Who Is Responsible for Wetlands?
Wetlands are present on my property. What are my options?
Ohio is rich in wetland resources, with more than 400,000 acres of wetlands are located within the state’s boundaries. However, in pre-settlement times, the state boasted more than 5,000,000 acres of wetlands, many of which were extremely large in area. Ohio has lost approximately 90% of its original wetland acreage to agricultural, residential and industrial development. Who is responsible for these wetlands?
Wetlands, Waters of the State
Wetlands are considered “waters of the state”. Ohio defines “surface waters of the state” or “water bodies” as “all streams, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, marshes, wetlands, or other waterways which are situated wholly or partially within the boundaries of the state, except for those private waters which do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface or underground waters.”
Ohio Wetlands Definition
Ohio more narrowly defines wetlands in accordance with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) 1987 Wetlands Delineation Manual which states that wetlands are those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration that are sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions…[including] swamps, marshes, bogs and similar area that are delineated in accordance with the [1987 Manual] and any other procedures and requirements adapted by the [COE] for delineating wetlands.
The Importance of a Wetlands Permit
Anyone who wishes to discharge dredged or fill material into the waters of the U.S., regardless of whether on private or public property, must first obtain a Section 404 permit from the USACOE and a Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) from the state.
Anyone who wishes to discharge dredged or fill material into isolated wetlands in Ohio must obtain an isolated Wetland Permit from Ohio EPA. Turn-Key Environmental Consultants certified wetlands professionals can help. Call 937-335-8807.