Permits are required by law for construction projects that fill streams or wetlands and for discharge of waste into waterways. These permits are issued by state or federal agencies, and there are opportunties to weigh in on how the permits are written. This page has materials on how to track permit applications and how to effectively comment on them. Effective comments can
* reduce environmental harm * bring the community voice into decision-making, and * establish standing in case of future litigation.
The Hoosier Environmental Council recorded two training webinars on how to watchdog water and wetland permits. This task is well suited to the staff member or volunteer who is detail oriented and willing to spend time on the computer digging through documents. The watchdogging effort is worthwhile because it can push the state and federal agencies to consider community concerns and write a permit with more environmental benefits. These webinars cover
- the basics of the water regulatory processes,
- how to track the permits,
- how to prioritize which permits to comment on, and
- how to draft effective public comments on permit applications.
US Army Corps of Engineers resources: