The Rice Creek Watershed District’s permitting process plays a crucial role in protecting and preserving the Rice Creek watershed. By following the guidelines outlined in this process, individuals, businesses, and organizations ensure that their projects and activities are conducted in a responsible manner. Through careful review and evaluation of permit applications, the district aims to minimize the negative impacts on our water resources.
Permitting requirements can vary with the types and location of projects proposed. The District has staff and resources available to provide clarity and support.
Contact staff below for a Pre-Application Meeting at no cost to the applicant to discuss projects, preliminary and development plans, the District rules and policies, and potential cost-share opportunities. These meetings are strongly encouraged!
When is a Permit required?
District staff have compiled a guide to aid potential applicants in the process of determining if a permit is needed, and staff members are available to identify what requirements and opportunities exist. Some of these characteristics are not readily apparent or identifiable by applicants, feel free to submit your project plans to the District for a determination as to whether or not a permit is required.
If your project effects these rules, you may be required to have a permit:
- Rule C – Stormwater Management
- Rule D – Erosion and Sediment Control Plan
- Rule E – Floodplain Alteration
- Rule F – Wetland Alteration
- Rule G – Regional Conveyance Systems
- Rule I – Public Drainage Systems
- Rule J – Appropriation of Public Waters
Notice of Intent Requirements
A Notice of Intent may be required on projects listed below but not a permit.
- Any activity which disturbs surface soils or removes vegetative cover on more than 5,000 square feet of land.
- The stockpiling of more than fifty (50) cubic yards of earth or other erodible material on a site (that is not part of a normal operation).
Notice of Intent PDF available below in Resources section.
Permit Submittal Requirements
Depending on the type of project proposed, certain information is required to be submitted to the RCWD for review and approval. Not every item on the guidance document will apply to every project. For example, if there are no wetlands on the site, Rule F items will not apply.
Applicants must submit an electronic copy of all required submittals; hard copies not required.
In order for a permit application to be presented to the Board for consideration, it must be substantially complete.
RCWD’s Completeness Policy for permit submittals
- Specific information regarding what items are required to be submitted prior to Board consideration in PDF document below in Resources
Permit Fee Schedule
- Permit Fee Schedule available as a PDF document below in Resources
Permit Application Review Schedule
- Permit Application Review Schedule is in PDF document below in the Resources
RCWD has adopted rules to protect public health and the natural resources of the district. The RCWD Board considers the input of stakeholders and residents when reviewing permit requirements. These rules are administered through the RCWD Permit Program. The rules regulate stormwater management, sediment, erosion control, floodplain alteration, wetland alteration and more. Any person undertaking an activity for which a permit is required must submit a permit application and obtain a permit prior to starting work. The most recent set of rules were adopted by the RCWD Board of Managers on December 9, 2020 and became effective on January 1, 2021.
All RCWD Rules available in PDFs below in Resources section.
Permit Application Review Process
RCWD Data Viewer Map
Click here for RCWD’s Data Viewer Map. This is available to the public to view and obtain various data such as soils, roads, public drainage system, floodplain zones, county boundaries, impaired waters, and more in the RCWD.
Additional Information on RCWD Permit Process
The RCWD Board has granted permit approval authority to staff for certain types of small projects, including but not limited to single-family home construction, pole barn/garage construction, home addition, driveway construction and minor land alterations. For projects only requiring administrative approval, applications are reviewed as they are submitted and are issued typically within 10 business days, but possibly more subject to District workload.
Engineer’s Report will recommend approval, conditional approval pending receipt of changes (CAPROC), denial, or will be deemed incomplete. Applications deemed incomplete in the Final Engineer’s Report before the Board Meeting will not be considered at that meeting.
For applications with a CAPROC status following the Board Meeting, applicants have 12 months to submit the required items to receive a permit. After this time, the conditional approval of the application expires and a new application will need to be submitted.
Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA)
For applications involving wetland impacts, the District must follow noticing requirements of the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act (WCA). Any project application involving a WCA wetland replacement plan, exemption, etc. will be considered incomplete for Board consideration until the WCA noticing period is completed. For projects with wetlands or potential wetlands on the property, delays may occur if the applicant has not previously coordinated with the District on the review and approval of the wetland delineation/determination.
For more information about the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act click here: Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources WCA
Permit Application Review Process graphic that simplified permit application processLearn More
RCWD Permit Fee and Surety Fee Schedules for permit applicantsLearn More
Performance Bond agreement formLearn More
RCWD Rules that regulate stormwater management, sediment, erosion control, floodplain alteration, wetland alteration and more.Learn More