This posting continues some of the common terms and definitions* found in the wetlands regulatory world.
Hydric soils - "Soils that form under conditions of saturation, flooding, or
ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions
in the upper part" (USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service 1996).
Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) approach to assessing wetland function - A
method of wetland classification and assessment based on the concept that
different kinds of wetlands are produced
Hydrophytic vegetation - Plant life growing in water or on a substrate that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen as a result of excessive water content; the 1987 Corps Manual gives rules for identifying hydrophytic vegetation for jurisdictional delineations.
Individual permits - Corps permits issued following a case-by-case evaluation of a specific project in accordance with full project and public interest review procedures discussed in 33 CFR 320, 323, and 325.
Jurisdictional wetland delineation - Process by which one identifies the legal geographic boundaries of a wetland for purposes of regulatory jurisdiction, or the product of such a determination.
Jurisdictional wetland determination - Process by which one identifies presence or absence of a jurisdictional wetland at a point on the ground; this differs from jurisdictional wetland delineation, which identifies the areal extent of all such contiguous points.
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) - Formal and legally binding agreement between two Federal agencies.
Minimization - The requirement that "appropriate and practicable steps have been taken which will minimize potential adverse impacts of the discharge on the aquatic ecosystem" (40 CFR 230.10(d)); such steps are described in 40 CFR 230.70 et seq.
Mitigation - "Avoiding, minimizing, rectifying, reducing, or compensating for resource losses" (33 CFR 320.4(r)).
Mitigation banking - Compensatory mitigation practice that establishes a large mitigation project to replace smaller, anticipated disturbances elsewhere.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) - Primary pollution control program under the Clean Water Act; overseen by the EPA and delegated to most states; NPDES permits are required for discharges of waste into waters of the United States whereas Section 404 permits are required for discharge of dredged or fill material. An NPDES permit will be denied if the Corps finds that "anchorage and navigation of any of the navigable waters would be substantially impaired" by the activity for which a permit was applied (Clean Water Act Section 402(b)(6)).
National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) maps - Maps of wetlands compiled by the U S Fish and Wildlife Service from aerial photography as part of a nationwide inventory of wetland resources; compiled at a map scale of 1:24000; uses the Cowardin classification system (Cowardin et al. 1979).
Nationwide permits - General permits that "have been issued by the regulation (33 CFR 330) for certain specified activities nationwide. If certain conditions are met, the specified activities can take place without the need for an individual or regional permit" (33 CFR 325.5(c)(2)).
*Source: Wetlands Management Book, Environmental Laboratory (ERDC/EL SR-00-16) by Carolyn B. Schneider and Steven W. Sprecher, December 2000.