The Maine DEP is proposing changes to its wetlands rules that clarify the definition of wetlands of special significance. Wetlands of special significance (WOSS) include coastal wetlands and great ponds, as well as other freshwater wetlands with certain qualifying attributes such as size, the presence of critical or imperiled plant communities, or location within significant wildlife habitat or a peatland. Activities within a WOSS are allowed only for limited purposes including health and safety, crossings by road, rail or utility lines, water dependent uses, certain expansions of existing facilities, mineral excavation, walkways, and restoration projects. The existing rule provides that any wetland that contains qualifying attributes is a WOSS. This has meant that even those portions of a wetland that do not contain the qualifying attributes were still treated as a WOSS. In some cases, this has meant heightened protection for lower value wetlands distant from the protected resource that resulted in the WOSS designation.
Posts tagged #Waterbodies