NEW: Updated National Wetland Plant List for Midwest Region (June 1, 2012)
Wetland delineations performed in Lake County, IL after June 1, 2012 shall use the updated NWPL for the Midwest Region.
About the IWLC Program
The Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO) standards provide for the protection of isolated waters and wetlands no longer under the jurisdiction of the federal Clean Water Act administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) - Chicago District.
The WDO regulates IWLC while the Corps regulates Waters of the U.S. (WOUS) impacts (i.e., navigable waters and their tributaries).
The WDO requires the applicant to obtain a Jurisdictional Determination (JD) by submitting a request (is the the impact regulated by SMC or by Corps?) to SMC (PB&D in unicorporated areas) or to the Corps. SMC can assist you in determing a jurisidictional wetland within 30 days, weather permitting and for a fee, by submitting a Jurisdictional Wetland Request form.
For projects that will impact WOUS, the applicant must obtain a Section 404 permit from the Corps. In addition, a wetland delineation and permit submittal must be performed by or under the supervision of a Certified Wetland Specialist (CWS). A wetland delineation is needed for both IWLC and IWOUS. This requirement is discussed in more detail below.
IWLC Forms and Guidance Documents
See IWLC Forms.
Projects impacting IWLC will be evaluated under the following permit categories:
- Category-I: Wetland impacts less than or equal to 1 acre to non-High Quality Aquatic Resources (HQAR) (Basic requirements);
- Category-II: Wetland impacts greater than 1 acre and less than 2 acres to HQAR (Basic requirements plus applicant must provide a narrative that shows either avoidance, minimization, or mitigation);
- Category-III: Wetland impacts greater than 2 acres or impacts to any acreage of HQAR (Basic requirements plus applicant must show, in sequence, avoidance and minimization before mitigation is considered);
- Category-IV: Weltand impacts for wetland restoration, creation and enhancement.
The WDO requires compensatory mitigation (wetland replacement) for impacts greater than or equal to 0.25 acre to IWLC that are not HQAR. The replacement ratios match the current Corps’ requirements. Wetland impacts must be replaced at a minimum ratio of 1.5:1 (one and a half acres of creation for each acre impacted), 3:1 for HQAR, and 6:1 for forested.
Mitigation may be achieved in several ways: (1) creating new wetlands on the project site or on an off-site property,
All mitigation must take place in Lake County to achieve no net wetland loss in the county. Mitigation within the same watershed as the wetland impact is the first option; (2) mitigation banks; (3) the Wetland Restoration Fund (WRF), which provides for fee-in-lieu of mitigation. The WRF will be the last resort if Corps-approved banks and SMC-approved banks are not available.
The Review Process - Community Certification
Projects will be reviewed for compliance with the IWLC provisions. The provisions require that a Certified Wetland Specialist (see below) review the application materials. Communities desiring to be certified for IWLC review are required to have a Certified Wetland Specialist on staff, or retain a Certified Wetland Specialist consultant. SMC will act as the Certified Wetland Specialist for Non-Certified communities.
See Certified Communities for those communities certified for IWLC review.
Certified Wetland Specialist
The WDO includes a Certified Wetland Specialist (CWS) requirement. A CWS is a wetland professional that meets minimum levels of experience and training as listed in the WDO. To become a CWS, an application and supporting information is required. In addition, the CWS must pass the CWS Exam offered by SMC. See Certified Wetland Specialist for more information.
See CWS for the application form.