Note: Most states have enacted laws and regulations to protect wetlands. In many cases, these rules are established to define the state's role in the "§404 permit/§401 certification process." This process involves the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and your state environmental agency. To learn more about the wetlands permitting process go to the CICA Wetlands Regulations/Permit page.
How Are Wetlands Activities Regulated by Colorado? The Colorado Water Quality Control Division (WQCD) reviews and issues Water Quality Certifications under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) for projects or actions that are applicable to the provisions of the Colorado 401 Certification Regulation (WQCC Regulation #82: 5 CCR 1002-82). A CWA §401 Water Quality Certification is required for any federal license or permit that is issued to construct or operate a facility, which may result in any fill or discharge into the navigable waters of the United States. Required Submittals: Revisions to Section 82.4 of the Regulation require the applicant to submit to the WQCD: (1) Copy of the CWA Section 404 Permit Application, (2) Project site plan, (3)List or description of the Best Management Practices (BMPs) associated with the project. Certification Process: The WQCD certification process involves the following steps: 1 Preliminary review of proposed project. 2. Public notice (30 days) of preliminary review. 3. Review of public comments. 4. Final water quality certification decision for proposed project. Nationwide CWA §404 Permits: Under the Colorado 401 Certification Regulation, all nationwide permits are certified by statute and do not require a certification by the WQCD. Applicants for Nationwide Permits do not need to submit any information or documents to the WQCD. Individual CWA §404 Permits: The following is a summary of the major requirements that shall apply to all water quality certifications for individual permits or licenses. For a complete list of requirements, please refer to the regulation (WQCC Regulation #82: 5 CCR 1002-82). · Discharges of dredged or fill material in excess of that which is necessary to complete the project are not permitted. · Discharges to state waters not identified in the license or permit and not certified in accordance therewith are not allowed, subject to the terms of any 401 certification. · The project shall incorporate BMPs into the project to assure compliance with the Clean Water Act.
Wetlands. Wetlands are "areas inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater 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."
Wetland Categories. Wetlands can be classified under CDPHE's standards and methodologies for surface water. Surface water in the state is subject to numeric or narrative standards set by the CDPHE's regulations. Different standards apply to surface water in tributary wetlands, created wetlands, compensatory wetlands, and other wetlands not falling within these three categories. Tributary wetlands are head waters of surface waters of wetlands within the floodplain that are hyrdologically connected to surface waters via either surface or ground water flows. A tributary wetland is initially subject to interim classifications and numeric standards. Created wetlands are in areas that would not be wetlands in the absence of human modifications to the environment. Created wetlands are only subject to narrative standards, unless the Commission had adopted wetlands classification and appropriate numeric standards. Compensatory wetlands are developed for mitigation of adverse impacts to other wetlands. Compensatory wetlands are subject to the standards of the segment where they are located, if the Commission has not adopted a wetland classification and appropriate numeric standards. All other wetlands that are state waters are governed by narrative standards, unless the Commission adopts wetlands classification and appropriate numeric standards.
Regulated Wetland Activities. Discharges of dredged or fill material are regulated. In addition, water management or hydroelectric facilities, including all buildings and facilities necessary for the project's operation, are regulated.
Water Environment Federation. The WEF Web site provides access to a wetlands related technical discussion area, as well as publications and other information on wetlands.
Wetlands Regulation Center. The Wetlands Regulation Center Web site contains information on laws, policies and regulations concerning activities regulated under Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act.
Association of State Wetland Managers. The Association of State Wetland Managers Web site provides information on wetlands news and events, including new regulations/legislation, upcoming conferences and events, publications, and more.
Society of Wetland Scientists. The Society of Wetland Scientists Web site provides access to on-line scientific wetlands journals and a wetlands discussion forum, as well as information on upcoming wetlands conferences and events.
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