Federal, state, and local government interactions in the administration of wetland protection measures in Virginia

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Virginia Tech

The objective of this thesis is to determine the effectiveness of Federal, state and local government interactions in administration of tidal wetland protection measures in Virginia. Federal protection for wetlands is authorized by the Clean Water Act [33 U.S.C.A. 1251 et seq. (1986), as amended (Supp. 1987)] and the Rivers and Harbors Act [33 U.S.C.A. 401 et seq. (1986), as amended (Supp. 1987)]. State and local authority is provided by the Virginia Wetlands Act [Va.Code Ann., sec. 62.1-13.1 et seq. (1987)]. Because of overlapping jurisdictions of the statutes, Federal, state, and local governments must interact while implementing wetland protection programs. Effective interactions between the various levels of government are important for the preservation and protection of tidal wetlands. If the three levels of government are able to efficiently administer a program that provides adequate protection of wetlands, similar programs may be applied in other areas such as non-point source pollution control.

A history of the development of the wetlands protection program is presented along with a description of applicable statutes, regulations, and permitting requirements. Included is an analysis of the implementation of the wetland statutes by case studies of program operations, a comparison of decisions on applications made by the three different government agencies, and identification of impacts and future trends of the wetland protection programs.