15A NCAC 02B .0231       WETLAND STANDARDS

(a)  General.  The water quality standards for all wetlands are designed to protect, preserve, restore and enhance the quality and uses of wetlands and other waters of the state influenced by wetlands.  The following are wetland uses:

(1)           Storm and flood water storage and retention and the moderation of extreme water level fluctuations;

(2)           Hydrologic functions including groundwater discharge that contributes to maintain dry weather streamflow and, at other locations or times, groundwater recharge that replenishes the groundwater system;

(3)           Filtration or storage of sediments, nutrients, toxic substances, or other pollutants that would otherwise adversely impact the quality of other waters of the state;

(4)           Shoreline protection against erosion through the dissipation of wave energy and water velocity and stabilization of sediments;

(5)           Habitat for the propagation of resident wetland-dependent aquatic organisms including, but not limited to fish, crustaceans, mollusks, insects, annelids, planktonic organisms and the plants and animals upon which these aquatic organisms feed and depend upon for their needs in all life stages; and

(6)           Habitat for the propagation of resident wetland-dependent wildlife species, including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians for breeding, nesting, cover, travel corridors and food.

(b)  The following standards shall be used to assure the maintenance or enhancement of the existing uses of wetlands identified in Paragraph (a) of this Rule:

(1)           Liquids, fill or other solids or dissolved gases may not be present in amounts which may cause adverse impacts on existing wetland uses;

(2)           Floating or submerged debris, oil, deleterious substances, or other material may not be present in amounts which may cause adverse impacts on existing wetland uses;

(3)           Materials producing color, odor, taste or unsightliness may not be present in amounts which may cause adverse impacts on existing wetland uses;

(4)           Concentrations or combinations of substances which are toxic or harmful to human, animal or plant life may not be present in amounts which individually or cumulatively may cause adverse impacts on existing wetland uses;

(5)           Hydrological conditions necessary to support the biological and physical characteristics naturally present in wetlands shall be protected to prevent adverse impacts on:

(A)          Water currents, erosion or sedimentation patterns;

(B)          Natural water temperature variations;

(C)          The chemical, nutrient and dissolved oxygen regime of the wetland;

(D)          The movement of aquatic fauna;

(E)           The pH of the wetland; and

(F)           Water levels or elevations.

(6)           The populations of wetland flora and fauna shall be maintained to protect biological integrity as defined at 15A NCAC 2B .0202.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143‑214.1; 143‑215.3(a)(1);

RRC Objection Eff. July 18, 1996 due to lack of statutory authority and ambiguity;

Eff. October 1, 1996.