Often people consider permitting as the last step in the process and wait until they’ve confirmed their contractor before applying for the permit – sometimes calling us a day before the contractor arrives. While we strive to be responsive to clients’ needs and schedules, we may not be able to accommodate such short timelines.
People should instead think about AHPP as part of the planning process and engage as early as possible once they have a fairly clear idea of:
a) what they are going to do;
b) how they are going to do the work;
c) the materials needed to do the work; and
d) why they need to do the work
By applying at this time, the specialist can help the client ensure their project incorporates the necessary design features and appropriate construction practices before purchasing materials that may not be suitable, and before committing to a schedule that may not be feasible (e.g. in-water excavation during the spring fish spawning season may be prohibited).
Secondly, fill out the application form accurately. Remember these are legal documents binding you to the description of the work and the conditions in the permit. Sometimes people may think that by proposing a certain type of work they can get their permit more easily or quickly and then later build what they want. In such cases the client may wind up in violation of their permit conditions and be subject to investigation and possible prosecution. They may also be required to remediate the site back to its pre-disturbed state.
Finally, read your permit conditions before you start the work. If you have any questions call the specialist for clarifications. At the end of the day, no one wants to harm the environment, and the specialists are here to make sure your work meets the environmental stamp of approval.