Federal Wetland Programs

Federal Wetland ProgramsASWM works closely with a number of federal agencies that protect, monitor/study and regulate wetlands, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administation (NOAA). These agencies all play a role in protecting and regulating wetlands. An extensive directory of federal agencies that have programs pertaining to wetlands is available by clicking here.

ECOSWIRE – April 12, 2013

U.S. EPA on April 9 sent to state and territorial water division directors and Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 319 program directors a transmittal memo and the final guidelines for the CWA § 319 grant program. To provide “actual notice” to states, in the legal sense, EPA will send to each state a certified mail copy of the guidelines. The guidelines were developed following a process that included state and EPA workgroups, national meetings, stakeholder outreach, and a five-week public comment period. The final document includes a summary of key guidelines and provisions on which a number of commenters expressed questions or concerns, and where EPA has made changes as a result. The guidelines should be applied to FY 2014 grant awards. For more information, click here

EPA – April 2, 2013

To implement a commitment it made to settle a challenge to new stormwater rules for construction and development (C&D) sites, EPA issued in yesterday's Federal Register (78 Fed. Reg. 19434) a proposed rule that (1) formally deletes the numeric turbidity standard for stormwater discharges from C&D sites, and (2) offers clarification to several best management practices (BMP) required by operators of C&D sites. A copy of the proposed rule can be accessed here. Formal deletion of the new turbidity standard was expected. EPA had previously agreed to an indefinite stay of the hotly-contested standard. However, the following clarifications should help homebuilders, commercial contractors, and other operators understand their requirements and avoid unnecessary expenses. For more information, click here. Comments are due May 31. For more information visit EPA’s stormwater web page.

CRP – Press Release – March 5, 2012

This month, the Conservation Professional Training Program is introducing a new initiative to train a national group of conservation professionals to provide the services associated with Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) planning, implementation, and management. A team led by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and comprised of national university Extension staff, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) staff, and representatives from NRCS partner agencies and organizations has collaborated to streamline the trainings and make them accessible, convenient, and consistent across all states. The new initiative is called the Conservation Reserve Program Readiness Initiative. It is funded by the USDA NRCS.

By Jeanne Christie – ASWM – November 2012

In October 2012 the United Nations Environment Program released a report, “The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Water and Wetlands.”  It concludes that half the world’s wetlands have been lost since 1900 and documents some of the monetary, social and cultural losses that have occurred as a result of those losses.   It also describes the monetary, social and cultural benefits that have resulted from wetland restoration and protection.  In the U.S. the lower 48 states have also lost about half of the wetlands that were in existence at the time of European settlement and the great majority of these losses also occurred during the 20th century.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has posted the  revised and renewed nationwide permits necessary for work under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 on its website. The Corps is reissuing 48 permits and adding two new ones.  The permits replace the existing nationwide permits, which expire on March 18, 2012.