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Notice of Release of the Oregon Rapid Wetland Assessment Protocol (ORWAP) Version 3.1

Portland District
Published Dec. 6, 2016

Notice of Release of the Oregon Rapid Wetland Assessment Protocol (ORWAP) Version 3.1 
For the State of Oregon
Issue Date: December 6, 2016

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The Oregon Department of State Lands (Department) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District (Corps of Engineers), jointly announce the publication and release of the revised Oregon Rapid Wetland Assessment Protocol (ORWAP) Version 3.1. ORWAP is a tool for rapidly assessing wetland functions and values (as well as other attributes) in all wetland types throughout Oregon. In a regulatory context, ORWAP also can be used to inform alternatives analysis and the selection, design, and monitoring of compensatory wetland mitigation sites. ORWAP, unlike some other methods, is particularly useful because it allows comparisons between different types of wetlands.

ORWAP and its applications were refined by the Department with funding assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 (EPA). ORWAP indicators and models were modified to reflect new information on wetland functions and values, and to improve its’ usability. ORWAP was applied to a new statistically valid sample of 200 wetlands across Oregon, which allowed ORWAP outputs to be calibrated and relative ratings to be developed. 

ORWAP consists of several different components: a Users Manual; two Excel spreadsheets (ORWAP Calculator and ORWAP Supplemental Information); and a Technical Supplement. The Department, the Corps of Engineers and EPA also cooperatively have developed a guide for using ORWAP for State and federal permit applications.

You may download all of the ORWAP components and the guidance for using ORWAP for permit applications from the Department’s Web site at:
http://www.oregon.gov/DSL/WETLAND/pages/or_wet_prot.aspx

Agency Requirements Regarding ORWAP

ORWAP may be used immediately for both State and federal permit purposes. ORWAP assessments conducted after February 1, 2017 for permit purposes must use version 3.1. Before using ORWAP v3.1 for the first time to assess a wetland for a permit application, read the revised Guidance for Using the Oregon Rapid Wetland Assessment Protocol (ORWAP) in the State and Federal Permit Programs (November 2016 ). This document provides instructions on how to select the assessment area, what to submit to the agencies along with the final scores, how to format the output in a permit application and other important information. The document is available at:
http://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WETLAND/docs/Guidance_for_Regulatory_Use_of_ORWAP_v3_1.pdf

State Removal-Fill Permits—ORWAP is an approved method for assessing wetlands for purposes of the State Removal-Fill Law. Administrative rules governing wetland functions and values assessment may be found in OAR 141-085-0685. These rules explain what type of wetland assessment method is required or allowed for different types of wetlands and impact levels. 

Federal Clean Water Act (Section 404) Permits—Use of ORWAP is recommended, but not required, by the Portland District Corps of Engineers. 

For additional guidance on using ORWAP for state and federal permits, contact:
Dan Hicks, Department of State Lands, 503-986-5320, Dana.Hicks@dsl.state.or.us
Andrea Wagner, Corps of Engineers, (541) 465-6882, andrea.r.wagner@usace.army.mil
Tracie Nadeau, EPA Region 10, 503-326-3685, nadeau.tracie@epa.gov