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Wetland Delineation and Permitting

WETLAND DELINEATION AND PERMITTING

WHAT IS A WETLAND?

According to U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE), Wetlands are defined as:

Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.”

Wetlands fall under federal jurisdiction as a result of the Clean Water Act and Food Security Act of 1985. Wetlands are delineated primarily so that property owners will know which parts of their land could fall under federal regulatory jurisdiction.

The U.S. ACOE requires the presence of three conditions for an area to be considered a Wetland: wetland hydrology, wetlands vegetation and wetlands soil conditions.

WHY DELINEATE WETLANDS?

If anyone is interested in depositing dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act mandates requirement of authorization for such activities. The U.S. ACOE administers the Section 404 permitting process.

The final determination to classify an area as wetland and whether the activity requires a permit must be made by the appropriate U.S. ACOE District Office.

RSB Environmental has a team of certified and trained professionals to conduct the field delineations of wetlands and prepare the appropriate documentation as required by the U.S. ACOE.

HOW IS IT DONE?

The areas subject to jurisdiction are identified through an analysis of various maps, aerial photographs, soils information, and a ground reconnaissance. The wetland identification is performed based on the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual (1987) and various regional supplements. A detailed delineation involves extensive technical data acquisition and survey of jurisdictional boundaries. The proposed (e.g. construction) project is then overlain on the delineation, and impacts to jurisdictional areas are assessed and quantified.

Permits 

If it is determined that jurisdictional areas will be affected, a permit must be obtained from the U.S. ACOE that includes: (a) General Permit (Nationwide or Regional) (b) Individual Permits

Timeline

Typical Nationwide permits take 1 to 3 months to get approval. Individual Permits typically require 6 to 24 months to process depending on the complexity of the action and whether or not an Environmental Impact Statement is required by the U.S. ACOE.

WETLAND MITIGATION AND BANKING

The U.S. ACOE and the EPA mandated that there should be no net loss of wetlands nationwide. The Wetland Mitigation may include physical creation of wetlands from low value upland areas or may include enhancement or conservation of other existing wetlands. There are Mitigation Banks in place that provide a large-scale mitigation program that is much less expensive on a unit basis than are smaller, individual mitigation programs. The mitigation banks are physically in place and the value of the unit credits are established and accepted by the regulatory agencies, resulting in reduced permit negotiation time. Mitigation banking procedures are defined in the 2008 Compensatory Mitigation Rule (33 CFR 325 and 332).

RSB Environmental can help you with following services related to wetlands:

  • Jurisdictional Waters Determination
  • Wetland Delineation
  • Corps of Engineers Section 10/404 Permitting Assistance
  • Nationwide Permit
  • Individual Permit
  • Wetland Restoration/Creation/Enhancement
  • Wetland Monitoring
  • Mitigation Plans and Mitigation Banking

Our Service Areas

RSB has conducted Wetland delineation and Mitigation projects nationwide. Locally RSB has completed numerous projects in Texas. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-304-6517 or email at info@rsbenv.com to get a site specific price for your property.

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