Comment Period: September 21, 2020 – November 5, 2020
SUBJECT: On September 15, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published in the Federal Register its proposal to reissue the 52 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and issue five new NWPs. Nationwide permits are general permits issued on a nationwide basis to streamline the authorization of activities that result in no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. Many of the proposed NWPs require notification to the district engineer before commencing those activities, to ensure that the activities authorized by those NWPs cause no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects.
National Issues Concerning the Proposed NWPs: The Federal Register notice is the public’s opportunity to comment on the proposed NWPs, general conditions, and definitions. Comments on national issues relating to these NWPs should be submitted to docket number COE-2020-0002 at www.regulations.gov, or by email to email@example.com or by mail to Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Directorate of Civil Works, ATTN: CECW-CO-R, 441 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20314-1000. Instructions for submitting comments are provided in the September 15, 2020 Federal Register notice. Comments on the proposed NWPs are due by November 16, 2020.
Regional Issues Concerning the Proposed NWPs, Including Regional Conditioning: Division engineers are authorized to add regional conditions specific to the needs and/or requirements of a particular region or state. Regional conditions are an important mechanism to help ensure that the adverse environmental effects of activities authorized by the NWPs are no more than minimal, both individually and cumulatively. Division engineers may also suspend or revoke specific NWPs in certain geographic areas (e.g., states or watersheds) or high-value aquatic systems where the adverse environmental effects caused by activities authorized by those NWPs may be more than minimal. Enclosed is a list of the proposed regional conditions currently under consideration by the South Pacific Division for Sacramento District in California, Nevada, and Utah (enclosure 1). Regional conditions for Sacramento District in Colorado and on Navajo Nation lands will be separately published by the Albuquerque District, located here: https://www.spa.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Public-Notices/.
The Sacramento District is seeking comments on the proposed regional conditions and/or the need for additional regional conditions to help ensure that the adverse environmental effects of activities authorized by the proposed NWPs are no more than minimal, individually and cumulatively. The proposed regional conditions listed on this enclosure are applicable for activities in California, Nevada, and Utah, within the Sacramento District. Similar public notices proposing regional conditions in other regions or states are being published concurrently by other divisions and/or district offices. After the final NWPs are issued, the final regional conditions will be issued after they are approved by the Division Commander.
States, tribes, and other certifying authorities will make their Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification decisions after reviewing the proposed NWPs. States will make their Coastal Zone Management Act consistency determination decisions after reviewing the proposed NWPs.
Draft decision documents for each of the proposed NWPs, which include environmental documentation prepared for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act, have been written by Corps Headquarters. The decision documents will address compliance of the NWPs with the requirements for issuance under the Corps’ general permit authority. These draft decision documents, as well as the proposed NWPs, are available for viewing at www.regulations.gov, docket number COE-2020-0002. Final decision documents will be prepared for the NWPs that are issued.
Enclosed is a copy of the Corps' Headquarters News Release (enclosure 2) and a copy of the proposed 2020 NWPs and conditions (enclosure 3). They are also available through the Corps’ Headquarters Home Page at: https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Nationwide-Permits/, at www.regulations.gov in docket number COE-2020-0002, or in the Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/15/2020-17116/proposal-to-reissue-and-modify-nationwide-permits.
SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Comments on regional issues relating to the proposed NWPs and regional conditions should be sent to: Leah.M.Fisher@usace.army.mil; or mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Division, Attn: Leah M. Fisher, 1325 J Street, Room 1350, 95814-2922. Comments relating to regional conditions are due by November 5, 2020.
Enclosure 1: Draft Sacramento District Nationwide Permit (NWP) Regional Conditions for California, Nevada, and Utah
Enclosure 2: Corps' Headquarters News Release
Enclosure 3: Corps’ Headquarters 2020 Draft Nationwide Permits