OFFICE OF WATER RESOURCES PERMIT APPLICATION FEES
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who must pay the permit application review fees?
Anyone proposing an activity in the Public Waters of the state and/or in the floodways of Illinois
streams must apply for a permit from the IDNR/Office of Water Resources in accordance with
the Rivers, Lakes and Streams Act (see 615 ILCS 5/35) and pay a non-refundable permit
application review fee associated with the level of review required to approve or deny the
activity. Similarly, anyone proposing to construct, operate, modify, or remove a dam under the
jurisdiction of the IDNR/Office of Water Resources must apply for a permit from the IDNR/Office
of Water Resources in accordance with the Rivers, Lakes and Streams Act (see 615 ILCS 5/35)
and pay a non-refundable permit application review fee associated with the level of review
required to approve or deny the dam related activity.
When do permit application review fees become effective?
January 15, 2014
Are any Public Water or floodway activities exempt from the permit application review
All applications and written inquiries received will be reviewed free of charge to determine
whether or not the Public Water, dam and/or floodway work proposed requires authorization by
the Department, so long as sufficient information is provided for the Department to make that
determination. If a permit authorization is not required for the activity proposed, or is already
covered by Statewide Permit authorization, the applicant will not be required to pay a permit
application review fee and will be notified of such determination by the IDNR.
Why is a permit application review fee required?
To enable IDNR to continue to carry out its mission, the Illinois General Assembly passed the
IDNR “Sustainability Act” (Public Act 97-1136) which became law in December 2012 and
provides new revenue sources and reduces dependency on General Revenue funding. Among
other provisions, this new act added language to the Rivers, Lakes and Streams Act (see 615
ILCS 5/35) that allows IDNR to collect a fee of up to $5,000 per application for permits issued
under the Rivers, Lakes and Streams Act to help defray a portion of the ordinary and contingent
expenses of the IDNR.
How do I pay the permit application review fee?
Applicants will be notified in writing of the required fee after the Department's initial review of the application and assigning of an application number. Fee payment may be in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and mailed to the appropriate IDNR, Office of Water Resources office. To ensure that payment is applied to the correct permit application, applicants will be asked to reference the application number with their payment. Alternatively, for an additional service charge, fee payment may be made electronically via credit card or electronic check. See Permit Application E-Pay.
When is payment required for the permit application review fee?
If a permit is required for the activity proposed and is not already permitted by Statewide Permit
authorization, permit applicants must pay a non-refundable permit application review fee
determined by the Department to allow review of the permit application to continue. The
applicant shall be notified of the fee determination in writing, immediately after the initial review
of the application. Continued review of the permit application will not proceed without receipt of
payment of the permit application review fee. Applications will be deemed withdrawn if the fee
is not received within 90 days after the applicant is notified of the amount of the fee.
How are the permit application review fees determined?
Permit application review fees are determined based on the estimated amount of professional
and administrative staff time required to adequately decipher, sufficiently review, and properly
document the work or activity proposed. A fee structure for standard activities, ranging
between $200 and $5,000, has been developed by the IDNR and is published on the
IDNR/Office of Water Resources Resource Management Web Site or see the Permit Fee Permit Fee Notice.
Can more than one permit application review fee apply to my application?
Yes. If the activity being applied for also requires authorization under other parts of the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources, Office of Water Resources 17 Illinois Administrative Code
Rules (Dams, Public Waters, etc.), the review fee for each Part shall be added together to
calculate the total review fee. The review fee shall be capped at $5,000.
Will the permit application review fees ever increase?
The review fee shall be adjusted on July 1 each year to account for inflation. The U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index Table for all urban consumers (CPI-U), U.S. city
average, all items, base period 1982-84 =100 (Series ID: CUUR0000SA0) (available on the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website) will be used to calculate the adjustment factor. The
adjustment factor shall be directly proportional to the change in the CPI index since June 2013
and rounded to the nearest $10 to compute the review fee for the coming fiscal year (July 1
through June 30). The review fee shall be capped at $5,000. The dollar amounts that result
from these calculations will be posted on the Department’s website. See the PDF Permit Fee Notice.
Where does the money raised by permit application review fees go?
All collected fees will be deposited into the State Boating Act Fund for use by the IDNR alone.
How will the money raised by permit application review fees be used?
Funds generated by the permit application review fee will be used to help defray a portion of the
ordinary and contingent expenses of the IDNR, including hiring new regulatory staff, conducting
dam safety inspections, reviewing delegated community actions, conducting floodplain violation
enforcement actions to protect public safety and property, and conducting floodplain
assessments to identify and remove potential public flood hazards.
What happens if I do not pay the permit application review fee requested?
Applications will be deemed withdrawn if the review fee is not received within 90 days after the
applicant is notified of the amount of the fee. A new application and review fee will need to be
submitted to restart the application process.
Is partial fee payment acceptable?
Insufficient payment or failure of a fee payment to clear the bank it is drawn against will result in
the automatic withdrawal of the application.
Is the permit application review fee refundable?
Except for refunding of overpayments, permit application fees will not be refunded.
Does payment of the application fee mean my permit will be granted upon receipt of the
Application fees are tendered for consideration of the application only, and do not imply any
promise of permit issuance by the Department.