Throughout recorded history swamps, bogs and marshes have been considered waste areas or a nuisance by most people. These areas, collectively called wetlands, were the focus of much energy, time and money to convert them to "productive land." Science has more recently come to a better understanding of the functions wetlands perform and their value to society. Flood control, water quality improvement, wildlife habitat and carbon sequestration are examples. Avoiding, minimizing or compensating for impacts to these resources ensures that these vital functions will continue to protect our quality of life.
The United States has a "No Net Loss" policy in regards to wetland function. The federal "Clean Water Act" and other laws, as well as state regulations require replacement of wetlands filled by development activity. For impacts greater than 1/10 acre the wetland functional loss must compensated for by creation, restoration, enhancement, preservation or a combination thereof. The WV Dept. of Environmental Protection administers an In-lieu fee program which charges developers for their impacts and assumes the responsibility of administering projects which will replace the wetland functional losses. In many cases it may be more economical to pay an In-lieu fee to the WVDEP, however this can be very expensive ($30,000/acre with replacement ratios up to 3:1). If a suitable site is available wetlands can often be restored, created, etc. more economically than paying In-lieu fee costs. This is especially true if the wetland replacement acreage involved is greater than 5 acres. Decota Consulting can help you in all phases of this process from wetland delineation and permit application to design and construction as well as monitoring/report preparation requirements.
Our staff includes a Certified Wetland Delineator with 21 years experience in wetland delineation, mitigation site selection, wetland design, construction management, post construction monitoring and academic research. We have been involved in all phases of development of over 200 acres of wetland mitigation acreage, of various types, on over 20 different sites throughout the state.