Corps Proposes New, Reissued, And Modified Nationwide Permits

On February 16, 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a notice of its proposal to reissue and modify 48 of the 49 existing Nationwide Permits (“NWPs”) and to issue two new NWPs and two new general conditions. The Corps proposes to let one NWP (47 – Pipeline Safety Program Designated Time Sensitive Inspections and Repairs) expire. Most of the current impact limits are retained, although waiver requirements for linear impacts have been clarified in seven NWPs and added to three existing NWPs. Additionally, the Corps proposes significant modifications to two NWPs:

*21 – Surface Coal Mining Activities – The Corps solicits comments on three options: (i) not to reissue the NWP; (ii) to reissue NWP 21 with modifications, including a 0.5-acre/300 linear feet impact limit, and a prohibition on use of NWP 21 for valley fills; and (iii) to reissue NWP 21 with the same modification as in Option (ii), but without the valley fill prohibition.

*48 – Existing Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities – The Corps solicits comments on whether to reissue NWP 48 with modifications to authorize new commercial shellfish aquaculture activities or to issue a separate NWP to authorize only new commercial shellfish aquaculture activities.

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