.}If a permit is denied for a proposed wetland activity, in lieu of other remedies provided in this act, the land owner may request a reevaluation of the affected property for assessment purposes to determine its fair market value under the use restriction.

Section 16. {Regulations.}

(A)       The department shall promulgate and enforce rules to implement this act.

(B)       Aerial photographs and satellite telemetry data reproductions shall be made available to the respective county register of deeds for cost as determined by the department.

Section 17. {Property Rights.}

(A)             This act shall not be construed to abrogate rights or authority otherwise provided by law.

(B)       For the purpose of determining if there has been a taking of property without just compensation, an owner of property who has sought and been denied a permit or has been made subject to modifications or conditions in the permit under this act or the department’s action or inaction pursuant to this act may file and action in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(C) If the person determines that an action of the department pursuant to this act constitutes a taking of the property of a person then the court shall order the department, at the department’s option, to do one or more of the following:

(1)   Compensate the property owner for the full amount of the lost value.

(2)   Purchase the property in the public interest as determined before its value was affected by this act or the department’s action or inaction pursuant to this act.

(3)   Modify its action or inaction with respect to the property so as to minimize the detrimental affect to the property’s value.

(D)             For the purposes of this section the value of the property may not exceed that share which the area in dispute occupies in the total parcel of land, of the state equalized evaluation of the total parcel, multiplied by (#), as determined by an inspection of the most recent assessment roll of the township or city in which the parcel is located.

Section 18. {Severability Clause.}

 Section 19. {Repealer Clause.}

 Section 20. {Effective Date.}

 Approved by ALEC Board of Directors in 1995.

Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors on January 28, 2013.

Keyword Tags: Environment, Wetlands