Friday, January 22, 2010

Electronic Resources #1

I've been chatting with Ed Pawlak of the Connecticut Association of Wetlands Scientists ( about electronic resources available regarding wetlands and watercourse protection as he is preparing a page for the organization's website. I thought I would post some of the links I have found useful.

Want to check out the wording of the wetlands statute? The Connecticut General Assembly's electronic version of the official version of the General Statutes is handy and easy to use: If you know the section in the statutes, you can most efficiently get there by clicking on "Statutes" and thereafter the browse button. For the wetlands statute beginning at General Statutes § 22a-36, scroll down to Title 22a. A list of chapter numbers appears on the far left. The next column sets out the sections within the chapter, followed by a column with the chapter name. You'll see that chapter 440 is entitled "Wetlands and Watercourses" and includes more than the law on inland wetlands, as was mentioned in the last post. You can click on either the chapter number or the title and arrive at the table of contents of the chapter. Once there you can click on whichever section you want, such as factors for consideration, § 22a-41, or the statutory exemptions, § 22a-40. Click here to go directly to the table of contents page for Chapter 440. The official statutes are prepared every two years. The most recent version is revised to January 1, 2009. It does not include any amendments to the statutes passed in the 2009 session.

The DEP website,, is full of useful links. Begin with the homepage for inland wetlands and watercourses. Click here to go to that homepage. The page entitled "Legislation, Regulations & Case Law" contains a number of useful documents (though no case law, despite its title.) Please note that the link to the statute in the DEP's website is the 2007th version, not the most recent revision. The DEP Model Regulations revised to 2006 are available. It is very easy to determine the changes made from earlier version as the changes are underlined. Click here for the Model Regulations. The Legislative and Regulatory Advisories for 2006 - 2008 should also be consulted in determining what the current status of your municipal regulations. The advisories are available on this same page.

Have use for reading the DEP Guidance Document on Upland Review Area Regulations from 1997? It contains suggested language to correct for the "Prestige Builders" jurisdictional problem, as mentioned in the post for December 29, 2009. You can access the document from the "Legislation" page or click here to go directly to the guidance document.

Also on this page is my favorite way to find wetlands regulations from 38 towns, by clicking on "Wetland and Watercourse Regulations for the Towns of Connecticut." Click here to go to that page. DEP's link is dependent on the cooperation of towns to provide links to their regulations. The page includes an alphabetical list of the municipalities in the state. The underlined ones have links directly to the wetlands regulations. For other towns, you can go to the official Town and Cities in Connecticut page, which can be accessed from the same "Legislation" page or click here to go directly to the page. Whether you will find it easy to access the wetlands regulations depends on how the town's webpage is organized and updated. Sometimes it can be buried or the search functions may not be complete. Special thanks to Dave Emerson who staffs the Stamford Environmental Protection Board (aka the wetlands agency in Stamford) with his over-the-top service last fall when I could not find the wetlands regulations which I felt certain were on the city's webpage. We exchanged e-mails and he wanted to understand how I couldn't find the regulations. Within a day he changed the search engine so that even I could find the inland wetlands regulations. He must be the IT wizard in town as well. Not all towns make it that easy.

In the next post I'll highlight two different ways to find court decisions on the internet.

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