KentuckyELI State Wetland Protection: Status, Trends, & Model Approaches
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Original Wetland Acreage Remaining Wetland Acreage Acreage Lost % Lost
 1,566,000  300,000 1,266,000   -81%


Kentucky Wetlands: Most Kentucky wetlands are palustrine and include areas lying shoreward of rivers and lakes, such as bald cypress swamps, bottom-land hardwood forests, emergent wetlands, and small ponds. 

(Please click on heading below to go to that section.)
 

 Summary Features Regulation Water Quality Standards Mitigation Monitoring and Assessment Restoration Public/Private Partnerships

 

 

 

Summary

Overall Program:

The state has not adopted its own wetland regulations.  Wetlands are regulated through existing water quality standards, and a Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required for all wetland impacts that require a Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).

Innovative Features and New Programs/Initiatives:

None identified.

State Wetland Conservation Plan

None.

No Net Loss/Net Gain Goal

Unwritten.

 

INDIVIDUAL FEATURES:

Regulation 

Wetland Regulatory Statutes and Administrative Rules

Kentucky Rev. Stat. Ann. ## 151.260, 151.310. Permits are required from the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for activities which obstruct stream flows.
 
Kentucky Wild Rivers Act (title 401, Chapter 4:100-4:140) Change of use permits are required for activities in designated wild rivers.

Kentucky’s regulation of wetlands is limited to those areas that are deemed to be jurisdictional wetlands by the Corps.

Wetland Definition and/or Delineation; Comparability With Federal Definition

Wetlands are lands that have a predominance of soils that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration to support and under normal circumstances do support hydrophytic vegetation. 401 K.A.R. 5:029. 

Evaluation Methodology

Low gradient bottomland riverine wetlands are evaluated using an approved Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) Guidebook.

Regulated and Exempted Activities

These are applied in accordance with Clean Water Act Section 404 program.

Special Provisions for Agriculture and Forestry

These are applied in accordance with Clean Water Act Section 404 program.

Penalties and Enforcement

Violations of Kentucky’s water quality standards carry a statutory civil penalty of $25,000 per day per violation. 

Permit Tracking

A computerized system has been implemented to track permitted wetland loss and mitigation acres. 

State General Permit (PGP or SPGP) for 404

None.

Assumption of Section 404 Powers

Assumption was explored in 1988 and rejected primarily due to lack of funding and staffing.

Joint Permitting

None.

Special Area Management Plans and Advanced Identification Plans

None.

Role of Local Governments

None.

Staffing (Regulatory Staff)

A Water Quality Certification Section within the DEP was created in 1995 to implement the program.  It has a staff of 4.   

 

Water Quality Standards

Wetlands and Water Quality Standards

A Water Quality Certification Section within the DEP was created in 1995 to implement the program.  It has a staff of 4.

Wetland Definition

Wetlands are lands that have a predominance of soils that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration to support and under normal circumstances do support hydrophytic vegetation. 401 K.A.R. 5:029.

Designated Uses

Wetlands are designated to be warm water aquatic habitat.

Narrative and/or Numeric Criteria

None.

Antidegradation Policy

None.

Other

Nonem identified.

Staffing (Wetland Water Quality Staff)

A Water Quality Certification Section within the DEP was created in 1995 to implement the program.  It has a staff of 4. 

 

Mitigation

 Mitigation Policy

This state has a mitigation policy. Mitigation is required at a 2:1 ratio. Monitoring is required for 5 years.

 Mitigation Banks

Three wetland banks exist in Kentucky for use by the general public.  The Kentucky Department of Highways has multiple wetland bank sites for its own use. 

In Lieu Fee Program

Kentucky created an In Lieu Fee Program in 1998.  To date it is for stream mitigation only.

Ad Hoc Arrangements

None.

Mitigation Database

A computerized system has been implemented to track permitted wetland loss and mitigation acres. 

Staffing (Mitigation Staff)

A Water Quality Certification Section within the DEP was created in 1995 to implement the program.  It has a staff of 4. 

 

Monitoring and Assessment 

Mapping /Inventory

National Wetland Inventory maps have been completed.

Wetland Classification and Assessment

Kentucky has an approved HGM Guidebook for low gradient riverine wetlands in Western Kentucky.

Overall Wetland Gain and Loss Tracking System

A computerized system has being implemented to track permitted wetland loss and mitigation acres. 

Staffing (Monitoring and Assessment Staff.)

A Water Quality Certification Section within the DEP was created in 1995 to implement the program.  It has a staff of 4.

 

Restoration 

Program Description

Kentucky has no separate wetland restoration program.

Restoration Program Goals

Kentucky has no separate wetland restoration program.

Eligibility Criteria

Kentucky has no separate wetland restoration program.

Restoration Database

Kentucky has no separate wetland restoration program.

Staffing (Wetland Restoration Program Staff.)

Kentucky has no separate wetland restoration program.

 

Public/Private Partnerships 

Acquisition Program

The Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission buys and owns high quality wetlands.

Public Outreach/Education

No formal program exists in the state.

Tax Incentives

None.

Technical Assistance

Both the Water Quality Certification Section and the Kentucky Department for Fish and Wildlife provide landowner assistance.

Other Nonregulatory Incentives for Private Landowners

Kentucky has an active Wetland Reserve Program administered by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Wetland Training and Education

There is minimal public education, primarily through “Water Watch” program.

Watershed Planning

DEP has created a watershed management section that is beginning to deal with resource issues on a watershed scale. 

Special Problems

Kentucky looks to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for support on wetland issues.

Coordination

None identified.

Contact Person(s)

John Dovak
Supervisor
Water Quality Certification Section
Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection
14 Reilly Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-3410

Contact Points

No website links identified.

Guidebooks, Brochures, Websites, Other Educational Materials

Glubiak, P.G., R.H. Nowka and W.J. Mitsch. 1984. Federal and State Management of Inland Wetlands: Are States Ready to Assume Control? Center for Environmental Science and Management, Louisville, Kentucky.
  
Kentucky National Preserves Commission, Wetland Protection Strategies for Kentucky (1986).

Steiner, F., E. Cook and S. Pieart. 1991. The Interrelationship Between Federal and State Wetlands and Riparian Protection Programs. Department of Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.