Corps works with Vermont Farmers for Permits to Avoid Penalties

Apr 16, 2001, 01:00 ET from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    CONCORD, Mass., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Working closely with state and
 other federal agencies to prevent a rash of future wetland violations in
 Franklin County, Vermont, and to remedy present violations, the U.S. Army
 Corps of Engineers is assisting farmers to obtain the proper permits prior to
 work.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000404/ACELOGO )
     The violations are associated with large land conversion projects where
 forest is being converted into cropland, and with smaller projects where
 existing farm fields have been expanded or improved with additional drainage
 without first obtaining the necessary state and federal permits.
     (The Corps will participate in a meeting hosted by the U.S. Department of
 Agriculture Extension Service to help farmers understand the federal permit
 requirements and procedures at the Abbey in Sheldon, Vt., this afternoon.)
     "At present, there are approximately a dozen properties that are being
 investigated, with impacts ranging from about two to about 70 acres," said
 Larry Rosenberg, Chief of Public Affairs for Corps in New England.  "We are
 working with those individuals who are in violation of the Clean Water Act to
 file for after-the-fact permits and we will assist them in every way possible
 to correct their problem and move on with their project.  In order to
 accomplish this we will meet, one-on-one, with the farmers, at their
 convenience, on their property, to help them start the process."
     The Corps also seeks to assist farmers in obtaining the proper permits
 before performing work in wetlands.
     "The Corps has already issued two individual permits to property owners in
 Franklin County for the conversion by mechanized land-clearing of forested
 and/or scrub-shrub wetland to cropland," said Rosenberg.  "Our Vermont Project
 Office has met with other farmers interested in the conversion of wetland to
 cropland and will continue to do so - we need to provide our assistance and
 expertise to help these individuals overcome any difficulties."
     Federal, state and local wetlands jurisdiction may be defined differently.
 For the Corps' programs, the wetland boundary must be determined according to
 the mandatory technical criteria for vegetation, hydrology and soils as
 described in the Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional
 Wetlands.
     Unauthorized work in wetlands is in violation of Section 404 of the Clean
 Water Act.  Section 404, which regulates the discharge of, dredged or fill
 material in United States waters, including wetlands.
     In 1972, amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act added what
 is commonly called Section 404 authority (33 U.S.C. 1344) to the program.  The
 Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers, is authorized to
 issue permits, after notice and opportunity for public hearings, for the
 discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States at
 specified disposal sites.  Selection of such sites must be in accordance with
 guidelines developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in
 conjunction with the Secretary of the Army; these guidelines are known as the
 404(b)(1) Guidelines.
     The discharge of all other pollutants into waters of the U. S. is
 regulated under Section 402 of the Act that supersedes the Section 13
 permitting authority mentioned above.  The Federal Water Pollution Control Act
 was further amended in 1977 and given the common name of "Clean Water Act" and
 was again amended in 1987 to modify criminal and civil penalty provisions and
 to add an administrative penalty provision.
     Publications, permit applications, and other information can be obtained
 either by contacting the District's Vermont Project Office at 802-655-0334 or
 accessing the Corps' New England website at www.nae.usace.army.mil.
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
    CONCORD, Mass., April 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Working closely with state and
 other federal agencies to prevent a rash of future wetland violations in
 Franklin County, Vermont, and to remedy present violations, the U.S. Army
 Corps of Engineers is assisting farmers to obtain the proper permits prior to
 work.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000404/ACELOGO )
     The violations are associated with large land conversion projects where
 forest is being converted into cropland, and with smaller projects where
 existing farm fields have been expanded or improved with additional drainage
 without first obtaining the necessary state and federal permits.
     (The Corps will participate in a meeting hosted by the U.S. Department of
 Agriculture Extension Service to help farmers understand the federal permit
 requirements and procedures at the Abbey in Sheldon, Vt., this afternoon.)
     "At present, there are approximately a dozen properties that are being
 investigated, with impacts ranging from about two to about 70 acres," said
 Larry Rosenberg, Chief of Public Affairs for Corps in New England.  "We are
 working with those individuals who are in violation of the Clean Water Act to
 file for after-the-fact permits and we will assist them in every way possible
 to correct their problem and move on with their project.  In order to
 accomplish this we will meet, one-on-one, with the farmers, at their
 convenience, on their property, to help them start the process."
     The Corps also seeks to assist farmers in obtaining the proper permits
 before performing work in wetlands.
     "The Corps has already issued two individual permits to property owners in
 Franklin County for the conversion by mechanized land-clearing of forested
 and/or scrub-shrub wetland to cropland," said Rosenberg.  "Our Vermont Project
 Office has met with other farmers interested in the conversion of wetland to
 cropland and will continue to do so - we need to provide our assistance and
 expertise to help these individuals overcome any difficulties."
     Federal, state and local wetlands jurisdiction may be defined differently.
 For the Corps' programs, the wetland boundary must be determined according to
 the mandatory technical criteria for vegetation, hydrology and soils as
 described in the Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional
 Wetlands.
     Unauthorized work in wetlands is in violation of Section 404 of the Clean
 Water Act.  Section 404, which regulates the discharge of, dredged or fill
 material in United States waters, including wetlands.
     In 1972, amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act added what
 is commonly called Section 404 authority (33 U.S.C. 1344) to the program.  The
 Secretary of the Army, acting through the Chief of Engineers, is authorized to
 issue permits, after notice and opportunity for public hearings, for the
 discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States at
 specified disposal sites.  Selection of such sites must be in accordance with
 guidelines developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in
 conjunction with the Secretary of the Army; these guidelines are known as the
 404(b)(1) Guidelines.
     The discharge of all other pollutants into waters of the U. S. is
 regulated under Section 402 of the Act that supersedes the Section 13
 permitting authority mentioned above.  The Federal Water Pollution Control Act
 was further amended in 1977 and given the common name of "Clean Water Act" and
 was again amended in 1987 to modify criminal and civil penalty provisions and
 to add an administrative penalty provision.
     Publications, permit applications, and other information can be obtained
 either by contacting the District's Vermont Project Office at 802-655-0334 or
 accessing the Corps' New England website at www.nae.usace.army.mil.
 
 SOURCE  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers