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State Wetlands Information Tool (SWIFT)
Note: Most states have enacted laws and regulations to protect wetlands. In many cases, these rules are established to define the state's role in the "?404 permit/?401 certification process." This process involves the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and your state environmental agency. To learn more about the wetlands permitting process go to the CICA Wetlands Regulations/Permit page.
Primary State Wetlands Web Page. This web page should explain the state wetlands program and provide links to various wetlands resources.
Construction Permit Process - State Rules
How Are Wetlands Activities Regulated by Your State? Georgia uses §401 as part of its statutory scheme to protect wetlands. Section 401 operates in conjunction with other laws such as the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act and the Water Quality Control Act to guard natural resources. The Marshlands Protection Committee oversees the state's Coastal Marshland Protection Program. The program covers marshlands or salt marsh within state estuarine areas.
Mitigation Measures. The Corps will continue to refer applicants to available wetland commercial mitigation banks when they are available in a service area. The mitigation banks allow applicants to make payment to owners of wetlands banks for purchase of wetlands set aside in a banking arrangement. This option has been offered to applicants for several years and will continue providing the service. The United States Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District and the Georgia Land Trust Service Center entered into a partnership agreement recently on wetlands impacts.
The Land Trust Service Center, headed by Hans Neuhauser, will work with the Corps in facilitating a new mitigation option for applicants of the Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting process by assisting them with mitigation of wetlands impacts. Both mitigation banking, a present option, and the Georgia Land Trust Service Center will permanently preserve wetlands to compensate for the loss of wetlands authorized through the Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting process.
Wetlands. Wetlands are defined as marshlands or coastal marshlands under the state's conservation and natural resources laws. Marshlands means any "marshland intertidal area, mud flat, tidal water bottom, or salt marsh in the state of Georgia within the estuarine area of the state, whether or not the tidewaters reach the littoral areas through natural or artificial watercourses." Wetlands are further identified as waters or waters of the state for the purposes of water quality monitoring. Waters of the state are "any and all rivers, streams, creeks, branches, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, drainage systems, springs, wells, wetlands, and all other bodies of surface or subsurface water, natural or artificial lying within or forming a part of the boundaries of the state which are not entirely confined and retained completely upon the property of a single individual, partnership, or corporation."
Wetland Regulatory Background Information
Regulated Wetland Activities. All dredge and fill activities in state freshwater wetlands are regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Persons, however, cannot remove, drain, fill, dredge or otherwise alter any marshland without first obtaining a permit from the Committee or, in the case of minor alterations, from the Commissioner. The state's coastal marshland laws recommend that the Committee always find certain projects, like the construction of dump sites and mining, contrary to the public interest.