According to the Water Act, a notification must be submitted to the owner of the water area and the environmental responsibility area of the regional ELY Centre for all dredging projects. The notification must be made at least 30 days prior to the start of the work. If the water area is common and there is an organized joint water right association, the notification is to be submitted to the chairman or secretary of the association. If the joint water right association for the common water area is not organized, the notification is to be sent to all known shareholders.
Based on the notification, the ELY Centre assesses the need for a permit on a case-by-case basis. A permit is required if the measures may cause harm to nature or fish stocks, for example. Whenever the volume of dredged material exceeds 500 m3, a permit from the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland must be obtained for the project. The endangering of a natural-like pond smaller than one hectare, as well as a natural-like flat or kluuvi lake smaller than ten hectares on the seashore, is always prohibited without a permit from the Regional State Administrative Agency.
Dredging can generally be carried out between September 1 and April 30. If there is no harm to birdlife or fishing, dredging can be done in May as well. On protected areas, Natura sites, and other areas significant for birdlife, the working period is from October 1 to March 31.
Dredging operations should always be carefully planned and executed to avoid potential environmental damage and disputes with neighbors. In dredging and the placement of dredged materials, particular attention should be paid to the natural and aquatic environment, including landscape values. Dredged materials should not be deposited on another person’s land or in a water body without the consent of the landowner. Proper containment of the materials must be ensured to prevent their return to the water body due to flooding, waves, or rainfall. The dredged material disposal site should be cleaned up to be environmentally appropriate.
Dredged materials should not be deposited in a water area without a permit from the Regional State Administrative Agency. Additionally, the natural values of the shoreline zone should be considered both in dredging and the placement of materials. Materials should not be deposited in protected areas, Natura sites, or valuable traditional biotopes.
The party responsible for the dredging project is accountable for its compliance with regulations and the harmful consequences it may cause.
The dredging notification should be submitted to the Southwest Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport, and the Environment, which acts as the supervisory authority. The city’s environmental protection department can provide further information and guidance on carrying out dredging. The dredging notification can be submitted online.
Guidelines for dredging can be found on the website of the Finnish Environmental Administration.