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Corps of Engineers Revises and Renews Nationwide Permits

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has reissued 50 of the 52 existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions, with some modifications. The Corps has also issued two new NWPs, three new general conditions, and three new definitions. The effective date for the new and reissued NWPs was March 19, 2012. These NWPs will expire on March 18, 2017. The NWPs will protect the aquatic environment and the public interest while effectively authorizing activities that have minimal individual and cumulative adverse effects on the aquatic environment.

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.

Regional Conditions

During the 2012 re-authorization of the NWP's which was announced in the 21 February 2012, Federal Register notice (77 FR 10184), the Tulsa District considered the need for regional conditions for these NWPs. Below are the final regional conditions for each state in Tulsa District.

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.