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 Oregon? Oregon regulates fill and excavation of material in waters of the state, which includes wetlands. The Removal-Fill Law permit program is administered by the Oregon Division of State Lands (ODSL). ODSL has a Joint Permit Application with the Corps of Engineers; many activities require a permit from both agencies. Many Oregon cities also have ordinances restricting development in some wetlands. Cities use the state definition of wetlands and defer to ODSL for wetland determinations.
Mitigation Measures. Compensatory mitigation is required as a condition of any state permit to place fill or excavate in a wetland. When a permit application is received by DSL, the permit coordinator determines if the applicant has adequately explored project alternatives that would avoid wetland impacts completely and also those that would minimize impacts. If there are practicable alternatives with no or minimal wetland impact, those alternatives must be pursued. Compensatory mitigation is required for the unavoidable impacts. See: http://www.oregonstatelands.us/wetland_mit.htm. Also see: http://www.oregon.gov/DSL/WETLAND/docs/fact6.pdf. For more information go to www.oregonstatelands.us or call (503) 378-3805
Wetlands. Wetlands are "areas inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions."
Regulated Wetland Activities. A permit is required before any person can remove earth material or place fill material in wetlands or other waters of the state. For most wetlands, a permit is required for 50 cubic yards or more of fill or removal of material. In state Scenic Waterways and mapped Essential Anadromous Salmonid Habitat, a permit is required for any amount of fill or excavation.
Exempt Wetland Activities. Exemptions include maintenance, repair and replacement of culverts, maintenance of transportation structures, and pre-existing farming and ranching activities. Most exemptions are conditional.
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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