Wetlands Delineation & Permitting

Wetlands Delineation & Permitting

 We provide Wetlands Delineation as outlined in 1987 Amy Corps of  Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual. Our environmental department will  review the National Wetlands Inventory Maps, the soil survey, and any  available aerial photographs and topographic maps to determine the  potential wetland areas. 

What are wetlands?

 Wetlands are defined as 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 other similar  areas. Wetlands typically have hydric soils, hydrophobic vegetation and  wetland hydrology. Wetlands are an important part of any ecosystem and  have many functions and values such as:

  • Commercial Uses
  • Recreational Uses
  • Wildlife Habitats
  • Water Quality Maintenance
  • Erosion
  • Flooding Control

Congress recognized the value of wetlands and created the Clean Water  Act (CWA) in 1972. The objective of the CWA is to “maintain and restore  the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the  United States.” Section 404 of the CWA authorizes the Secretary of the  Army working with Chief of Engineers to issue permits for the discharge  of dredged or fill material into wetlands.

What is wetlands delineation?


Wetland Delineation is a process that determines the  boundary between a wetland and a upland. Wetland delineation is  performed when a planned activity will involve placing fill material in a  potential wetland area. Common activities that involve placing fill  include grading and leveling, the construction of malls, housing  development, golf courses and roads. Identifying the locations and size  of wetlands is necessary to comply with federal and state laws.

The result of a delineator’s efforts is a wetland  delineation report, which consists of a map of the wetlands and  supporting data sheets, written descriptions and photographs. The  delineation report is submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for  review and approval.

Section 404 Permitting

Nationwide Permit

A Nationwide Permit (NWP) authorizes a category of activities throughout the nation that have been determined to have minor impacts.[/content][title]Individual Permit[/title][content]Individual permits are required for discharges that are not either exempt or covered by a NWP or RGP. The individual permit process involves a full public interest review.

Section 401 Permitting

Water Protection General Permits

Certain activities that are considered to have minimal impacts to human health and the environment may be covered under one of these WVDEP general permit regulations.

Water Protection Individual Permits

Activities that cause significant alteration or degradation of existing wetland acreage or functions. Most times in this situation a Section 404 permit is also required. In this case a joint permit from both West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers is requested.

Water Protection Construction Monitoring & Reporting

The impact areas that are covered under the permits are generally required to have either a monthly or quarterly monitoring report submitted to West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to ensure that only the permitted areas are being impacted.