Minnesota Wetland Report
IV. Regulatory Simplification
the inception of the Wetland Conservation Act, regulatory
simplification has been a topic of great debate.
Several agencies presently regulate a myriad of
wetland-related activities in the state. The multiple agency system has been confusing at times for
the regulated public. BWSR
has worked in cooperation with other state and federal agencies to
develop strategies for regulatory simplification; during 1997 and
1998, these efforts focused primarily on the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (ACOE). The ACOE has responsibility for implementation of
Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act, which regulates the
filling of wetlands. In January 2000, the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers introduced a new letter of permission (LOP) process to
replace the nationwide permit process. The LOP uses many of the
standards contained in WCA, meaning that a project permitted through
WCA will generally also be permitted through the Army Corps of
Engineers, thus greatly increasing predictability for landowners
applying for a state/federal permit.
Additionally, the landowner may apply to the Corps directly
through their local government. This
removes the duplicative application process that landowner/citizens
often face now for the same project. For more information about
Corps activities, see its website at: www.mvp.usace.army.mil.
State and federal agencies have simplified the state wetland banking program, as well. BWSR and the Corps have developed a process to provide both state and federal approval of wetland banking sites. An applicant using a site that satisfies both WCA replacement and Section 404 mitigation requirements would comply with both state and federal replacement requirements.
Minnesota Board of Water and Soil