Application Review Process
Your application will appear on the agency’s agenda at the first meeting following submission of the application to the office. The agency will administratively receive the application, which sets the start date for various timelines within which the agency must act. The agency will discuss the application at their next meeting the following month.
During the intervening month, staff will review the application, seek additional information from the applicant or applicant’s agent, if warranted, and write a staff report. Agency members will also conduct a site inspection.
At the second meeting the application is on the agenda it will be introduced by a staff member who provides a technical review of the application. The applicant or his/her agent may then further describe the project and answer outstanding questions posed by staff. The agency will then ask question or discuss issues with the presenters. At the agency’s discretion, they will ask if there is any public comment.
If the agency is satisfied with the proposal, there will be a motion to approve. If more information is needed, there will be a motion to delay action and schedule the project for further discussion at the next meeting. The agency may also make a motion to deny the application, if warranted under the regulations.
The agency only has 65 days from the date of receipt of the application to take action. The agency may request of the applicant another 65 days for review. The agency is most likely seeking more time so more information can be submitted and they can make an informed decision. If the agency determines a project may include significant impacts to the wetland or watercourse, they will schedule a public hearing. The agency must close the hearing within 35 days, unless the applicant grants an extension of no more than 65 days.
Thus, it is possible for a project to be approved four weeks from the agency’s receipt of the application. The more complete a submission is, the more likely it is that there will be a speedy determination. If the application is minor in scope, an Agent Approval may be appropriate. In this case, there is no agency involvement or deadline for submission. Agents will review submitted applications as they come into the office and issue permits accordingly. These permits are usually issued 1 to 2 weeks after application submission.