Wetland Identification Program
The Wetland Identification Program (WIP), formerly referred to as the Wetland Assessment Program, was established by the DEQ in July 1998 to assist the public in identifying wetland and non-wetland (i.e., upland) areas on their property. The WIP and the ability to assess fees for the WIP are authorized by Part 303, Wetlands Protection, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. The WIP offers three levels of service to assist the public. Individuals interested in WIP services should submit an application indicating the level of service desired, supporting documentation as required by the application, a description of the area to be assessed, and the associated fee to the DEQ. The three levels of wetland identification services and associated fees are as follows:
Level 1: DEQ wetland inventory maps are now available and will be provided in place of the previous Level 1 service. DEQ wetland inventory maps for each county are available in electronic form, or can be requested in paper form at cost, on the DEQ website under Wetland Inventory Maps. Since these maps are not based upon an on-site review, the DEQ does not provide a jurisdictional guarantee or a map specific to the parcel.
Level 2: This service offers an on-site review of an identified area, up to five acres in size, by DEQ staff. The DEQ staff will identify, with flagging, areas that contain wetland and determine whether the wetland is regulated under Part 303. The purpose of this type of review is to identify areas where permits are not required. Upon completion of a Level 2 review, a letter report and site map is sent to the applicant identifying whether there are regulated wetlands, non regulated wetlands, and/or non-wetland (i.e., upland) areas within the area being reviewed. The letter report will provide a guarantee that the DEQ lacks jurisdiction under Part 303 over areas identified as non-wetland (i.e., upland) and non-regulated wetland for three years from the date of the site inspection. The fee is $500 for the first acre or less, and $250 for each additional acre or fraction of an acre of land to be assessed. Level 2 Fee Example: 1.2 acres = $500 + (1 x $250) = $750. The DEQ has developed a WIP Fee Calculator (available below) to assist WIP applicants.
Level 3: This service offers an on-site review of an identified area by DEQ staff to verify a wetland delineation (i.e, identification of a specific wetland boundary) completed by a wetland professional and/or consultant. The DEQ staff will verify flagged wetland boundaries placed by the applicant's wetland consultant and whether the wetland is regulated under Part 303. Upon completion of a Level 3 review, the DEQ provides a letter report and site map that will agree or disagree with the boundaries established by a wetland consultant. The letter report will provide a guarantee that the DEQ lacks jurisdiction under Part 303 over areas identified as non-wetland (i.e., upland) and non-regulated wetland for three years from the date of the site inspection. The fee is $500 for the first acre or less, and $50 for each additional acre or fraction of an acre of wetland to be reviewed, and $20 for each additional acre or fraction of an acre of upland (non-wetland) to be reviewed. Level 3 Fee Example: 20.5 acres (10.5 acres wetland, 10.0 acres upland) = $500 + (10 x $50) + (10 x $20) = $1200. The DEQ has developed a WIP Fee Calculator (available below) to assist WIP applicants.
Express WIP Requests: Between May 1 and October 1, the applicant may request express handling of their WIP request. For an increased fee reflecting the additional cost to the DEQ (three times the standard fee), the DEQ will provide a report within 20 calendar days of a complete request for both Level 2 and Level 3 services. If the DEQ is not able to complete the report within 20 calendar days, the DEQ will refund the difference between the Express fee and the standard fee. The DEQ has developed a WIP Fee Calculator (available below) to assist WIP applicants.
The property boundaries and area to be reviewed must be flagged PRIOR to submittal of an application. Level 3 requests should cover the entire property or the entire potential project area (i.e., upland and wetland). For Level 3 requests where the area to be reviewed is less than the entire property or project area, a minimum of 25 feet around the wetland area (or to the property line, whichever is less) must be included in the area to be reviewed. This will allow for proper verification of the wetland boundaries by the DEQ. Please note that any areas not included in the area to be reviewed will NOT be verified to be wetland or upland (non-wetland) in the final report.
If recent disturbances (e.g., removal of vegetation, mowing, disturbed soils, drainage) do not allow routine completion of a Level 2 or Level 3 review, the review will not be completed by the DEQ and the fee will not be refunded. In the case of recent disturbance, the applicant will be provided a report stating the reasons that the review was not completed and the information required for the DEQ to complete the review. Typically, the required additional information will include, but is not limited to, a consultant's delineation with completed datasheets, leaving the site intact (undisturbed) for at least one growing season, and submittal of an additional fee (at least half the original fee).
Applications for WIP reviews are accepted year round. In the event that winter weather conditions prohibit DEQ staff from conducting a thorough site review that includes evaluating vegetation, soil, and hydrology, the application and fee will be held until such time that the review can be conducted.
WIP Fee Calculator
What is the difference between a Wetland Identification Program application and a wetland construction permit application?
Finding a Wetland Consultant
The status of WIP applications processed by the DEQ can be searched and viewed on the following:
Wetland Identification Program Application Search