Do I Need a Permit to Manage My New England Pond?
If you own a lake or pond in New England, you may wonder if you need a permit to conduct various services on your waterbody. For Northern states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, as well as the state of New York, the permitting process for conducting maintenance activities on the water can be intricate and, at times, daunting for those unfamiliar with it.
In almost all cases, the answer is a resounding “yes.” However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you have a man-made, lined pond, a stormwater pond, or manage an agricultural farm that qualifies for exemptions through state regulations, you may not need a permit. But in most cases, a permit will be required to perform services on your waterbody.
What is the purpose of a lake management permit?
Permits serve a vital purpose. They exist to conserve wildlife, protect essential aquatic resources, and prevent mismanagement. By regulating the use of various products and prescribing specific methods for their application, permits help maintain the overall health of lakes and ponds, as well as the surrounding environment.
Which lake management services require a permit?
Most lake and pond management services in New England require a permit, particularly those related to the use of EPA-registered herbicides and algaecides or products used for nutrient remediation. Other services like fish stocking, shoreline restoration, mechanical hydro-raking, harvesting, and dredging also require permits. In some cases, fountains and aerators may not require a permit, but this can vary depending on your location.
Is it necessary to work with a professional?
While permits are essential, the permitting process can be complicated. Attempting to navigate the process without professional guidance can be difficult and may lead to penalties if not done properly. Experienced companies with a deep understanding of the permitting process can help ensure that treatments are carried out correctly, in compliance with regulations, and with minimal hassle for stakeholders.
To apply products to waterbodies in New England, you must also be a licensed applicator in each state. Stakeholders often lack the necessary expertise and familiarity with regulations to conduct treatments safely. Furthermore, state agencies closely monitor lake and pond projects through audits and on-site visits to ensure compliance with state and local regulations and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
How do you obtain a permit?
Property managers, golf course superintendents, private landowners, and other stakeholders want waterbodies that look beautiful and function as designed. Partnering with a company that understands the complexities and nuances of the permitting process can help take the weight off your shoulders, so you can focus on your other responsibilities as a decision-maker.
To ensure a smooth permitting process, it’s essential to plan ahead. The demand for permits surges as warmer months approach, leading to backlogs. Getting ahead of the queue by applying for permits well in advance (as early as November or December) can help you avoid delays and ensure that your waterbody is ready for use when spring weather arrives.
Obtain Your New England Lake Management Permit Today
If you’re a lake or pond owner in New England, now is the time to identify the services you’ll need for the coming year and consult with professionals about obtaining the necessary permits. Contact SOLitude today to get started!
Improve Your Lake's Water Quality
SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty and preserve natural resources.
SOLitude’s team of aquatic scientists specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management programs. Services include water quality testing and restoration, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, shoreline erosion control, muck and sediment removal and invasive species management. SOLitude partners with homeowners associations, golf courses, private landowners, businesses and municipalities. SOLitude Lake Management is part of Rentokil, a leading business services company, operating across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.