New and Revised Nationwide Permits for Dredge and Fill Activities

The Army Corps of Engineers last week released new and revised Nationwide Permits for certain activities that require authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Nationwide Permits provide streamlined authorization for dredge and fill activities that the Corps has determined will have minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment, individually and cumulatively. The Nationwide Permits will be published in the Federal Register later this month and will take effect on March 19, 2012.

The Corps last issued Nationwide Permits in 2007, and those permits are set to expire on March 18, 2012. However, under a grandfathering provision in the new permits, if projects have commenced or are under contract to commence activities by March 18, 2012, they will have an additional year to complete activities under the 2007 permits.

The 2012 Nationwide Permits include two new permits and 48 reissued permits, 25 of which contain revisions. The two new permits authorize construction of certain land-based and water-based renewable energy facilities. The permit revisions affect a variety of activities, including residential, commercial, and industrial development; flood control; stormwater management; mining; and agriculture and aquaculture.

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