Regional General Permits (RGPs) and Programmatic General Permits (PGPs) are developed to avoid unnecessary regulatory control over activities that do not justify individual control or which are adequately regulated by another agency (33 CFR 320.1(a)(3)). These permits are issued for a category or categories of activities when:
(a) those activities are substantially similar in nature and cause only minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts; or
(b) the RGP/PGP would result in avoiding unnecessary duplication of the regulatory control exercised by another Federal, state, or local agency provided it has been determined that the environmental consequences of the action are individually and cumulatively minimal.
RGPs and PGPs may only be issued following the publishing of a Public Notice, and preparation of a decision document to ensure that the authorized activities cause only minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts. In the majority of cases, RGPs and PGPs contain conditions to further ensure that environmental impacts are minimal, including conditions for the submittal of a permit application prior to activities occurring within waters of the U.S. To ensure compliance with the RGP or PGP, you must carefully read all of the terms and conditions of an RGP or PGP prior to initiating construction activities in waters of the U.S.