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 Kentucky? The Department for Environmental Protection's Division of Water (DOW) regulates wetlands under the state's water quality statutes and regulations. The DOW has statutory authority over wetlands pursuant to Title 18, Chapter 224 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes and the agency's regulations are found at Title 401 in the state's administrative regulations. The majority of DOW's wetland regulations concern water quality.
Mitigation Measures. The DOW and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife have prepared wetland mitigation guidelines with representatives from the Louisville District Corps of Engineers. Compensation is required when unavoidable adverse impacts still exist after all practicable efforts to minimize their effect are exhausted. Individual permit applications may include wetland compensation measures to offset unavoidable wetland impacts. Nationwide permit applications may include a compensatory mitigation and monitoring plan for any permit requiring notification procedures. Mitigation banking happens before development actions when compensation is not beneficial or cannot occur at the development site.
Wetlands. Wetlands are "areas that have a predominance of hydric soils and that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal conditions do support, a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions." For the purposes of water quality regulations, wetlands can be considered "waters" or "waters of the commonwealth." Waters include "any and all rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, wells, marshes, and all other bodies of surface or underground water, natural or artificial, situated wholly or partly within the borders of the Commonwealth or within its jurisdiction."
Regulated Wetland Activities. The DEP's water quality regulations prohibit persons from constructing, modifying, or operating a facility in state waters without first obtaining a permit from the Cabinet. Persons also cannot directly or indirectly, throw, drain, run or otherwise discharge into any of the waters of the Commonwealth, or cause, permit or suffer to be thrown, drained, run, or otherwise discharged into such waters any pollutant, or substance that would cause or contribute to the pollution of waters.
Exempt Wetland Activities. A Kentucky Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (KPDES) permit is not required for discharges of dredged and fill material into waters that are authorized under the CWA §404; the discharge of sewage from vessels, excluding trash or other materials thrown overboard; discharges complying with the instructions of an on-scene coordinator pursuant to the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (40 CFR Part 300), the Pollution by Oil and Hazardous Substances (33 CFR Part 153), discharges that comply with Kentucky's substance contingency plan, discharges authorized by a state on-scene coordinator that responds to the release of hazardous substances, pollutants, contaminants, or petroleum; introduction of pollutants from nonpoint source agricultural or silvicultural activities; return flows from irrigated agriculture; discharges into privately owned treatment works; authorizations by permit or rule under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
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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