How many people know what the 100 year flood plain is? Do you know where your hundred year flood plain boundaries are? FEMA utilizes these zones to identify the flood plain for flood insurance. The boundaries are also used to identify wetlands.
Wetlands are not always defined by an individual interpretation of a wet area that stays wet year round. It can be defined by an area that has standing water for a time. It can be defined by an area that is flooded during a freshet. The floodplain defined by a sudden flood can be used in the 100 year floodplain definition.
One category of benefits includes goods and services that a proposed action or activity One category of benefits includes goods and services that a proposed action or activity generates. Although potentially easier to identify than other categories, these benefits may or may not be easy to measure or ascribe value. In terms of protecting waters, an example benefit might be supporting fish and shellfish populations in downstream waters as well as protecting the waters themselves. Ponds, streams, and wetlands provide habitat for a robust and diverse assemblage of organisms that are necessary to support the whole aquatic community structure and ecological function. Some associated attributes may have market value (such as the fish themselves) and some may have non-market value (such as biodiversity).
Benefits also include costs avoided. Costs avoided represent what you don’t have to pay because of the action you have taken. For example, floodplain preservation prevents costly damage from frequent flooding. Although dams and levees are built to control potential flooding,altering the natural hydro-logic regime contributes to the potential for flooding. Waters affected by this proposed rule store water and slow down its movement across the landscape. When these systems no longer perform this function, the potential losses from flooding may increase.
You will notice that emphasis has been put on market value and cost. This cost is not only to EPA for permitting but also monitoring of the public once a permit is given. Then of course with Agenda-21 the American people will have to have their profits monitored by EPA as well.
In the case of wetlands the 100 floodplain can change dramatically depending upon what organization you are talking to. If it is an NGO then the zone has one set of boundaries. If you are talking to big corporation that can throw money at development the boundaries look very different. If you talk to FEMA (a GO) the boundaries look again very different. Each set of boundaries will be set to support each organizations objective.
An example of this type of boundary definition comes into play in many land sales or building permits. One example is a private citizen has a perfect piece of property. A big corporation comes in and talks big money to said private citizen. Private citizen chooses not to sell the land. All of a sudden the land is worthless, because it has been defined as wetlands. It wasn’t defined before but now that private ownership is enjoyed by said owner. The land is now wetlands and wetlands should be protected, after all. This now means private owner cannot develop his/her own land. The corporation now swoops in and says, we’ll take that worthless wetland off your hands. Land owner throws up his hands and says okay we’ll cut our losses. Said corporation buys low and then sells high or proceeds to develop the land any way they want.
The corporation then buys into a wetlands bank, to mitigate the wetlands they are now developing. In some cases these corporations eminent domain the property. Just compensation is paid to the owner, sometimes.
In all cases of wetlands the EPA will be the monitoring agency, they will be the defining agency and will be the controlling agency.
EPA is taking every drop of water under EPA control and Army Corps of Engineer control. This is no more prevalent than the latest EPA move to define a puddle as something that should be defined as wetlands. It also is prevalent in the rain tax in Maryland and Illinois.