Time to call in the US Corps of Engineers and have the military handle whatever can be done. This mess will end up across state boundaries and is likely directly affected by the BP foul of the Gulf of Mexico.
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"Section 404 of the Clean Water Act established a regulatory program for the disposal of dredged or fill materials in the waters and wetlands of the United States. This section is regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with EPA oversight. Much debate and litigation has occurred over what constitutes "waters and wetlands of the United States". The following definition is used to administer the Section 404 permit program:
"...those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas."
Broad River Under Section 404, an exemption exists for silvicultural (i.e. timber management), farming or ranching activities. In order to meet the silvicultural exemption, the activity must be a normal, ongoing silvicultural activity that will not convert a wetlands to an upland site. The activity must also comply with best management practices guidelines for forested wetlands. A written management plan or evidence of historical use will help to demonstrate if it is an ongoing activity.
The EPA has a very narrow definition of normal silviculture. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers consider only timber management as silviculture. If the activity is for wildlife management, recreation, etc., it will not qualify under this exemption.
Landowners who wish to implement practices in jurisdictional wetlands that are not for timber management, need to contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to see if a permit may be required. Even if the practice is for timber management and it is going to impact a jurisdictional wetlands, it MUST be performed in compliance with best management practices to remain exempt.
Non-exempt activities may qualify under U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' nationwide permits. These permits have been established for a number of activities that have minimal impacts on wetlands. Nationwide permits were designed to regulate these activities with little, if any, delay or paperwork. If the activity does not qualify for authorization under a nationwide permit, it may still be authorized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by an individual or regional general permit."
[link to www.state.sc.us