Wading through the permitting system can be difficult and confusing due to the number of agencies that have permitting authority. To make applying for a permit easier, agencies responsible for some of the permits listed below cooperatively developed a single application form that can be used when applying. The form can be obtained by contacting any of the agencies indicated as a participant or by downloading the form at http://dnrc.mt.gov/licenses-and-permits.
When designing your project, keep in mind the following tips:
- Plan ahead. Permit review can take from 30-120 days or more if an application is not complete. Contact all potential permitting agencies early in your planning process. All necessary permits must be obtained prior to beginning work.
- Submit a complete application. Consider the potential impacts of your project such as temporary increases in turbidity, erosion, fisheries, and aquatic life impacts due to timing of projects, etc. and include in your application how impacts will be minimized
- Leave as much streamside vegetation as possible. Streamside vegetation is important to health and stability of a stream. Vegetation should be removed only to the extent necessary to construct the project. Plan to revegetate the area as soon as possible to avoid erosion and prevent weed infestations.
- Get professional assistance, if necessary, for designing and constructing your project in conformity with the natural function of the stream or river. Engineering designs may be required, especially for large projects or projects that have the potential for impacts.
- Consider bio-engineering methods, where appropriate, to minimize project impacts.
- Avoid projects that permanently prevent fish passage.
- Agencies may approve permit applications contingent upon modifications and may change the timing of the project to minimize impacts.
List of potential permits required:
- Montana Streambed and Land Preservation Act (310 Permit)
- Short-Term Turbidity (318 Permit)
- Federal Clean Water Act (404 Permit)
- Floodplain Development Permit
- Fish Stocking Permit
- Water Rights Permitting
- Montana Point Discharge Elimination System (MPDES) Stormwater Permit
- Montana Land-use License or Easement on Navigable Waters
- State Streamside Management Zone Law (SMZ)
- Montana Stream Protection Act (124 Permit)
- Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act
These permits have similar information requirements. Fees vary depending on the permit and agency. An electronic version of the joint permit application is available online from most agencies. Depending on the location and size of project, both 404 permitting and floodplain permitting can be especially challenging. Detailed information on individual permits is found in: ‘A Guide to Stream Permitting in Montana’ – available online at www.dnrc.mt.gov