David Magney Environmental Consulting

Wetland Permitting and Mitigation Planning

Wetland Permitting

Work within jurisdictional wetlands almost always requires a permit from one or more regulatory agencies.   Most types of activities proposed to be performed within waters of the U.S., including wetlands, requires a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and in California, a water quality certification from the State Water Resources Control Board pursuant to Section 401.   Most activities occurring in streams and lakes in California requires a permit from the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) pursuant to Section 1600 et seq. of the California Fish and Game Code, known as a Streambed Alteration Agreement.   Nearly all wetlands are considered waters of the United States, and in California, waters of the state.   In Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, encroachments into many streams will also require a permit from the respective County.

After determining the area of jurisdiction, through a wetland delineation, one or more permits will be required for most activities from one or more of the regulatory agencies listed above.   The Corps has a number of permits already written for many types of routine activities, such as road crossings, maintenance, habitat restoration, utility line crossings, which may be used if all conditions apply.   This can be quite complex and careful project planning is required, and plenty of time alloted to obtaining those permits.   The presence of any threatened or endangered species in the wetland will require additional analysis and agency consultation.   As part of the application, the regulatory agencies will almost always require a detailed plan to mitigate for any impacts to wetland habitats disturbed as a result of the project.

Wetland Mitigation Planning

David Magney Environmental Consulting (DMEC) has obtained numerous permits for clients and prepared many wetland mitigation plans.   DMEC's mitigation and monitoring plans carefully follow the Corps' requirements and have been used by the Corps on more than one occasion to show other wetland consultants and applicants what the Corps is looking for in a mitigation plan.   For one 2007 mitigation and monitoring plan prepared by DMEC, Corps Regulatory Project Manager Andrea Jones wrote, "I am impressed with the thoroughly researched background information provided for context.   This is a much more 'together' plan than I am used to seeing".

DMEC prepares one plan that meets the requirements of all the regulatory agencies, reducing the need for multiple versions of the plan tailored for each individual agency.   DMEC's work is highly regarded by the regulatory agencies, which we believe is the best way to help our clients through the challenges of wetland permitting.   Since mitigating for impacts to wetlands is both time-consuming and expensive, DMEC works hard with clients to minimize the impacts to the greatest extent feasible, saving them money in the long run.

Examples of wetland mitigation plans prepared by DMEC can be viewed on the Reports page of this website.

This page last updated 27 September 2007
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