Issue 3.1 July 2015
  A Newsletter for 
 Municipal Inland Wetlands Agencies 
   CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection,  Inland Water Resources Division
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   IN THIS ISSUE
  
Inland Wetlands Agency Comprehensive TrainingTraining2015
2015 Online Course is Now Available 
The DEEP's Municipal Inland Wetlands Agency Comprehensive Training Program consists of an online course offered through Central Connecticut State University    (CCSU), and covers a range of legal, administrative, and scientific subjects relevant to municipal inland wetlands agency regulation.  The course is tailored for the new agency member or staff person, or those seeking a refresher of their roles and responsibilities under the Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act.
   
Course registration is available anytime until December 1, 2015.  Program participants have until December 15, 2015 to complete the course.  A certificate of program completion is awarded to individuals that finish the course.  Please remember, in order to receive a 2015 certificate of program completion the entire 10 module online course, as well as the course exit evaluation, must be completed.  Course records are reviewed and certificates are issued approximately every 6-8 weeks.
   
The Municipal Inland Wetlands Agency Comprehensive Training Program online course can be accessed through CCSU's website.  If you have technical problems while using the course, please contact the CCSU IT Help Desk at (860) 832-1720.  If you have misplaced your login information please contact Madelyn Sowinski, CCSU's Center for Public Policy and Social Research, at m.sowinski@ccsu.edu.




The 2015 Legislative Session Legislation2015
Two Public Acts of Interest to Inland Wetlands Agencies
The Connecticut General Assembly convened its regular legislative session on January 7, 2015 and adjourned June 3, 2015.  Initially a number of bills were proposed that related to municipal inland wetlands agencies.  The end result, however, was the passage of two public acts that provided nominal amendments.
  
The first is Public Act No. 15-68, An Act Validating the Action of a Municipal Assessor, Extending the Filing Deadline for Certain Property Tax Exemptions and Concerning Notice Requirements for Zoning Applications.  Section 2 of this Act amends Connecticut General Statutes section 8-7d.  The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act, section 22a-42a, mandates that public hearings be held in accordance with the provisions of section 8-7d.  Section 8-7d states that notice of the public hearing is to be mailed to adjoining property owners, or be provided by posting a sign on the land that is subject to the hearing, or both.  Public Act No. 15-68 allows municipalities to forego a title search when attempting to contact adjacent land owners. The Act was signed by the Governor on June 19, 2015 and is effective upon passage.
   
The second is Public Act No. 15-85, An Act Concerning Court Operations and the Claim Against the State of Lori Calvert.  Section 3 of this Act amends the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act, section 22a-43a, which states that any person aggrieved by any municipal inland wetlands agency regulation, order, decision or action may appeal to the superior court.  Public Act No. 15-85 allows the court to set aside the agency's action or modify it if the action constitutes a taking without compensation; and in other circumstances, the Act allows the court, after a hearing, to reverse, affirm, modify, or return the decision in a manner consistent with the evidence in the record.  This amended language is consistent with zoning statutes.  The Act was signed by the Governor on June 24, 2015 and the relevant section is effective October 1, 2015.
  
A 2015 Legislation and Regulation Advisory will be mailed to all municipal inland wetlands agencies in late September.  The advisory will also be available on the DEEP's Wetlands Management Section's web page.




Inland Wetlands Agency Regulation AmendmentsEmailRegulations
Submission by Email Now Available
The Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act establishes a specific timeline for the amendment of municipal inland wetlands agency regulations.  The timeline begins when an amendment is proposed.  The amendment and the notice of the public hearing must be submitted to the Commissioner of DEEP at least 35 days before such hearing on the amendment is held.  A public hearing on the amendment must be held within 65 days after the receipt of the amendment proposal, and the hearing must finish within 35 days after it started.  The municipal inland wetlands agency must take action on the amendment proposal within 65 days after the hearing ends.  Further, the agency must submit the final adopted amendment language to the Commissioner of DEEP not later than 10 days after adoption.
  
The DEEP's Wetlands Management Section (WMS) has created a dedicated email address for the submission of amendment proposals and final adopted amendment language.  Please use: DEEP.Municipal.Inland.Wetland.Regs@ct.gov. In the subject line of the email you must include: the year, town/city name, proposed/adopted regs (e.g., 2015, Town of _____, Proposed Regs).  Please submit your documents (e.g., regulations, hearing notice, cover letter) in PDF format.  A brief reply email acknowledging receipt of your regulations will be sent to you.
  
Attention:  this
email address is solely for the submission of municipal inland wetlands agency regulation amendment proposals and final adopted regulations.  Other correspondence or requests submitted through this email address will not be answered.
  
If you a
re unable to submit your regulations electronically, you may continue to mail a paper copy to: Cheryl A. Chase, Director, DEEP Inland Water Resources Division, 79 Elm Street - 3rd Floor, Hartford, CT 06106.
  
The 
WMS has prepared guidance and assembled information to assist you in the regulation amendment process.   In order to ensure that your proposed amendments conform to the Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act and accomplish your objectives, the WMS strongly suggests consultation with your town attorney.  The WMS does not provide a review of your entire set of regulations; however, the WMS is available to answer questions or discuss concerns you may have regarding specific amendments.  Please feel free to contact the WMS at (860) 424-3019.




Updated Guidance: Connecticut's Wetland SoilsDisturbedSoils
Human-Altered and Human-Transported Soils

The Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act, section 22a-38, defines inland wetlands as land, including submerged land, which consists of any of the soil types designated as poorly drained, very poorly drained, alluvial and floodplain by the National Cooperative Soils Survey as amended by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Wetland soils disturbed by humans and no longer in their natural state can be hard to identify.  Recently, a team of soil scientists from the NRCS, the North Central Conservation District, private consulting, and the DEEP's Wetlands Management Section prepared a document on describing disturbed wetland soils in Connecticut.  The document, titled Clarification of Wetland Soil Criteria for Human-Altered and Human-Transported Soils in Connecticut discusses: hydrologic alteration, drainage class for unmapped soil types, buried soils, generalizations concerning depths of fill and how it affects identification of wetland soils, and much more.  This document replaces all previous guidance issued regarding disturbed wetland soils.

  

Human-altered and human-transported (HAHT)  soils  is the term  used  by NRCS to

Erosion exposing tile drains in a corn field.

Photo by: Tim McCabe, USDA NRCS

describe soils commonly referred to as (but not limited to) fill or filled, excavated, or anthropogenic.  The Soil Survey of the State of Connecticut does not contain detailed descriptions of HAHT soil types. Consequently, the Connecticut inland wetlands soils list does not contain map units with wetland HAHT soils. In lieu of National Cooperative Soils Survey published wetland HAHT soil types, the assignment of drainage class for HAHT soils should be based on the same criteria used to assign soil types in the Soil Survey for the State of Connecticut. Those criteria are defined by the presence of specific diagnostic horizons and properties in the latest edition of the Keys to Soil Taxonomy. For more information contact your soils experts at the USDA NRCS state office at (860) 871-4011.





Stream Flow ClassificationsStreamFlow
DEEP Seeks Public Comments

The DEEP is currently soliciting comments on proposed stream flow classifications for the South Central Coastal River Basin in accordance with the Stream Flow Standards and Regulations (Regulations of  Connecticut State Agencies, section 26-

Chatfield Hollow Brook, Killingworth

Source: Your Environmental Connection

141b-5) and as per the public notice.  Two public information sessions were held on June 9, 2015 in North Haven, and the DEEP is accepting information or written comments on the proposed stream flow classifications until August 21, 2015. Information and the proposed maps are available online at www.ct.gov/deep/streamflow.  Such maps include river and stream segments in the following towns: Ansonia, Berlin, Bethany, Branford, Bristol, Cheshire, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Derby, Durham, East Haven, Essex, Guilford, Haddam, Hamden, Killingworth, Madison, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown, Milford, New Britain, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Old Saybrook, Orange, Plainville, Prospect, Southington, Wallingford, Westbrook, West Haven, Wolcott and Woodbridge.




DEEP Welcomes Mike SullivanMikeSullivan
New Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Quality

DEEP recently named Mike Sullivan as the Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Quality. As Deputy, Mike leads the three bureaus on DEEP's regulatory side - Water Protection and Land Reuse, Materials Management and Compliance Assurance, and Air Management. Earlier in his career, Mike worked as an attorney in DEEP's Office of Legal Counsel and as Director of Permitting and Enforcement in DEEP's Air Bureau. Prior to re-joining DEEP he served as Senior Attorney for the University of Connecticut and as Undersecretary for Legal Affairs at the Office of Policy and Management. Mike's priorities are to continue to streamline the permitting process, strengthen the enforcement and compliance assurance activities, transform the regulatory branch of the agency and build on the success of DEEP's LEAN program.





  
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A Newsletter for Municipal Inland Wetlands Agencies is published by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse, Inland Water Resources Division, Wetlands Management Section.  Editor: Darcy Winther, (860) 424-3019.