Federal Ruling Creates Delay in Corps of Engineers Process

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In light of the August 16th South Carolina federal district court ruling that the suspension of the 2015 Clean Water Rule did not follow due process, there will be a delay of up to two weeks in the issuance of any 404 permits or Jurisdictional Determinations from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  If your project is awaiting approval of the boundaries of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) or a permit for WOTUS impacts, there is nothing you need to do at this point; the delay stems from the Corps’ need to develop guidance to address the court’s findings.  Wetland Studies and Solutions will keep you updated if there are changes.

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Approved Accotink Creek "Salt" TMDL - What it Means to You!

On May 23, 2018, EPA approved sediment and chloride Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for Accotink Creek to address aquatic life use impairments resulting from sediment and chloride (i.e., the use of “road salt”). The TMDL quantifies the maximum amount of the total pollutant that the water body can receive without exceeding water quality standards.  Note that the previous attempt to enact a sediment TMDL for Accotink Creek in 2013 failed as it attempted to mandate flow rate reductions (as increased stormwater runoff leading to bed and bank erosion was deemed to be a primary reason for the excessive sediment).  Because stormwater runoff is not a “pollutant,” the TMDL was not approved.

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  Robins are one of many species protected by the MBTA photo credit: American Robin (Turdus migratorius) by mdf via Wikimedia Commons

City of Annapolis Proposes to Remove Tree Conservation Credit

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On June 18, 2018, Ordinance 27-18 was introduced before the Annapolis City Council with the intent of maintaining the City’s current tree canopy percentage.  The proposed measure would eliminate the credit given towards the preservation of  trees above and beyond the 20% Forest Conservation Threshold – thus requiring 1:1 reforestation at a minimum for any forest clearing within the City of Annapolis.  The bill was adopted on the first reader on June 18, 2018 and is now in committee.  It is expected to be brought back before the City Council for additional discussion in September.

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Section 106 Seminar Recap

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On June 20th we welcomed clients and other members of the regulated community to our Gainesville, Virginia headquarters office for a short seminar on Section 106 regulations.  Our Virginia-based clients and partners joined leaders from local counties and cities to discuss the specifics of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.  Experts from the US Army Corps of Engineersthe Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR), and Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh PC led our discussion about the new tribal listings, battlefield coordination, abandoned cemetery policy, and adverse effect determinations. 

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Giant Hogweed Brings "Little Shop of Horrors" to Virginia!

  photo courtesy of  Virginia Tech

photo courtesy of Virginia Tech

In June, researchers from Virginia Tech confirmed the presence of giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) in Clarke County, Virginia, and more recently confirmed the plant is also present in Fauquier County, Rockingham County, Spotsylvania County, and Alexandria, Virginia.  This is a dangerous invasive plant species – its sap causes severe burns if exposed to sunlight while on your skin. 

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