Presentation on theme: "State Waters and Stream Buffers"— Presentation transcript:
1 State Waters and Stream Buffers Re-certification TrainingFor Level IA Fundamentals Certified PersonnelState Waters and Stream BuffersIssued May 2009
2 Overview What is a State Water? Who determines State Waters? Functions of State Water buffersStream buffer requirementsWhat if I need to do work within a State Waters buffer?Give overview of what will be covered in this 20 minute presentation
3 What is a State Water???According to the GA E&SC Act of 1975, “State Waters” includes any and all rivers, streams, creeks, branches, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, drainage systems, springs, wells, and 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.This is the definition from the E&SC Act of 1975, as amended
4 Who determines State Waters? In areas where there is a certified local issuing authority, State Waters determinations are made by the issuing authority.In areas where there is not a certified issuing authority, GA EPD will confirm State Waters and buffer delineations as shown on ES&PC plans.Self explanatory
5 Normal Stream Flow Definition Intermittent headwater streams with base flow during any period of the year will retain the 25-foot buffer protectionBase Flow: The rate of discharge of a stream where the only contribution is subsurfaceES&PC plan preparers and determining governments determine existence of base flow, based upon site topography, soils, and vegetationOnly true stormwater ditches are exempt from stream buffer requirements. This is a feature that flows only in DIRECT response to precipitation. Refer to the “Field Guide for Determining the Presence of State Waters that Require a Buffer” when it is issued by EPD.
6 Defined Channel Wrested Vegetation This feature has a well defined channel, a point of wrested vegetation, and an obvious base flow component. Therefore it is a State Waters and must retain the 25’ undisturbed buffer.Wrested Vegetation
7 State Waters Shown on Plans State Waters and buffers properly shown on plans
8 Stream Buffers RulesMeasured horizontally from point where vegetation has been wrested by normal stream flow or wave action25 Feet - Warm Water streams*50 Feet - Trout (cold) streams*Self explanatory*Local issuing authorities mayrequire additional buffers!
10 Picture showing the 25’ buffer measured horizontally from the point of wrested vegetation.
11 Picture showing the 50’ buffer measured horizontally from the point of wrested vegetation.
12 Coastal AreasBuffers for saltwater marshes and tidally influenced streams are measured from the marsh jurisdictional lineDetermined by the Coastal Resources Division of the GA DNR, pursuant to the Coastal Marshland protection Act.Self explanatory
13 What if I need to work in the buffer? The minimum 25’ or 50’ (Trout Streams) undisturbed State Waters buffer shall be maintained, except where the Director of GA EPD determines to allow a variance that is at least as protective of natural resources and the environment.Variances may only be issued by GA EPD, not by local issuing authorities.Be sure to obtain all necessary Federal permits (U.S. EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)Variances into the State minimum buffer can only be issued by EPD and there are no verbal variances!
14 Activities exempt from stream buffer variance requirements: Piping of small trout streams (average annual flow < 25 gallons/minute)Water line, sewer line crossings within 25° of the perpendicularDrainage structures on warm water streamsRoadway drainage structures on warm and trout water streamsThese activities are exempt from applying for a variance. Here are a couple of definitions:‘Drainage structure’ is a device composed of virtually nonerodible material, such as concrete, steel plastic or other such material that conveys water from one place to another by intercepting the flow and carrying it to a release point for storm-water management,… etc. if space allows. The structure that is placed in the buffer must meet this definition to be considered exempt. A drainage structure is not exempt unless it meets this definition. Any land disturbance associated with the drainage structure requires a variance.‘Roadway drainage structure ‘is a device composed of virtually nonerodible material such as concrete, steel plastic or other such material (for example a bridge, culvert or ditch) that conveys water under a roadway…etc. if space allows. The structure that is placed in the buffer must meet this definition to be considered exempt. The exemption is for the roadway width only, not for buildable land.
15 Submitting for an GAEPD Stream Buffer Variance Stream buffer variance application and checklist of required information can be found at click on Documents Publications and Forms Watershed Protection Branch Erosion and SedimentationRecommend consulting design professional for assistance with the variance processContact Peggy Chambers, Michael Berry or Jean Shepherd at (404) with stream buffer questions.DNR Coastal Resources Division at(912)Here is the link for the variance application. It is highly recommended that professionals familiar with the variance application process be consulted for assistance.
16 Submitting for an GA EPD Stream Buffer Variance Within 60 days of receipt of a COMPLETE buffer variance application, the Division will either:Provide written comments to the applicant,orPropose to issue a variancePublic notice requiredJust because a variance application has been submitted, it does not mean that the variance will be approved. The project may not proceed until the variance has been approved in writing by EPD.
17 SummaryBuffers on state waters are valuable in protecting and conserving land and water resources.Some activities are exempt from stream buffer requirementsi.e. drainage structures, sewer crossings, etc.All non-exempt activities within a state water buffer require a GAEPD stream buffer varianceSummarize presentation
19 Location: Glascock County Date of Issue: July 05,2007 Cause of Order: Violations of Rules for Erosion and Sedimentation Control and General NPDES Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity/buffer encroachments Requirement(s) of Order: Implement proper E&S controls of Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control Plan, to prevent soils from reaching waters of the state; submit approvable Buffer Zone Rehabilitation Plan Settlement Amount:$40,000.00
20 Location: Treutlen County Date of Issue: July 09,2007Cause of Order: Violations of Rules for Erosion and Sedimentation Control and Water Quality Control/buffer encroachment Requirement(s) of Order: Implement proper E&S controls of Erosion, Sedimentation and Pollution Control Plan, to prevent soils from reaching waters of the state; submit approvable Buffer Zone Rehabilitation Plan Settlement Amount:$5,900.00