For each local government unit, there is a technical evaluation panel. Panel membership consists of: a technical professional employee of the board, a technical professional employee of the soil and water conservation district of the county in which the activity is occurring, and a technical professional with expertise in water resource management appointed by the local government unit. For projects affecting public waters, public waters wetlands, or wetlands within the shoreland protection zone, the panel also includes a technical professional employee of the Department of Natural Resources. The local government unit must coordinate the panel.
Two members of the technical evaluation panel must be knowledgeable and trained in applying methodologies of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (January 1987), Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota & Wisconsin (S. Eggers and D. Reed 1997), Wetlands of the United States (United States Fish and Wildlife Service Circular 39, 1971 edition), and Classification of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitats of the United States (Cowardin, et al., 1979 edition), including updates and supplements, and any modifications or guidance provided by the board. The panel must also be knowledgeable and trained in evaluation of wetland functions and the resulting public value. The panel may seek advice and assistance from others with additional expertise to help the panel in its work.
The technical evaluation panel, if requested to do so by the local government unit, the landowner, or a member of the panel, must make technical findings and recommendations regarding applications, the scope of this chapter and the act, the applicability of exemption and no-loss standards, wetland functions and the resulting public value, direct and indirect impacts, possible violations of this chapter and the act, enforcement matters under part 8420.0900, comprehensive wetland protection and management plans and implementing rules and ordinances, and other technical issues related to implementation of this chapter. The panel must review applications for replacement of public road projects submitted according to part 8420.0544, banking projects according to parts 8420.0700 to 8420.0755, and replacement wetland monitoring as provided in parts 8420.0800 to 8420.0820. The panel must provide its findings to the local government unit for consideration. For violations of this chapter that may result in the issuance of an enforcement order, the panel must consult with the enforcement authority.
The panel's recommendation to the local government unit may recommend approval, approval with changes or conditions, or denial of an application. When a technical evaluation panel assembles findings or makes a recommendation, the local government unit must consider the findings or recommendation of the panel in its approval or denial of an application. The panel shall make no findings or recommendations without at least one member having made an on-site inspection. Panel findings and recommendations must be documented and endorsed by a majority of the members. If the local government unit does not agree with the panel's findings and recommendation, the detailed reasons for the disagreement must be part of the local government unit's record of decision.
Applicants must cooperate in providing local government unit staff and members of the technical evaluation panel and their designated experts with access to proposed project sites for investigation. Investigations must be preceded by notice to the landowner or designated agent, unless prior approval has been granted. If an applicant refuses to allow access, the local government unit may deny an application.
18 SR 274; 22 SR 1877; 25 SR 152; 27 SR 135; 34 SR 145
August 26, 2009