Issue 2.1 February 2014
 A Newsletter for 
 Municipal Inland Wetlands Agencies 
   CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Inland Water Resources Division

Now Available
Third Training DVD
A DVD titled "The Functions and Values of Wetlands and Watercourses" has been produced by the DEEP's Wetlands Management Section (WMS). The DVD joins Larry Locus and his digital assistant as they explore the functions and values of wetlands and watercourses, focusing on hydrology, ecology and land use.  The DVD highlights the beauty and complexity of wetlands and watercourses while educating the viewer on why these natural resources are indispensable and irreplaceable.  Although tailored for inland wetlands agencies, the DVD will be very beneficial to other municipal land use commissions, students and citizens.  The DVD will be mailed to Connecticut's municipal inland wetlands agencies in February 2014.  The video is currently available on the DEEP's YouTube channel. Further, all three training videos produced by the WMS are available on the WMS web page.   For further information regarding this new educational video please contact the WMS at (860) 424-3019.  

Don't Forget Your Options...
The Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (IWWA) provides a number of enforcement options.  A municipal inland wetlands agency may: 
  • suspend or revoke a permit in situations where the permit has been violated or where the scope of work set forth in the application has been exceeded (IWWA section 22a-42a(d)(1));  
  • issue a citation and impose a municipal fine, provided the municipality has adopted an authorizing ordinance (IWWA section 22a-42g); 
  • issue an order to stop an activity and/or remedy a violation (IWWA section 22a-44); and   
  • a municipal inland wetlands agency can proceed directly to court to stop illegal activity or to enforce an order (IWWA section 22a-43). 

There are also a number of informal enforcement options which municipal inland wetlands agencies can use to gain compliance with the IWWA.  An agency can:  

  • request a person's attendance at a meeting to explain a matter;
  • phone an individual to give notice of a potential issue; or 
  • write a letter (i.e. Notice of Violation).

In 2012, the DEEP's Wetlands Management Section provided a presentation on enforcement at the Municipal Inland Wetland Commissioners Training Program. The presentation outline reviews these options and more! 

Issuing a Ticket
An Inland Wetlands "Ticket" 
Does Your Agency Use This Enforcement Tool?
The Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (IWWA) enables municipal inland wetlands agencies to issue citations for violations. Section 22a-42g of the IWWA states that any municipality may establish, by ordinance, a fine for violations of their inland wetlands regulations.  The amount of the fine cannot be more than $1,000.00.  Any police officer or other person authorized by the chief executive officer of the municipality, such as an inland wetlands agent, may issue a citation.  Like a parking ticket, the municipality also needs to adopt a citation hearing procedure that allows the person receiving the ticket to contest the fine.  This process can operate separately from action by the inland wetlands agency.  Do you know if your municipality has passed an ordinance to establish such a fine?  This is a convenient enforcement tool to use for small violations.  

Picture of Letter
The "NOV" 
What Is It? Is It Enforceable?
Municipal inland wetlands agencies may issue an enforcement letter called a "Notice of Violation" or "NOV" for minor infractions, or if the agency has reason to believe that the recipient intends to remedy the violation.  The letter, sent by certified mail, serves to inform the recipient that he or she is conducting or maintaining an activity, facility or condition which is in violation of the Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (IWWA), municipal regulations, and/or a permit issued by the inland wetlands agency.  The Notice of Violation should set out the steps required to rectify the problem and achieve compliance.  The issuance of an NOV requires follow-up by the municipal inland wetlands agency in order to be a meaningful enforcement tool and bring the site or activity into compliance.  Further, since an NOV is an informal enforcement tool that has no statutory basis in the IWWA, it is not enforceable in a court of law.  If, however, a recipient ignores or fails to fully comply with the NOV, the municipal inland wetlands agency may consider issuing a cease and desist or cease and correct order.  Such orders are authorized by the IWWA and are enforceable in court.    

Enforcement Order  
Cease and Desist or Cease and Correct

The issuance of an order is one of the municipal inland wetlands agency's most effective enforcement tools short of court action.  The Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (IWWA), in section 22a-44, allows a municipal inland wetlands agency, or its duly authorized agent, to issue a written order when the agency or agent finds that any person is conducting or maintaining any activity, facility or condition which is in violation of the IWWA or of the agency's regulations. The order is usually referred to as either a "cease and desist" order, or a "cease and correct" order.  A cease and desist order simply states that an activity needs to stop immediately and is not to continue.  A cease and correct order states that the activity needs to stop immediately and the situation needs to be remedied, and may contain a description of a required corrective action the agency wants the recipient of the order to undertake 

The order is an appropriate enforcement mechanism in 
the case of a major or significant violation, even if the alleged violator intends to correct the violation.  An order must be written and is effective upon issuance.  After the order is issued the agency is required to conduct a hearing within ten days to provide the recipient an opportunity to be heard and show cause why the order should not remain in effect. The recipient of an order should be notified of the hearing by certified mail.    


The municipal inland wetlands agency has the burden of proving the violation exists. Therefore the procedure leading up to the issuance of an order must be carefully attended to by the agency.  The agency should make sure that the record of the hearing contains adequate information regarding the inland wetlands agency's authority and jurisdiction in the situation, and demonstrates that the agency followed statutory and regulatory procedures in the conduct of its enforcement proceedings.  


Finally, within ten days of completion of the hearing, the agency is required to notify the recipient of the order by certified mail that the original order either remains in effect, that a revised order is in effect, or that the order has been withdrawn.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Please contact us at 860-418-5910 or if you: have a disability and need a communication aid or service; have limited proficiency in English and may need information in another language; or if you wish to file an ADA or Title VI discrimination complaint.