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 Virginia? Wetlands are regulated using the CWA §404/§401 process described on the Wetlands Permits/Regulations page of this resource . Additionally, a Virginia water protection permit must be obtained as part of the 401-certification process and for non-federally regulated wetlands.
Overall, there are several levels of government involved: local wetlands authority (e.g., your county government) (for tidal wetlands only), Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) (for tidal wetlands only), the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the US Army Corps of Engineers (Norfolk Office). The permit process relies on a single joint local/state/federal permit application. To initiate this process it is suggested you contact your district VMRC office for tidal and non-tidal wetlands (see "Contacts" below).
Mitigation Measures. An applicant may be permitted to satisfy mitigation requirements buy purchasing credits from a wetland mitigation bank that operates pursuant to federal and state rules and regulations. DEQ has also approved the use of the Virginia Wetlands Restoration Trust Fund as an acceptable form of compensatory mitigation for impacts to state waters, including wetlands, permitted under Virginia Water Protection individual and general permits. More information.
Wetlands. Wetlands are delineated according to the Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands (1987).
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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