THE OHIO STREAM AND WETLAND VALUATION METRIC FOR APPLICATION WITHIN THE STATE OF OHIO
PUBLIC NOTICE: This Public Notice is distributed on behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Huntington, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh Districts.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Public Notice is to solicit public input and request comments on the Ohio Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric (SWVM) from interested stakeholders (e.g., applicants, agent/consultants, industry, and general public).
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN: The Ohio SWVM excel spreadsheet and the Narrative Calculations are available to the public on Regional In-Lieu Fee and Banking Information Tracking System (RIBITS) webpage at https://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Mitigation/RIBITS.aspx. Please follow the instructions below to retrieve the documents.
- Click the RIBITS link to navigate to the RIBITS homepage.
- On the left-hand side of the page under <------FILTER------>, select the State radio button and then, from the dropdown menu, select "Ohio"
- Next, on the left-hand side of the page under <------MENU------>, click "Assessment Tools"
- The Ohio SWVM excel spreadsheet has been added under the heading "Ohio Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric”
- The Narrative Calculations has been added under the heading “Narrative Calculations”
Attached to this Public Notice are pictures of the Ohio SWVM data form. If you are unable to access RBITIS, requests for an electronic copy (Excel file) may be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ohio SWVM Request” in the subject line.
BACKGROUND: The 2008 Final Mitigation Rule encourages the use of an appropriate assessment method (e.g., hydrogeomorphic approach to wetlands functional assessment, index of biological integrity) or other suitable metric to assess and describe the aquatic resource types that will be impacted and/or utilized for compensatory mitigation. The principal units for credits and debits are acres, linear feet, functional assessment units, or other suitable metrics of particular resource types. Functional assessment units or other suitable metrics may be linked to acres or linear feet.
By public notice dated October 20, 2017, two workshops were announced to introduce both the Ohio SWVM and the Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) Approach to assessing streams. The two workshops were held on November 7 and 8, 2017 for the water resource agencies and the general public, respectively. Also, by public notice dated February 23, 2018, the Ohio SWVM was made available for voluntarily use.
APPLICATION OF THE OHIO SWVM: The Ohio SWVM establishes basic regulatory requirements for the use of stream functional/conditional assessments at impact and mitigation sites and describes the methods for quantifying stream credits and debits to satisfy regulatory requirements under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act within the Huntington, Buffalo and Pittsburgh Districts in Ohio.
The purpose of the Ohio SWVM is to assist in more consistent, effective, and efficient processing of Corps Section 404 Clean Water Act applications proposing impacts to our nation’s water resources (streams). Implementation of tools such as the Ohio SWVM can assist in reducing review times, once implemented. Regulatory and resource agencies analyze results of submitted assessment data to evaluate project alternatives, minimize impacts, assess unavoidable impacts, determine mitigation requirements, and monitor the progression of compensatory mitigation for defining functional lift and success. Some comments have already been provided and need not be resubmitted unless there are additional comments. An interagency team is working together to address expressed concerns through a consensus based approach. The Ohio SWVM has been designed to interpret science-based information and output debits/credits.
REQUEST FOR COMMENTS: The Corps is soliciting written comments from the public, federal, state, and local agencies and officials, Indian Tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the use of the Ohio SWVM. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to modify, adopt, or terminate the use of the Ohio SWVM. Comments, both favorable and unfavorable, will be accepted, made a part of the record, and receive full consideration in subsequent actions on these procedures.
All replies to this Public Notice should be sent to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District
502 Eighth Street
Huntington, West Virginia 25701
For additional information or any questions concerning the Ohio SWVM, please contact Mr. Justin Elkins or Mr. Wes Barnett (contact information provided below):
Mr. Elkins: by phone at (304) 399-5271 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Mr. Barnett: by phone at (304) 399-6905 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org