BWSR recently updated their wetland bank application process and forms. Included is a new informational document for those proposing a wetland, as well as a three-step application process.
Bank plan applicants must first submit a scoping document to the local government unit (LGU) to initiate the review process. The LGU’s scoping review will lead to a findings and recommendations document about the project, so applicants can make an informed decision on the project’s feasibility and whether to continue on with the application process.
Next, applicants must submit a concept bank plan. This phase is intended to identify any potential issues with project design, easements, credit amounts, credit release schedules and other issues, prior to investing the time necessary to complete the full application. The LGU will again produce a findings and recommendations document.
Finally, if applicants choose to continue beyond the concept plan, they must submit a full application which initiates the formal wetland bank plan review and approval process.
On a positive note, not unlike the new Application for Withdrawal forms we reviewed in February, we see the updates as a welcomed attempt by BWSR to help streamline the application procedure with a more straightforward, step-by-step process combined with cleaner more simplified forms.
On the other hand, the instruction document states that the concept plan contains information included in the scoping document, while the full application contains information included in the concept plan. To us this seems to include some unnecessary redundancies resulting in complicating the process. In addition, for now at least, these forms are only available in MS Word format, so if you don’t have Word, you may be out of luck.
This leaves us wondering…was the new application process developed based on feedback from account holders such as you, or for change’s sake? Were bank account holders, consultants or LGUs who prepare applications consulted in the revisions of these forms?
Your comments and thoughts are welcome.