SP Process and Decision
Environmental Impact Statements
A Standard Permit (SP) is one which has been processed through the public interest review procedures, including public notice and receipt of comments. Review through the SP process is only done for activities that do not qualify for authorization under a Regional General Permit, Programmatic General Permit, Nationwide Permit, or Letter of Permission. The SP process is the most time consuming and stringent process utilized by the Corps. You will be required to submit more information during the SP process than during any other permit process. For any activities requiring processing under an SP, you should anticipate that a decision will not be made for a minimum of 120-days from submittal of a completed permit application. If the project is controversial, has significant impacts to the environment, is not the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative, or if the project may impact Federally listed threatened and/or endangered species or cultural resource, or requires a Section 401 Water Quality Certification, the permit process will likely take substantially longer than 120-days.
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Pre-Application Meetings: For larger projects, you should schedule a pre-application meeting with the appropriate Corps District office prior to submitting a permit application. A pre-application meeting will help you learn more about the regulatory process and get input from the Corps and other Federal, state or local agencies on the project, in order to allow for more efficient processing of the permit application.
Contact Your Local Office
Pre-application meetings for California
Pre-application meetings for Utah
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For all requests for authorization under an SP, you must submit a completed and signed Department of the Army application form, DA form 4345, with associated drawings. Instructions on how to fill out a DA form 4345 may be found here. Although minimal information is required for a complete DA permit application, additional information is generally required in order for the Corps to make a permit decision. The information required for a complete application and the additional information required to make a permit decision can be found here. If your application is incomplete, you will generally be notified by the Corps within 15 days and requested to submit specific additional information.
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SP Process and Decision:
Within 15 calendar days following receipt of a complete DA permit application, we will distribute a public notice for review and comment. The PN will be sent to all adjacent property owners, interested members of the public, and other Federal, state and local agencies. The PN comment period will be for a minimum of 15 days, which may be extended. We will fully consider all comments received on the public notice and may forward any substantive comments to you for review and response. In addition, we may request that you submit any additional information necessary to continue processing your permit application. This may include information necessary to ensure compliance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, information regarding alternatives to the proposed project, etc.
When all required information is received, we will review the documents and decide whether to; issue the permit, issue the permit with modifications, or deny the permit. The decision whether to grant or deny a permit is based on a public interest review of the probable impact of the proposed activity and its intended use. Benefits and detriments are balanced by considering effects on such items such as: the aquatic environment, water quality, navigation, conservation, economics, aesthetics, agricultural production, cultural values, water supply, energy needs, safety, public welfare and private ownership, etc. The following general criteria will be considered during the evaluation of every application:
• the relative extent of the public and private need for the proposed activity;
• the practicability of using reasonable alternative locations and methods to accomplish the objective of the proposed activity;
• the extent and permanence of the beneficial and/or detrimental effects which the proposed activity is likely to have on the public and private uses to which the area is suited.
Although less than 2% of permit applications are denied, the majority of proposed activities are authorized because they have been modified throughout the permit process in order to minimize and reduce impacts to the aquatic environment.
In order to allow for more efficient processing of your permit application, it is recommended that you submit all of the information required to complete the review of the proposed activity as soon as feasible.
See a graphical depiction of the permit review process.
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Environmental Impact Statements:
An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is an environmental document required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for projects that significantly affect the quality of the human environment (42 USC §4332). For projects in which we are the lead Federal agency, an EIS would only be required for certain projects that require a SP, and does not apply to those projects that qualify for authorization under a NWP, RGP, PGP or LOP. For projects under our regulatory authority, the determination on whether the preparation of an EIS is necessary is made as soon as a determination can be made on whether the project would result in significant impacts to the human environment. In many cases this is soon after the receipt of a complete DA permit application, although, in some cases, a determination may not be made until an environmental assessment is prepared, which occurs at the end of the SP process. All applicants will be informed on a determination that an EIS is necessary as soon as possible during the review period.
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