Level 3 Isolated Wetland Permitting

How Do I Apply for a Level 3 Isolated Wetland Permit?

We recommend that you consider requesting a pre-application meeting before applying for a permit.

Submit the following eleven items to:

Ohio EPA
Division of Surface Water
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049
ATTN: Isolated Wetlands Permitting

  1. A complete Level 3 Isolated Wetland Permit Application Form.
    Please note that the Section 401 water quality certification application is also used to apply for a Level 3 Isolated Wetland Permit. 

  2. A copy of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) jurisdictional determination letter.

  3. An acceptable wetland delineation performed in accordance with the most recent Corps wetland delineation manual.

  4. A completed Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM) wetland characterization form for each isolated wetland on the project site, including: Background Information, Scoring Boundary Worksheet, and Narrative Rating.

  5. A detailed description of the project.

  6. A description of the acreage of isolated wetland that will be subject to filling (including a a map showing the project footprint and wetlands).

  7. Photographs of each isolated wetland with a photograph location map.

  8. An acceptable mitigation proposal in accordance with ORC Sections 6111.024(E) and 6111.027, including the location and proposed legal mechanism for protecting the property in perpetuity. If the mitigation is to occur at a mitigation bank, also submit a demonstration that the appropriate type and amount of credits have been reserved.

  9. Applicable permit fees.

  10. Adequate documentation confirming that you have requested comments from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the United States Fish & Wildlife Service regarding threatened and endangered species, including the presence or absence of critical habitat.

  11. Descriptions, schematics, and appropriate economic information for your preferred alternative, non-degradation alternatives and minimal degradation alternatives for design and operation of the activity.

What Happens After I Submit the Level 3 Isolated Wetland Permit Application?

Upon receipt of the application, it will be logged in and assigned a project number. The project number will follow the application from "cradle to grave" and should be used on all correspondence during application review and subsequent to permitting. The application will then be assigned to the permit reviewer covering your area of the state.

Completeness Review

The first step is an "administrative only" application review to determine presence or absence of the eleven required items listed above. This step is known as the "completeness review".

Ohio EPA will review the application within 15 business days of submission and will e-mail you a letter identifying whether the application is complete or not. You will be asked to acknowledge receipt of the 15-day review letter by signature and to fax or e-mail the signed acknowledgement back to us.

  • If the application is incomplete, our letter will specify what parts of the application package are missing. You have 60 days to provide the missing information. After 60 days, we may return the application and the review fee without further action. The application fee will not be refunded.

  • If the application is complete, our letter will specify what type of public notice is required for the proposed project.

Public Notice

For applicants who submit applications for both a Level 3 Isolated Wetland Permit and a 401 Water Quality Certification for the same project site:

  • Simultaneous with written notification from Ohio EPA that an application is complete, you will receive a draft public notice for completion. The public notice must appear for at least one day in a newspaper of general circulation where the project is located.

  • If your project proposes to impact a Category 3 isolated wetland, a public hearing must be scheduled and public noticed in a newspaper of general circulation for the county where the project is located.

  • See detailed public notice requirements.

For applicants who submit only a Level 3 Isolated Wetland Permit application:

  • Ohio EPA will submit the public notice to the applicable newspaper for publication. 

Technical Review

Once the application is complete, Ohio EPA has 180 days to review the technical details of the application and make a permitting decision. That decision will result in:

  • the issuance of an individual Level 3 Isolated Wetland Permit; or
  • the determination that the proposed project will prevent or interfere with the attainment or maintenance of applicable State water quality standards; or
  • a draft permit denial because the proposed project will result in an adverse short-term or long-term impact on water quality.

Issuing the Permit

Once the technical review is complete and Ohio EPA determines that a Level 3 permit can be issued, a draft copy of the permit is provided to the permittee and/or the permittee’s designated agent for review. The draft review is provided to identify any inaccuracies or typographical errors in the permit before issuance. The permit is then issued by the Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, Permit Processing Unit.


If you need assistance with any aspect of applying for a Level 3 Isolated Wetland Permit, please contact the staff person assigned to review projects in your area of the state. See the Contacts tab.


Back to Section 401 Program page.