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Wetlands and Stream Protection

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Wetlands, Surface Water, and Surface Water Withdrawals/Impoundments

We administer the Virginia Water Protection (VWP) Permit Program and an associated compliance program through regulation of

As part of a larger effort to protect water quality under the DEQ Water Division, we are tasked with protecting wetlands and streams to protect their beneficial uses.  We strive to protect state waters and prevent and reduce water pollution in Virginia. We coordinate grant funded initiatives to explore future wetlands, stream and lake protection methodologies and policies. We partner closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to achieve our goals. The Virginia Water Protection Permit Program serves as Virginia’s Section 401 certification program for federal Section 404 permits issued under the authority of the Clean Water Act. State law requires that a VWP permit be obtained before disturbing a wetland or stream by clearing, filling, excavating, draining, or ditching.  Application is made through the Joint Permit Application process for concurrent federal and state project review.

Wetland Maps

§ 62.1-44.15:01 requires the State Water Control board to have wetlands inventory maps available to the public.  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wetland Inventory maps (NWI) and Virginia's Wetland Condition Assessment Tool (WetCAT) can be used.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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