WETLANDS POLICY ACT OF 1989
is the state agency with the most direct regulatory authority over
wetlands in Illinois. The primary authority of this agency is established
in the Interagency Wetlands Policy Act of 1989.
This Act provides the Department with regulatory authority over
State activities that affect wetlands. Peripheral authority is provided
in the Rivers,
Lakes, and Streams Act which provides the Department with regulatory
authority over activities in floodplains.
Wetlands Policy Act of 1989 (IWPA) established the state goal that
there be, "no overall net loss of the state's existing wetland acres
or their functional values due to state supported activities" (State
of Illinois 1989). With the passage of this Act in 1989, Illinois
became only the second state to adopt a "no net loss goal" in legislation.
Currently, 18 states have officially adopted such a goal either
in a state statute or some other official document (Taylor and
this goal, the Act established a review process for all projects
being pursued by a state agency or otherwise being accomplished
with state funds, that have the potential to adversely affect a
wetland. This review consists of a two part process. Projects must
first be reviewed by the Division
of Ecosystems and Environment to confirm if a
wetland impact will occur. If it is determined there will not be
an impact, the project will be approved and funds may be released.
If it is determined an impact is going to occur, the entity requesting
approval must prepare a plan which details how it will compensate
for the impact before the project may move forward (State of
plans must be approved by IDNR. The administrative rules of the
IWPA establish guidelines for these compensation plans and include
a set of pre-described mitigation ratios which must be followed.
No project adversely affecting a wetland may receive state funds
unless a completed compensation plan which follows the guidelines
set in the IWPA receives approval from IDNR. Approval is issued
for a project, it is valid for three years. If the applicant lets
this authorization expire before initiating the permitted activity,
the proposal must be resubmitted for approval before the activity
may commence (State of Illinois 1989).
As with the
other wetland regulatory programs, numerous activities are exempted
from complying with the provisions of the IWPA. Some of these exemptions
are wide-ranging and are specified in the administrative rules.
Many more exceptions are agency specific and are contained in individual
agency MOAs or Agency Action Plans (AAPs) that have been developed
with IDNR. When discerning if an activity must undergo the review
process, each state agency operates and coordinates with IDNR according
to its AAP or MOA (State of Illinois 1989).
As with the
other wetland regulatory programs applicable in Illinois, this program
has numerous exemptions. In northeastern Illinois, the repair, remodeling
and maintenance of buildings and structures in existence prior to
November 18, 1987 are exempted activities. Throughout downstate
Illinois, activities such as the installation of field tile systems,
tile outlet structures, and irrigation equipment; brush and debris
removal; routine maintenance and repair of existing structures,
maintenance and repair of artificially altered stream channels;
and the installation of fences in rural areas are exempted (State
of Illinois 1989).
or organizations are to be made aware by the agency through which they
are applying for funding, if their project is exempt from this regulation.
If it is not, that agency is to facilitate their participation in the
review process and development of a compensation plan. If persons are
uncertain if the activity they are participating in has been approved
by IDNR; or if an activity for which they hope to receive funding will
require IDNR approval, they should contact either the funding agency or
Introduction | Section
404 Program |
Nationwide Permits & General Conditions
| Section 401 Program |Critical
Resource Waters | Swampbuster
Interagency Wetlands Policy Act of 1989 |
Rivers, Lakes & Streams Act
| Wetland Detmermination & Delineations
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