Federal Wetland Programs

2012 Nationwide Permits Final Rule is Posted to Corps Website

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has posted the  revised and renewed nationwide permits necessary for work under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 on its website. The Corps is reissuing 48 permits and adding two new ones.  The permits replace the existing nationwide permits, which expire on March 18, 2012.

The new NWPs will take effect March 19, 2012. These new nationwide permits will be published in the Federal Register on or about February 21, 2012. They have been posted to the USACE Web site along with other background materials, click here.

Changes include:

NWP 21 – The NWP 21 for Surface Coal Mining Activities is revised to impose new limits on stream impacts that may be authorized, consistent with the other NWPs, and prohibits valley fills under this NWP. This updated permit was based on extensive feedback from the public and key stakeholders and leverages important flexibilities while also taking steps to protect wetlands. Updated permits will only be necessary for new or expanded activities. Operators that relied upon previously verified surface coal mining authorizations, but have not yet completed work in waters of the U.S., may request re-verification under the 2012 NWP 21 of all previously authorized activities.

NWP 48 – The NWP 48 for Existing Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities is revised to provide greater flexibility in its use. For example NWP 48 now incorporates provisions that authorize activities that are consistent with other federal/state/tribal and local regulatory authorities. Incorporating these already authorized activities will reduce the number of activities that require review by individual Corps districts.

NWP 51 – This new NWP covers Land Based Renewable Energy General Facilities including facility construction, expansion or modification, including attendant features.

NWP 52 – This new NWP 52 covers Water Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects including water based wind or hydrokinetic proposals.

Related articles:

New and Revised Nationwide Permits for Dredge and Fill Activities 

The Compleat Wetlander: States Begin Reviewing Section 404 Nationwide Permits