Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is seeking comments on its proposal to renew and revise 50 nationwide permits for work in wetlands and other waters that are regulated by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. In addition, USACE is proposing to issue two new nationwide permits that pertain to authorizing the removal of low-head dams and the construction and maintenance of living shorelines.
“We believe the set of nationwide permits being proposed today meet our goal of providing clarity and certainty to the regulated public while meeting the challenges of protecting our nation’s wetlands and aquatic resources,” said Maj. Gen. Ed Jackson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations.
The nationwide permits authorize activities that are similar in nature and cause only minimal adverse environmental impacts to aquatic resources separately or on a cumulative basis. Activities range from work associated with aids to navigation and utility lines to residential developments and maintenance activities.
Many of the nationwide permits being proposed remain unchanged from 2012, the last time the nationwide permits were authorized.
USACE division commanders may add, after public review and consultation, regional conditions to nationwide permits in order to protect local aquatic ecosystems such as fens or bottomland hardwoods or to minimize adverse effects on fish or shellfish spawning, wildlife nesting or other ecologically critical areas.
A public notice to solicit comments on the proposed set of revised nationwide permits was published in the June 1, 2016, issue of the Federal Register at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-06-01/pdf/2016-12083.pdf. USACE will accept written comments for a 60-day period that ends on August 1, 2016. Comments may be submitted by e-mail to NWP2017@usace.army.mil or through the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov at docket number COE-2015-0017. The current set of nationwide permits expires on March 18, 2017. The nationwide permits being proposed today will replace the existing set.
Additional information about the Corps’ regulatory program can be found at www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/RegulatoryProgramandPermits.aspx.