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Interagency Wetland Policy Act of 1989



Current through P.A. 90-25, apv. 6/23/97


830/1-1. Short Title

║ 1-1. Short Title. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Interagency Wetland Policy Act of 1989".

(Source P.A. 86-157, Art. I, ║ 1-1, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9701-1.)

830/1-2. Legislative declaration

║ 1-2. Legislative declaration. The General Assembly finds and determines that:

    (a) In 1818, Illinois contained an estimated 8.2 million acres of wetlands. Based upon preliminary results of the Illinois portion of the National Wetlands Inventory, less than nine percent of the original acres remain.
    (b) With the significant loss in acreage, a corresponding loss in the functional values and benefits that wetlands provide has occurred.
    (c) Continued loss of Illinois' wetlands may deprive the people of this State of some or all of the benefits which they provide, including:
(1) reducing flood damages by absorbing, storing and conveying peak flows from storms;
(2) improving water quality by serving as sedimentation and filtering basins and as natural biological treatment areas;
(3) providing breeding, nesting, forage and protective habitat for approximately 40 percent of the State's threatened and endangered plants and animals, in addition to other forms of fish, wildlife, waterfowl and shorebirds;
(4) protecting underground water resources and helping to recharge rivers, streams and local or regional underground water supplies;
(5) serving as recreational areas for hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, bird watching, photography and other uses;
(6) providing open space and aesthetic values, particularly in rapidly developing areas;
(7) providing unique educational and research opportunities because of their high diversity of plants and animals, their support for a high incidence of threatened and endangered species, and their function as a natural buffer for rivers, lakes and streams;
(8) supplying nutrients in freshwater food cycles and serving as nursery areas and sanctuaries for young fish; and
(9) helping to protect shorelines from the forces of water erosion.

(Source P.A. 86-157, Art. I, ║ 1-2, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9701-2.)

830/1-3. Application

║ 1-3. Application. The General Assembly recognizes the environmental, economic and social values of the State's remaining wetlands and directs that State agencies shall preserve, enhance, and create wetlands where possible and avoid adverse impacts to wetlands from:

    (a) State and State pass-through funded construction activities. This Act does not apply to construction activities costing less than $10,000, in which non-public contributions are at least 25 percent of the total cost. This Act does not apply to cleanup of contaminated sites authorized, funded or approved pursuant to:
(1) the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (P.L. 96-510), as amended; [42 U.S.C.A. ║ 9602]
(2) the leaking underground storage tank program, as established in Subtitle I of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (P.L. 98-616), as amended, [42 U.S.C.A. ║ 6901 et seq.] of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-580); [42 U.S.C.A. ║ 6901 et seq.]
(3) the State remedial action program established under Section 4 of the Environmental Protection Act, as amended, [415 ILCS 5/4] or any other Section of this Act or regulations promulgated thereunder which pertain to the above exempted federal cleanup programs.
This Act does not apply to projects receiving loan assistance provided to local government units under the provisions of the Illinois Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund, that are subject to review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) [42 U.S.C.A. ║ 4321 et seq.] or the state equivalent, pursuant to rules governing the Illinois Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund.
    (b) State supported land management activities;
    (c) State and State supported technical assistance programs; and
    (d) Other State activities that result in adverse impacts to wetlands.
Educational materials produced with State support, shall be consistent with the policies contained within this Act.

(Source P.A. 86-157, Art. I, ║ 1-3, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9701-3.)

830/1-4. State goal

║ 1-4. State goal. It shall be the goal of the State that there be no overall net loss of the State's existing wetland acres or their functional value due to State supported activities. Further, State agencies shall preserve, enhance and create wetlands where necessary in order to increase the quality and quantity of the State's wetland resource base.

(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. I, ║ 1-4, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9701-4.)

830/1-5. Goal implementation

║ 1-5. Goal implementation. The goal is implemented through a State Wetland Mitigation Policy and the development of Agency Action Plans.

(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. I, ║ 1-5, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9701-5.)

830/1-6. Definitions

║ 1-6. Definitions. As used in this Act:

    (a) "Wetland" means land that has a predominance of hydric soils (soils which are usually wet and where there is little or no free oxygen) and that is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation (plants typically found in wet habitats) typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Areas which are restored or created as the result of mitigation or planned construction projects and which function as a wetland are included within this definition even when all three wetland parameters are not present.
    (b) "Adverse wetland impacts" means any land management and construction or related project activity which directly or indirectly reduces the size of a wetland or impairs a wetland's functional value, as described in subsection (c) of Section 1-2 of this Act, or the hydraulic and hydrologic characteristics of a wetland.
    (c) "Director" means the Director of Natural Resources.
    (d) "Department" with reference to this Act means the Department of Natural Resources.
    (e) "Committee" means the Interagency Wetlands Committee created by this Act.
    (f) "Mitigation" includes avoiding, minimizing or compensating for adverse wetland impacts. This includes:
(1) Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action;
(2) Minimizing the impact by limiting the magnitude of the action; and
(3) Compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute wetland resources or environments.
    (g) "Agency Action Plan" means a plan developed by an individual agency to implement this Act.
    (h) "Wetland Compensation Plan" means a plan developed for each individual construction project that details how the responsible agency will compensate for actions which will result in adverse wetland impacts.
    (i) "Conservation Organization" means an organization, legally established under Illinois Law, for the purpose of managing and protecting natural resources.
    (j) "Necessary" means in a manner consistent with the intent of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. I, ║ 1-6, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Amended by P.A. 89-445, ║ 9A-13, eff. Feb. 7, 1996. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9701-6.)


830/2-1. Interagency Wetlands Committee

║ 2-1. Interagency Wetlands Committee. An Interagency Wetlands Committee, chaired by the Director of Natural Resources or his representative, is established. The Directors of the following agencies, or their representative, shall serve as members of the Committee:

    Capitol Development Board,
    Department of Agriculture,
    Department of Commerce and Community Affairs,
    Environmental Protection Agency,
    Department of Transportation, and
    Historic Preservation Agency.

The Interagency Wetlands Committee shall also include 2 additional persons with relevant expertise designated by the Director of Natural Resources.
The Interagency Wetlands Committee shall advise the Director in the administration of this Act. This will include:
    (a) Developing rules and regulations for the implementation and administration of this Act.
    (b) Establishing guidelines for developing individual Agency Action Plans.
    (c) Developing and adopting technical procedures for the consistent identification, delineation and evaluation of existing wetlands and quantification of their functional values and the evaluation of wetland restoration or creation projects.
    (d) Developing a research program for wetland function, restoration and creation.
    (e) Preparing reports, including:
(1) A biennial report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the impact of State supported activities on wetlands.
(2) A comprehensive report on the status of the State's wetland resources, including recommendations for additional programs by January 15, 1991.
    (f) Development of educational materials to promote the protection of wetlands.
(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. II, ║ 2-1, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Amended by P.A. 89-445, ║ 9B-6, eff. Feb. 7, 1996. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9702-1.

830/2-2. Agency Action Plans

║ 2-2. Agency Action Plans. Within one year following passage of this Act each State agency serving on the Interagency Wetlands Committee shall prepare an Agency Action Plan, which shall be used as the agency's procedural plan for the implementation of this Act. Guidelines for Agency Action Plans shall be developed by the Department and reviewed by the Committee within 6 months of the effective date of this Act.

    (a) Minimum elements of each Agency Action Plan will include:
(1) Provisions for both a consultation process with the Department and conflict resolution process through the Governor's office;
(2) Procedures for the development of a Wetland Compensation Plan;
(3) Procedures to scientifically monitor the success of wetland restoration/creation projects.
(4) Procedures to minimize the destruction of wetlands caused or encouraged by State supported construction, land management, technical assistance, educational and other activities;
(5) Procedures to increase the quantity and quality of wetlands as a standard component of agency activities including incentives for the creation of wetlands in the agency's regulation of activities for which wetland compensation plans are not required by this Act;
(6) Procedures to coordinate the responsibilities contained within this Act with other State programs;
(7) Procedures to ensure that historic and archaeological resources will not be negatively impacted by this Act; and
(8) An acquisition policy related to implementation of this Act.
    (b) Agency Action Plans may also include:
(1) procedures for the development and management of a Wetland Compensation Account; and
(2) procedures to expedite the review of certain classes of projects.
(c) Agency Action Plans shall be submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly after review and approval by the Department. (Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. II, ║ 2-2, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9702-2.)


830/3-1. State Wetland Mitigation Policy

║ 3-1. State Wetland Mitigation Policy. This Act implements the State Wetland Mitigation Policy, which directs that each State agency shall preserve wetlands as a priority of action when they develop construction or land management plans. When an agency can establish that no other feasible alternative exists and adverse wetland impacts are unavoidable, adverse impacts are to be compensated for through the development and implementation of a Department approved Wetland Compensation Plan.

The policy requires progressive levels of compensation based upon the level of impact to the existing wetland and the location of compensation wetlands. Priority shall be given to locating compensation wetlands close to the wetland area impacted.

Proposed State and State-supported construction activities which may impact wetlands identified on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, under public ownership or which provide habitat for State or federally threatened or endangered species will continue to require direct consultation with the Department and compliance with the Endangered Species Protection Act of 1986. [520 ILCS 10/1 et seq.]

(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. III, ║ 3-1, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9703-1.)

830/3-2. Ownership and management

║ 3-2. Ownership and management. Wetlands, whether purchased, restored or created as the result of this Act shall be protected through either easements or fee simple transfer to either a public conservation agency or private conservation organization which will protect and manage the area.

(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. III, ║ 3-2, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9703-2.)

830/3-3. Wetland Compensation Account

║ 3-3. Wetland Compensation Account. Each State agency is hereby authorized to establish a Wetland Compensation Account to reconcile debits and credits established as the result of Wetland Compensation Plans.

Management of a Wetland Compensation Account, if established, is the responsibility of the individual State agency. The Department shall review each agency's Compensation Account to confirm that all debits and credits are accounted for and balanced.

(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. III, ║ 3-3, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9703-3.)

830/3-4. Impact evaluation

║ 3-4. Impact evaluation. For each project action involving a wetland, State agencies shall follow a multi-step process to avoid and minimize adverse wetland impacts as the preferred course of action. An agency must document that no other feasible alternative exists before adverse impacts are considered.

In order of priority, these steps shall include:

    (1) The avoidance of adverse wetland impacts;
    (2) Minimal alteration with compensation on the site of the proposed project;
    (3) Significant alteration with compensation on the site of the proposed project;
    (4) Wetland destruction with compensation on the site of the proposed project;
    (5) Wetland destruction with compensation off the site of the proposed project but within the same drainage basin; and
    (6) Wetland destruction with compensation both off the site of the proposed project and out of the drainage basin.
(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. III, ║ 3-4, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9703-4.)

830/3-5. Value

║ 3-5. Value. Value shall include:

Value for each compensation plan shall be established by the agency developing the compensation plan in consultation with the Department.

(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. III, ║ 3-5, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9703-5.)

830/3-6. Compensation ratios

║ 3-6. Compensation ratios. Wetland Compensation Plans must adhere to a schedule of increasing compensation ratios based upon the amount of adverse wetland impact and the location of compensation projects.

    (a) Compensation ratios are required to:
(1) Ensure that wetland systems are not destroyed without careful evaluation of other alternatives; and
(2) Discourage destruction of wetland resources in rapidly developing areas of Illinois and their replacement within other regions of the State.
    (b) Compensation ratios shall be established and shall be progressively higher to reflect the priority actions identified in Section 3-4.
    The lowest compensation ratio shall be for minimal alteration and compensation on-site. The highest compensation ratio shall be for destruction and compensation outside the impacted wetland's drainage basin.
    Progressively higher compensation ratios shall strongly encourage agencies to avoid or minimize adverse wetland impacts and to compensate on-site.
    (c) Compensation may be accomplished through a combination of creation of new wetlands, restoration of degraded wetlands, acquisition of existing wetlands, or research. Compensation shall be accomplished using the best available technology.
    (d) The Department, through the Interagency Wetlands Committee, shall review the compensation ratios to determine their adequacy and appropriateness, and shall report the results of this review in the biennial report required in Section 2-1.
    (e) When adverse wetland impacts occur, the Wetland Compensation Plan must include the creation of at least one-for-one replacement of new wetlands of comparable functional type and size, before restoration, acquisition or research alternatives are considered.
    One provision of a Wetland Compensation Plan may include funding for needed research on wetland functions, restoration or creation. Credit for research funding requires approval of the Department upon consultation of the Committee.
(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. III, ║ 3-6, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9703-6.)


830/4-1. Administration

║ 4-1. Administration. The Department shall administer this Act and shall formulate rules and regulations necessary for its implementation.

(Source: P.A. 86-157, Art. IV, ║ 4-1, eff. Aug. 12, 1989. Formerly Ill.Rev.Stat.1991, ch. 96 1/2 , ║ 9704-1.)

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