WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today the publication in the Federal Register of a set of 41 Nationwide Permits (NWPs), to include 40 reissued and one new NWP which authorize 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 NWPs in this rule replace the 2017 versions of those permits and complete the rulemaking process to reissue the NWPs, which began in September 2020. The NWPs in this rule were published in the Federal Register December 27, 2021, and will expire on March 14, 2026. The NWPs in this rule go into effect February 25, 2022. All activities authorized by the 40 NWPs from 2017 remain authorized until March 18, 2022, as long as the permittee has commenced construction or executed a contract for the NWP activity before February 25, 2022. The updated permits are being finalized after a robust rulemaking process and were informed by extensive feedback from the public and other key stakeholders.
The NWPs authorize activities that are similar in nature and cause only minimal adverse environmental impacts to aquatic resources separately or on a cumulative basis. This set of 41 NWPs authorizes regulated activities in jurisdictional waters such as surveys, maintenance, aids to navigation, bank stabilization, linear transportation projects, aquatic habitat restoration, temporary construction, cleanup of hazardous and toxic waste, maintenance of flood control facilities, removal of low-head dams, living shorelines, and the newly issued permit for water reuse facilities.
The NWPs support implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by providing project proponents who meet the requirements of the nationwide permits the opportunity to receive permit decisions with minimal delay and paperwork for activities associated with infrastructure.
In addition, all improvements, additions, and revisions to the NWPs published yesterday are consistent with the USACE commitment to evaluate minor activities efficiently while ensuring appropriate environmental protection for our nation’s aquatic resources. This effort also included additional engagement with certifying authorities, to include states and authorized tribes, under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
“Our goals in updating, developing and authorizing these 41 nationwide permits are to enhance regulatory efficiency and provide clarity for the regulated public while protecting the aquatic
environment,” said Maj. Gen. William “Butch” Graham, USACE deputy commanding general for Civil and Emergency Operations. “Our nationwide permits are an important tool in encouraging project proponents to avoid and minimize impacts to wetlands, streams, and other aquatic resources.”
“These nationwide permits will continue to be environmentally protective of the nation’s aquatic resources while supporting actions to bolster economic activity and resilient infrastructure investments,” said Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael L. Connor. “The Army will also be reviewing the overall NWP program to ensure consistency with the administration’s policies, including the need to engage affected communities.”
The 2021 nationwide permits have been published in yesterday’s Federal Register at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/12/27/2021-27441/reissuance-and-modification-of-nationwide-permits. For more information, see https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Nationwide-Permits/.