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Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Regulation

Wetlands, Lakes & Streams > Isolated Wetlands Program > Overview of IDEM Isolated Wetland Permit Types Overview of IDEM Isolated Wetland Permit Types

IDEM authorizes two different Isolated Wetland Permits. One is known as the Isolated Wetland General Permit (IWGP) and the other is known as the Isolated Wetland Individual Permit (IWIP).

Isolated Wetland Permits are required under Indiana’s Isolated Wetlands Law (IC 13-18-22) and the rule implementing the law (327 IAC 17).

What is the difference between an Isolated Wetland General Permit (IWGP) and an Isolated Wetland Individual Permit (IWIP)?

Impacts to non-exempt Class I isolated wetlands, regardless of the acreage of impact, are commonly regulated by a general permit known as an Isolated Wetland General Permit (IWGP). An impact of 0.10 acre or less to a non-exempt Class II isolated wetland is also usually regulated under an Isolated Wetland General Permit.

Other wetland activities in non-exempt Class I and Class II isolated wetlands that will have minimal impacts can also be covered by an Isolated Wetland General Permit. These are discussed more in depth on the Isolated Wetland Program page.

Under certain circumstances, IDEM will require a 327 IAC 17-3 permit (an IWGP for significant impacts to Class I wetlands) or a 327 IAC 17-4 permit (an Isolated Wetland Individual Permit Individual Permit for activities in Class II and Class III wetlands). Under these circumstances, IDEM will notify the applicant that the project does not qualify for an Isolated Wetland General Permit under this rule and instruct the applicant on the procedures to seek authorization under the 327 IAC 17-3 or 327 IAC 17-4 permit.

Isolated Wetland General Permits

Wetland activities that can be authorized under the IWGP generally include the following:

  • Significant Impacts to Class I State Regulated Wetlands (327 IAC 17-3)
    • Activities proposing significant impacts ( impacts >0.10 acre) to Class I State Regulated Wetlands.
  • Minimal Impact Activities in Class I and Class II State Regulated Wetlands (327 IAC 17-2)
    • Activities related to the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of any previously authorized, currently serviceable structure or fill or of any currently serviceable structure or fill authorized by 327 IAC 17-2, 327 IAC 17-3, or 327 IAC 17-4, provided that the structure or fill is not to be put to uses differing from those uses specified or contemplated for it in the original permit or the most recently authorized modification. In general, the IWGP will authorize the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement of those structures or fills destroyed or damaged by storms, floods, fire, or other discrete events, provided the repair, rehabilitation, or replacement is commenced, or is under contract to commence, within two (2) years of the date of their destruction or damage. (Additional conditions apply)
    • Discharges of dredged or fill material, including excavation, into non-exempt isolated wetlands to remove accumulated sediments and debris in the vicinity of, and within, existing structures. (Additional conditions apply)
    • Discharges of dredged or fill material, including excavation, into non-exempt isolated wetlands, for activities associated with the restoration of upland areas damaged by a storm, flood, or other discrete event, including the construction, placement, or installation of upland protection structures and minor dredging to remove obstructions in a State Regulated Wetland. An applicant will need to provide evidence (such as a recent topographic survey or photographs) justifying the need for the extent of the proposed restoration. (Additional conditions apply)
    • Fish and wildlife harvesting devices and activities, such as duck blinds. (Additional conditions apply)
    • The use of devices designed to measure and record scientific data, such as the following:
      1. Staff gauges.
      2. Water recording devices.
      3. Water quality testing and improvement devices.
      4. Similar structures.
    • Survey activities including core sampling, seismic exploratory operations, plugging of seismic shotholes and other exploratory-type boreholes, soil survey, sampling, and historic resources. (Additional conditions apply)
    • Activities required for the construction, maintenance, and repair of utility lines and associated facilities in state regulated wetlands. (Additional conditions apply)
    • Return water from upland, contained dredged material disposal area. Note: The dredging itself may require a permit under IC 13-18-22-1. The return water from a contained disposal area is administratively defined as a discharge of dredged material, even though the disposal itself occurs on the upland and does not require an IC 13-18-22-1 permit.
    • Activities in SRWs associated with the restoration of former wetlands, the enhancement of degraded wetlands and riparian areas, the creation of wetlands and riparian areas, and the restoration and enhancement of streams and open water areas. Planting of only native species shall occur on the site. The IWGP cannot authorize the conversion of natural wetlands to another aquatic use, such as creation of waterfowl impoundments where a forested wetland previously existed. (Additional conditions apply)
    • Discharges of dredged or fill material and maintenance activities that are associated with moist soil management for wildlife performed on federally-owned or managed property, state-owned or managed property, and local government agency-owned or managed property, for the purpose of continuing ongoing, site-specific, wildlife management activities where soil manipulation is used to manage habitat and feeding areas for wildlife. NOTE: The IWGP cannot authorize the construction of new dikes, roads, water control structures, et cetera, associated with the management areas, nor can it authorize converting wetlands to uplands, impoundments, or other open waterbodies. (Additional conditions apply)
    • New construction, agriculture, and mining activities. The following activities can be authorized:
      1. New construction activities associated with the construction or installation of new facilities or structures. Typically, these include residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and recreational activities. These activities include:
        1. filling and grading;
        2. dredging;
        3. stormwater, sediment, and erosion control activities; and
        4. roads, infrastructures, and utilities, provided the individual and cumulative impacts are minimal.
      2. Agriculture and mining activities. These include work or discharges of dredged or fill material associated with the following:
        1. Buildings or work pads.
        2. Stock piling of material.
        3. Staging, loading, and unloading areas.
        4. Roads.
        5. Land leveling.
        6. Berms, dikes, dams, and ditch construction.
        7. Drainage facilities.
        8. Erosion and water control activities.
        • This subdivision does not affect those agricultural and mining activities that are exempt in accordance with 327 IAC 17-1-7.
      3. Discharges of dredged or fill material for the purposes of new construction, agriculture, and mining activities as described above are limited to one-tenth (0.1) acre or less of impact to state regulated wetlands.
        • If IDEM determines that activities have the potential to cause unacceptable adverse impacts on aquatic resources or other public interest factors, the project will not be authorized by an IWGP.
        • Additionally, IDEM may, on a case-by-case basis, require a 327 IAC 17-3 permit (an IWGP for significant impacts to Class I wetlands) or a 327 IAC 17-4 permit (an Isolated Wetland Individual Permit Individual Permit for activities in Class II and Class III wetlands). Under these circumstances, IDEM will notify the applicant that the project does not qualify for an Isolated Wetland General Permit under this rule and instruct the applicant on the procedures to seek authorization under the 327 IAC 17-3 or 327 IAC 17-4 permit.
        • IDEM may also require a 327 IAC 17-3 or 327 IAC 17-4 permit for any:
        1. after-the-fact applications; or
        2. unauthorized activity;
        • or both, regardless of whether or not the discharge meets the area limitation specified in clause (C).
    • Wetland activities that would have more than minimal impacts to water quality, either viewed individually or collectively with other projects that may affect the same waterbody affected by the proposed project, are excluded from being approved under an Isolated Wetland General Permit.

The entire text of the aforementioned general permit activities can be found in 327 IAC 17.

Isolated Wetland Individual Permits (327 IAC 17-4)

An Isolated Wetland Individual Permit (IWIP) is required for any impact to a Class III wetland, regardless of the acreage of the wetland or the proposed acreage of impact.

An Isolated Wetland Individual Permit (IWIP) is required for any impact to a Class II wetland, except those wetland activities that are regulated by a minimal impact Isolated Wetland General Permit (IWGP) as described above and under 327 IAC 17-2.