CHAPTER 440
WETLANDS AND WATERCOURSES

Table of Contents

Sec. 22a-41. Factors for consideration of commissioner. Finding of no feasible and prudent alternative. Wetlands or watercourses. Habitats. Jurisdiction of municipal inland wetlands agencies.
Sec. 22a-42. Municipal regulation of wetlands and watercourses. Action by commissioner.
Sec. 22a-44. Penalty. Court orders.

      Sec. 22a-41. Factors for consideration of commissioner. Finding of no feasible and prudent alternative. Wetlands or watercourses. Habitats. Jurisdiction of municipal inland wetlands agencies. (a) In carrying out the purposes and policies of sections 22a-36 to 22a-45a, inclusive, including matters relating to regulating, licensing and enforcing of the provisions thereof, the commissioner shall take into consideration all relevant facts and circumstances, including but not limited to:

      (1) The environmental impact of the proposed regulated activity on wetlands or watercourses;

      (2) The applicant's purpose for, and any feasible and prudent alternatives to, the proposed regulated activity which alternatives would cause less or no environmental impact to wetlands or watercourses;

      (3) The relationship between the short-term and long-term impacts of the proposed regulated activity on wetlands or watercourses and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity of such wetlands or watercourses;

      (4) Irreversible and irretrievable loss of wetland or watercourse resources which would be caused by the proposed regulated activity, including the extent to which such activity would foreclose a future ability to protect, enhance or restore such resources, and any mitigation measures which may be considered as a condition of issuing a permit for such activity including, but not limited to, measures to (A) prevent or minimize pollution or other environmental damage, (B) maintain or enhance existing environmental quality, or (C) in the following order of priority: Restore, enhance and create productive wetland or watercourse resources;

      (5) The character and degree of injury to, or interference with, safety, health or the reasonable use of property which is caused or threatened by the proposed regulated activity; and

      (6) Impacts of the proposed regulated activity on wetlands or watercourses outside the area for which the activity is proposed and future activities associated with, or reasonably related to, the proposed regulated activity which are made inevitable by the proposed regulated activity and which may have an impact on wetlands or watercourses.

      (b) (1) In the case of an application which received a public hearing pursuant to (A) subsection (k) of section 22a-39, or (B) a finding by the inland wetlands agency that the proposed activity may have a significant impact on wetlands or watercourses, a permit shall not be issued unless the commissioner finds on the basis of the record that a feasible and prudent alternative does not exist. In making his finding, the commissioner shall consider the facts and circumstances set forth in subsection (a) of this section. The finding and the reasons therefor shall be stated on the record in writing.

      (2) In the case of an application which is denied on the basis of a finding that there may be feasible and prudent alternatives to the proposed regulated activity which have less adverse impact on wetlands or watercourses, the commissioner or the inland wetlands agency, as the case may be, shall propose on the record in writing the types of alternatives which the applicant may investigate provided this subdivision shall not be construed to shift the burden from the applicant to prove that he is entitled to the permit or to present alternatives to the proposed regulated activity.

      (c) For purposes of this section, (1) "wetlands or watercourses" includes aquatic, plant or animal life and habitats in wetlands or watercourses, and (2) "habitats" means areas or environments in which an organism or biological population normally lives or occurs.

      (d) A municipal inland wetlands agency shall not deny or condition an application for a regulated activity in an area outside wetlands or watercourses on the basis of an impact or effect on aquatic, plant, or animal life unless such activity will likely impact or affect the physical characteristics of such wetlands or watercourses.

      (1972, P.A. 155, S. 6; P.A. 87-533, S. 4, 14; P.A. 96-157, S. 2; 96-269, S. 3, 4; P.A. 04-209, S. 1; P.A. 05-288, S. 94.)

      History: P.A. 87-533 added Subsec. (b) requiring the commissioner to find that a feasible and prudent alternative does not exist prior to issuing a permit for an application which received a public hearing; P.A. 96-157 amended Subsec. (a) to modify the enumerated factors for consideration and amended Subsec. (b) to provide conditions for hearings governed by that subsection, to provide that findings re feasible and prudent alternatives be on the basis of the record and to add Subdiv. (2) re proposal of alternatives by the agency; P.A. 96-269 changed effective date of P.A. 96-157 from October 1, 1996, to January 1, 1997, effective June 12, 1996; P.A. 04-209 added new Subsec. (c) defining wetlands or watercourses and habitats and new Subsec. (d) re jurisdiction of municipal inland wetlands agencies, effective June 3, 2004; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (b)(1), effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 22a-42. Municipal regulation of wetlands and watercourses. Action by commissioner.

      Subsec. (c):

      Once a municipality has established an agency to regulate activities affecting wetlands and watercourses within its territorial limits in accordance with this section, such agency is not subject to interference by municipality's legislative body. Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act requires that the agency created pursuant to the act be sole agent for licensing of regulated activities in the municipality. 49 CS 188.

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      Sec. 22a-44. Penalty. Court orders.

      Trial court properly concluded that corporate officer was personally liable for cutting trees. 275 C. 105.

      Subsec. (b):

      Trial court properly determined per diem monetary penalties. 275 C. 105.

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