Hydrology
  Stream formation and
    erosion

  River drainage
  The greatest American
    river

  Adverse effects of coal
    mines

  Siltation of streams
  Polluting our rivers
  This isn't chicken salad
  Clean Water Act
  Wetlands
  State water protection
  Valley fills
  Groundwater
  Scenic streams
    preservation

Wetlands      Wetlands find some protection in the Clear Water Act.  A permit, issued by the Corps of Engineers, is required for any dredging or filling of navigable waters, including wetlands.  Wetlands which do not flow directly into navigable waters may not be protected by federal law, however.  Many states have their own statutes which protect wetlands.  West Virginia's statute, discussed below, includes wetlands in the definition of "waters" subject to protection. Even so, there is no specific state law in West Virginia requiring permits for activity which affects wetlands. 

     Federal NPDES permit regulations define wetlands to "generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas."  40 CFR sec. 122.  The definition speaks of areas that are "inundated or saturated" so that the area supports "a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions."  There is a multi-federal agency manual on point which has been the subject of debate between developers and protectors of wetlands.   
Last updated on Monday, July 17, 2000