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Corps of Engineers Revises and Renews Nationwide Permits

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has revised and renewed nationwide permits (NWPs) necessary for work in streams, wetlands and other waters of the United States under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The new NWPs will take effect March 19, 2017, and replace the existing permits, which expire on March 18, 2017.  The two new nationwide permits are NWP 53 and NWP 54.  NWP 53 provides an appropriate mechanism for an efficient authorization process for the removal of low-head dams to restore streams and enhance public safety.  NWP 54 covers the construction and maintenance of living shorelines to control erosion in coastal areas.

 

 

 

Link to 2017 Nationwide Permits, Conditions, District Engineer’s Decision, Further Information, and Definitions.

Highlights of the revised and new nationwide permits include:

  • USACE reissued 50 existing permits and added two new ones.   
  • NWP 53 – This new NWP covers the removal of low-head dams. The removal of these dams will restore rivers and streams, and will improve public safety by removing dams that can pose hazards to swimmers and to users of small recreational craft. 
  • NWP 54 – This new NWP covers the construction and maintenance of living shorelines, a technique to protect coastal property from erosion while providing some aquatic habitat and water quality benefits.

Additionally, NWP 26 has not been assigned since 2000, and NWP 47 was in effect for only one five-year cycle (2007 to 2012).

Nationwide Permit Program

NATIONWIDE PERMIT NAME

NWP 1 – Aids to Navigation

NWP 2 – Structures in Artificial Canals

NWP 3 – Maintenance

NWP 4 – Fish and Wildlife Harvesting, Enhancement, and Attraction Devices and Activities

NWP 5 – Scientific Measurement Devices

NWP 6 – Survey Activities

NWP 7 – Outfall Structures and Associated Intake Structures

NWP 8 – Oil and Gas Structures on the Outer Continental Shelf

NWP 9 – Structures in Fleeting and Anchorage Areas

NWP 10 – Mooring Buoys

NWP 11 – Temporary Recreational Structures

NWP 12 – Utility Line Activities

NWP 13 – Bank Stabilization

NWP 14 – Linear Transportation Projects

NWP 15 – U.S. Coast Guard Approved Bridges

NWP 16 – Return Water From Upland Contained Disposal Areas

NWP 17 – Hydropower Projects

NWP 18 – Minor Discharges

NWP 19 – Minor Dredging

NWP 20 – Response Operations for Oil and Hazardous Substances

NWP 21 – Surface Coal Mining Activities

NWP 22 – Removal of Vessels

NWP 23 – Approved Categorical Exclusions

NWP 24 – Indian Tribe or State Administered Section 404 Program

NWP 25 – Structural Discharges

NWP 27 – Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement Activities

NWP 28 – Modifications of Existing Marinas

NWP 29 – Residential Developments

NWP 30 – Moist Soil Management for Wildlife

NWP 31 – Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Facilities

NWP 32 – Completed Enforcement Actions

NWP 33 – Temporary Construction, Access, and Dewatering

NWP 34 – Cranberry Production Activities

NWP 35 – Maintenance Dredging of Existing Basins

NWP 36 – Boat Ramps

NWP 37 – Emergency Watershed Protection and Rehabilitation

NWP 38 – Cleanup of Hazardous and Toxic Waste

NWP 39 – Commercial and Institutional Developments

NWP 40 – Agricultural Activities

NWP 41 – Reshaping Existing Drainage Ditches

NWP 42 – Recreational Facilities

NWP 43 – Stormwater Management Facilities

NWP 44 – Mining Activities

NWP 45 – Repair of Uplands Damaged by Discrete Events

NWP 46 – Discharges in Ditches

NWP 48 – Existing Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities

NWP 49 – Coal Remining Activities

NWP 50 – Underground Coal Mining Activities

NWP 51 – Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities

NWP 52 – Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects

NWP 53 – Removal of Low-Head Dams

NWP 54 – Living Shorelines

Regional Conditions

During the 2017 re-authorization of the NWP's which was announced in the 6 January 2017, Federal Register notice (82 FR 1860), the Tulsa District considered the need for regional conditions for these NWPs. Below are the final regional conditions for each state in Tulsa District.

Water Quality Certifications

With each cycle of revision and reauthorization of the NWP Program, Corps Districts examine regional issues and determine the need for District-specific regional conditions. A part of this process is obtaining Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) from the appropriate Tribal Nation or State agency for those NWPs that would authorize activities under Section 404 CWA. A Tribal Nation or State's decision on WQC may result in additional conditions on the NWPs, denial of certification for specific NWPs, or denial of certification in certain sensitive waters in the state. In the Tulsa District, special conditions have been included in all WQCs. In Oklahoma the WQC has been denied in particular instances noted in WQC.

Critical Resource Waters

Another factor that influences the manner in which the NWP program is administered in various Corps Districts is the presence of designated Critical Resource Waters (CRW) within the district. NWP General Condition (GC) 22 identifies particular categories of waters as CRWs and states that the District Engineer may designate additional waters as CRWs as appropriate. Under GC 22, some of the NWPs are prohibited from use in CRWs while other NWPs require mandatory notification to the Corps in these waters. The Tulsa District has designated specific waters in Oklahoma possessing high aquatic resource quality and value as CRWs. The CRWs is available in the following link.