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Stream Alteration Permits


Stream alteration permits regulate activities that take place in or along streams. The permit program is intended to prevent the creation of flood hazards, protect against damages to aquatic life, and protect the rights of neighboring landowners. The types of activities that are regulated include streambank stabilization, gold dredging, road improvements that encroach on streams, bridge construction or repair, and utility crossings under streambeds.

The program is authorized in 10 V.S.A. Chapter 41. A permit is required for movement, excavation, or fills involving 10 or more cubic yards annually in any perennial stream. See program Guidance for the Identification of Perennial Streams. The Program has issued a general permit pursuant to 10 V.S.A. §7501 for stream alteration activities. The purpose of this general permit is to ensure that all stream alteration activities are regulated efficiently and effectively in accordance with the requirements of 10 V.S.A. Chapter 41


Introduction to Stream Alteration General Permit Program

The statute prohibits the removal of gravel from any watercourse, regardless of size, primarily for construction or sale. There is an exemption for 50 cubic yards annually for riparian landowners, but the gravel must be used only on the landowner's property, and the Agency must be notified at least 72 hours prior to the excavation. Contact the Rivers Program at or 802-490-6195.

Emergency protective measures taken by municipalities to preserve life or protect property are exempt from the permit requirements, but the measures taken must be the minimum necessary to protect life and property. The measures must be approved by a member of the municipal legislative body and must be reported to the Agency within 24 hours. Contact a River Management Engineer


Regulations and Permits

ANR Stream Alteration General Permit Issued April 11, 2014 NEW

Jurisdictional Guidance


Technical Guidance



          Stream Measurement

          Activity Specific

VT DEC Watershed Management Division 1 National Life Drive, Main 2  Montpelier, VT  05620-3522  Tele: 802-828-1535   Fax: 802-828-1544


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