U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Pittsburgh District Regulatory Branch Allen Edris (412) 395-7158 [email protected] www.lrp.usace.army.mil/. Regulatory Program Goals. To provide strong protection of the Nation's aquatic environment, including wetlands.
Regulates discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States
Section 328.3 - Definitions.
a. The term "waters of the United States" means
1. All waters which are currently used, or were used in the past, or may be susceptible to use in interstate or foreign commerce, including all waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide;
2. All interstate waters including interstate wetlands;
3. All other waters such as intrastate
lakes, rivers, streams (including
intermittent streams), mudflats,
sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie
potholes, wet meadows, playa
lakes, or natural ponds, the use,
degradation or destruction of which
could affect interstate or foreign
commerce including any such
Such waters include:
4. All impoundments of waters otherwise defined as waters of the United States under the definition;
5. Tributaries of waters identified in paragraphs (a)(1)-(4) of this section;
6. The territorial seas
7. Wetlands adjacent to waters (other than waters that are themselves wetlands) identified in paragraphs (a)(1)-(6) of this section. Waste treatment systems, including treatment ponds or lagoons designed to meet the requirements of CWA (other than cooling ponds as defined in 40 CFR 123.11(m) which also meet the criteria of this definition) are not waters of the United States.
That line on the shore or stream bank established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics
Physical Characteristics include:
1. clear natural line impressed on the bank
3. changes in the character of soil
4. destruction of terrestrial vegetation the presence of litter and debris, or
5. other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding areas.
Captured stream such as those placed in culverts or stream enclosures remain waters of the U.S.
The stream channel
For the Corps to authorize an activity under Section 404, the applicant must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Corps, that the proposed project represents the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative.
Taking all appropriate and practicable measures to avoid those adverse aquatic impacts that are not necessary requires that to permit a proposed project, it must be the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative.
Taking all appropriate and practicable measures to minimize those adverse impacts to the aquatic resource that cannot be reasonably avoided.
III. COMPENSATORY MITIGATION:
Implementing appropriate and practicable measures to compensate for adverse aquatic resource impacts.
To replace aquatic functions unavoidable lost or otherwise adversely affected by authorized activities
lost or impaired as a result of a
Section 404 authorization
Requires understanding of baseline conditions and predicted effects
The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on compensatory mitigation projects required to offset unavoidable aquatic resource impacts pursuant to Section 404
- Identifies specific functions lost or impaired within watersheds and focuses on replacing those functions.
So difficult it can make your hair stand on end?
Consequently it is imperative to remember that small ephemeral and intermittent stream functions are very different from those of perennial streams
When preparing stream mitigation plans, it is important to document baseline conditions to substantiate that particular mitigation elements and/or techniques area needed and are appropriate for the given situation.
1. What are the current conditions of this stream telling me?
2. What do comparisons to historic conditions tell me?
3. Is the system in transition, or in a state of dynamic equilibrium
4. Are impacts affecting the system, and is so, in what ways
5. Would reasonably foreseeable future watershed changes affect this system, and how?
6. Is the stream aggrading or degrading?
7. Is it widening or narrowing?
8. Are banks eroded or bare?
9. Is the associated riparian area vegetated or bare?
10. What is the stream type relative to entrenchment ratios?
11. Does the stream exhibit appropriate sinuosity relative to its slope and roughness?
12. Is there sufficient input of course woody debris?
13. Is there a particular feature that may be acting as grade control?
14. Identify appropriate reference reaches for data collection
Consider Future Stream Type
Water quality sampling
Benthic macro-invertebrate sampling
Identify any historic impacts or activities
Currently there are approximately 2,500 officially listed imperiled and endangered species, many of which utilize aquatic resources for all or part of their life cycle
Indiana Bat Dog
Myotis sodalis canidae
Maintain and/or enhance integrity of the food web
West Virginia has 34 species of salamanders that range in length from 4 inches to 2 feet. Their habitats include to aquatic to semiaquatic habitats such as ephemeral and intermittent streams, riparian zones, springs, and moist, forested hillsides.
Manipulation of the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of a former or substantially degraded wetland, stream or other aquatic resources to return natural and/or historical functions.
Manipulation of the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics of an aquatic resource to heighten, intensify, or improve a specific functions or to change the growth stage of composition of the vegetation present, and may include converting the site to a less destructive land use.
The establishment of a wetland or other aquatic resource where one did not formerly exist.
The legal and physical protection of existing ecologically important streams, wetlands and/or other aquatic resources for an extended period of time, usually in perpetuity.