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615 ILCS 5/29a

    (615 ILCS 5/29a) (from Ch. 19, par. 78)
    Sec. 29a. Construction permits; maintenance and repairs; clear cutting.
    (a) After July 1, 1985, no person, State agency, or unit of local government shall undertake construction in a public body of water or in a stream without a permit from the Department of Natural Resources. No permit shall be required in a stream which is not a public body of water, draining less than one square mile in an urban area or less than ten square miles in a rural area. No permits shall be required for field tile systems, tile outlet structures, terraces, water and sediment control basins, grade stabilization structures, or grassed waterways which do not obstruct flood flows. Any artificially improved stream channel, drainage ditch, levee, or pumping station existing in serviceable condition on July 1, 1985 may be maintained and repaired to preserve design capacity and function without a permit. Maintenance and repair of improved channels, ditches or levees shall follow accepted practices to reduce, as practical, scour, erosion, sedimentation, escape of loose material and debris, disturbance of adjacent trees and vegetation, and obstruction of flood flows.
    (b) No person, State agency, or unit of local government, except (i) a unit of local government with a population greater than 500,000 and (ii) a commercial or industrial facility, the operation of which falls under the regulatory jurisdiction of the United States Army Corps of Engineers or the United States Coast Guard under Section 10 of the Federal Rivers and Harbors Act, may clear cut trees within 15 yards of waters listed by the Department under Section 5 as navigable, except as follows:
        (1) for the purpose of improving, maintaining,
repairing, constructing, or reconstructing any highway, road, bridge, culvert, drainage structure, drainage facility, or grade separation under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Transportation or any municipality, public water facility, road district, highway commissioner, or drainage district;
        (2) for maintenance and improvement of drainage of or
on agricultural land; and
        (3) for the purpose of improving, maintaining,
repairing, constructing, or reconstructing any facility for the distribution, transmission, or generation of electricity.
    For the purpose of this subsection, "clear cutting" means the complete removal of mature or established trees covering an area of 400 square yards or more of which leaves less than 50% of the existing forest cover. "Clear cutting" does not include any of the following:
        (1) The removal of brush or woody debris.
        (2) The selective cutting of diseased, dying, or dead
        (3) The selective cutting of individual trees for the
purpose of home construction.
        (4) The selective cutting of individual trees that
pose a threat to private property.
        (5) The clearing of trees for restoration purposes to
            (i) removal of non-native tree species and the
subsequent reestablishment of native tree species;
            (ii) thinning of trees for the purposes of
encouraging the growth of preferential tree species;
            (iii) restoration of wetlands, prairies, or other
natural areas that will not cause or contribute to streambank destabilization.
        (6) The removal of trees or woody vegetation pursuant
to any State or Federal conservation plan contracts, or when approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department.
    The Department of Natural Resources may adopt rules for the administration of this subsection and shall adopt rules permitting a municipality with a population of 500,000 or less to petition the Department of Natural Resources to permit clear cutting to accommodate necessary socioeconomic development projects.
(Source: P.A. 91-907, eff. 1-1-01.)