Corps of Engineers Regulatory Process

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Navigating the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ... - Florida Sea Grant

Navigating the U.S. Army

Corps of Engineers

Regulatory Process

Angela Ryan

Biologist

Tampa Permits Section

May 16, 2012

US Army Corps of Engineers

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JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT


Regulatory Mission

• To protect the Nation’s aquatic

resources, while allowing reasonable

development through fair, flexible and

balanced permit decisions.

• Xx.

• Xx.

• Xx.

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Authority

Authority Geographic Activity

Section 10, Rivers

and Harbors Act of

1899

Section 404 Clean

Water Act of 1977

Section 103,

Marine Protection,

Research and

Sanctuaries Act

Navigable

Waters of

U.S.

Waters of

U.S., e.g.

wetlands and

streams

Ocean

All Structures or Work.

(the construction, excavation, or

deposition of materials in, over,

or under such waters, or any

work which would affect the

course, location, condition, or

capacity of those waters.).

Discharge of dredged

or fill material.

Transportation of

dredged material for

the purpose of disposal

in the ocean.

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Jurisdiction in Tidal Waters

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Types of Permits

• Individual Permit (IP)

► Public Notice (PN)

► Full project review procedure

• Letter of Permission (LOP)

► Abbreviated permit procedure

► Coordination letter in lieu of a public notice

► Minor Impacts

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General Permits

• Regional General Permits (GP)

► Specific approach for specific area

► Conditions deal with area issues

• Programmatic General Permits (PGP)

► Take advantage of similar program

► Reduce regulatory duplication

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2012 Nationwide Permits

(NWP)

• 50 NWPs

• WQC is now required for all NWP’s

• Pre-Construction Notification may be required

• Subject to Discretionary Authority

• Subject to Corps Mitigation Rule

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Navigating the Review

Process

Joint Permit App

Submittal to State

App Received from

State

Begin Processing

Completeness

Determination and

Public Notice

Application

Approved

Corps

Individuals

Special Interests

Local Agencies

Federal Agencies

Decision

Document

Application

Denied

404(b)(1) Guidelines

2008 Mitigation Rule

Public Interest Review

NEPA, ESA, NHPA, EFH

State & Territorial

Certifications

(CZM, WQC)

Application

Reviewed

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Public Interest Review

• 21 Factors, including:

► Conservation

► Economics

► Wetlands

► Fish And Wildlife Values

► Flood Plain Values & Flood Hazards

► Water Supply And Conservation

► Land Use

► Navigation

► General Environmental Concerns

► Safety

► Historic and Cultural

► Shore Erosion and Accretion

• The Corps Issues A Permit Unless The Corps

Determines That The Project Is Contrary To The

Public Interest

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404(b)(1) Guidelines

• Project Purpose

►Sequential Process

• Avoidance

• Minimization

• Compensation

Corps determines least environmentally

damaging practicable alternative

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NEPA

• National Environmental Policy Act

• Ensures consideration of environmental

impacts and alternatives for federal

actions

• Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

►Environmental Assessments

►Environmental Impact Statements

• Categorical Exclusions

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2008 Corps Mitigation Rule

• Established a mitigation hierarchy

• All mitigation proposals must contain the

12 Objectives e.g., baseline data, site

selection and performance standards

• Emphasis on type for type replacement of

aquatic resources

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Section 10 Important Issues

• Endangered Species Act (ESA)

• Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Act -

Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)

• Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)

• National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)

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Section 10 Important Issues

• Understand sensitive time periods, e.g.

seagrass survey time periods, sea turtle

nesting season, manatee season,

fisheries spawning or migration seasons

and other biologically critical time periods.

• Be familiar with construction guidelines

and conditions associated with ESA and

EFH

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Case Studies

• Single Family Dock

• Section 10 - RGP SAJ-20

• No PN and programmatic concurrence for

ESA

• Project plans, adherence to Manatee

Construction Conditions and requirement

for As-Builts

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Case Studies

• Mangrove Restoration

• Jurisdiction: Section 10 and 404

• Permit verified as a NWP 27

• 10 acres of tidal mangrove wetlands

restoration through plantings and mosquito

ditch blocks with fill

Corps review: PI, NEPA, ESA, EFH,

NHPA, and WQC/CZM

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Case Studies

• Multi-slip Marina

• Section 10, LOP

• LOP Coordination Letter required

• PI, ESA, EFH, NHPA, WQC/CZM

• Exceeds dock density threshold?

• Recommended for Denial

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Case Studies

• Channel Dredging

• Section 10, IP

• PN Required

• PI, NEPA, EFH, ESA, NHPA, WQC/CZM

• Unavoidable impact of 0.01 acre seagrass,

requires type for type mitigation

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Expedite Permit Review:

Prepare Complete Applications

• Most common insufficiencies which

extend permit review timeframes:

► No latitude and longitude

► Oversized drawings (11x17)

► Color drawings which are not reproducible

► Adjacent property owners list not included

► Endangered species surveys, cultural resources

► Impacted vegetation description

► Inadequate information for commenting agencies

► Lack of avoidance and minimization statements

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Recommendations

►All drawings on 8½ X 11 paper,

use match lines if needed

►Clear plan view and cross section

►Use a different cross hatch for

dredge and fill

►List of adjacent property owners,

only those abutting impact areas and

interested parties

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Recommendations

► Pre- and post-development site table with impacts

► Avoidance and minimization narrative

(project purpose, alternative alignment

analysis, minimization strategies, Quality

Enhancement Strategies)

► Mitigation plan consistent with 2008 Mitigation

Rule - include UMAM analysis or other functional

assessment

► Multiple copies of submittal for large scale

projects

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Regulatory Program

Sourcebook:

www.saj.usace.army.mil/Divisions/Regulatory/sourcebook.htm

THANK YOU!

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