US Army Corps of Engineers Seeks Comments on Proposal to Reissue and Modify Nationwide Permits
On September 15, 2020, the United States Department of the Army’s Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) issued a proposed rule to reissue existing nationwide permits (NWP) and issue five new permits. Under the Clean Water Act, and Rivers and Harbors Act, the Army Corps has the authority to issue nationwide permits for categories of activities that have minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment. The goal of the nationwide permit is to streamline authorization for those activities. In its proposed rule, the agency is proposing to limit NWP 12 to oil and natural gas pipelines activities and issue two new permits covering electric and telecommunications utility lines not covered by other permits. Army Corps is also proposing to authorize discharge to jurisdictional waters for construction and maintenance of water reuse and reclamation facilities. Finally, the agency is proposing two new NWPs for seaweed and finfish mariculture activities. Written comments on the notice are due by November 16, 2020.