This Special Public Notice announces the District Commander of the Sacramento District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) decision to accept and expend funds contributed by the California Department of Transportation (“Caltrans”) in order to expedite processing of Caltrans’ Department of the Army (DA) permit applications.
On May 19, 2014, the Sacramento District Commander determined that acceptance and expenditure of such funds would be in accordance with Section 214 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (WRDA 2000, Public Law No. 106-541 111-120), as amended by Public Law 111-315.
Currently, Sacramento District accepts funds from Caltrans in accordance with an existing Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), which is set to expire September 30, 2014. A new MOA, effective October 1, 2014, thru September 30, 2019, would allow the Corps to continue to accept and expend these funds. However, the Corps will neither accept nor expend funds provided by Caltrans after December 31, 2016, unless Federal law extends the Corps’ authority under section 214 of WRDA 2000, as amended.
A series of procedural safeguards has been adopted to ensure that use of the funds will not impact impartial decision-making. These include:
a. The Corps will ensure that the evaluation of permits carried out using funds accepted from Caltrans are reviewed at least one level above the decision maker, unless the decision maker is the District Commander, then the Commander of the Corps Division in which the District is located, would review the permit decision. For example, if the decision maker is the Chief of the Regulatory Division, then the reviewer would be the District Commander.
b. The Corps will ensure that all final permit decisions carried out using accepted funds from Caltrans are made available to the public, including on the Internet at: http://geo.usace.army.mil/egis/f?p=340:9:0::NO.
c. The Corps will utilize the same procedures for decisions that would otherwise be required for the evaluation of permits for similar type projects or activities not carried out using funds accepted from Caltrans.
d. The Corps will comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
e. The Corps will only expend funds accepted from Caltrans to provide priority review of permit applications, and will not use them to carry out a review of the evaluation of permits, as required under (a) above.
From March 15, 2014 through March 31, 2014, the Sacramento District circulated a Special Public Notice announcing the Commander’s preliminary intent to accept and expend such funds. The Notice discussed the kinds of activities for which funds would be expended and solicited comments from the general public. No comments were received.
Information concerning WRDA, including documents referenced in this notice, may be found on our Sacramento District website at www.spk.usace.army.mil/organizations/cespk-co/regulatory/WRDA.html. If you have questions or need additional information please contact Senior Regulatory Project Manager, Leah Fisher at 916-557-6639, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.