Jurisdictional Roadside Ditches report

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) mandates that state agencies and other entities perform compensatory mitigation when their activities impair jurisdictional waters. In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is required to pay in-lieu fees or purchase stream mitigation credits when a roadside ditch is impaired or relocated as part of a road construction project. In-lieu fees and stream mitigation credits are costly, and ditches that have severely degraded habitat quality and hydrogeomorphic functionality are treated as total losses when they are impacted by construction and maintenance activities – which raises the question of whether the United States Corps of Engineers (USACE) would be receptive to alternative mitigation and monitoring practices that impose less of a financial burden to Kentucky while still complying with the regulations spelled out in the CWA. This completed report describes the findings of Kentucky TransportationCenter (KTC) researchers. Jurisdictional Roadside Ditches 1-76.