Section 404 Clean Water Act Overview Riparian Workshop


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Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program Overview

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Section 404 Clean Water Act Overview Riparian Workshop

  1. 1. Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program Overview for the Riparian Workshop October 17, 2012US Army Corps of EngineersBUILDING STRONG®
  2. 2. Corps Regulatory Program District Boundaries in SWD Tulsa District Little Rock DistrictAlbuquerque District Fort Worth Galveston District District BUILDING STRONG®
  3. 3. Regulatory Mission To protect the Nation’s aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair and balanced decisions. 3 BUILDING STRONG®
  4. 4. Regulatory Authorities Section 10 Rivers & Harbors Act of 1899 – Regulates all structures or work in, over or under navigable waters of the U.S. Section 404 Clean Water Act – Regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the U.S., including wetlands Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act - Regulates the transport of dredged material for the purpose dumping in the ocean 4 BUILDING STRONG®
  5. 5. Waters of the US include• Traditional navigable waters-Section 10 (TNW)• Interstate waters (IW)• Wetlands adjacent to TNWs or IWs• Non-navigable tributaries to TNWs that are relatively permanent (perennial), meaning at least seasonal flow (RPW) • Also wetlands abutting these RPW tributaries• Other tributaries to TNWs or IWs with “significant nexus” (intermittent or ephemeral) (non-RPWs)• Wetlands adjacent but not directly abutting jurisdictional tributaries to TNWs or IWs with “significant nexus”• Maybe an isolated water (intrastate) with a significant nexus to interstate or foreign commerce (only with HQ approval – none approved thus far) BUILDING STRONG®
  6. 6. TNWs are waters subject to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act Section 10 of the Rivers & Harbors Act of 1899 Definition in 33 CFR 329.4: ► Waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide ► Waters • presently used, • used in the past, or • that may be susceptible for use to transport interstate or foreign commerce • Ex. Angelina to US 59, Brazos River to Whitney Dam, Colorado to Longhorn Dam, Neches to to US 69, Sabine to Big Sandy, Sulphur to Wright Patman Dam, Trinity to Riverside Dr. in Ft. Worth BUILDING STRONG®
  7. 7. Activities Regulated by the Corps in Section 10 Waters Structures in navigable waters: piers, docks, ramps, wharves, pilings, weirs, breakwaters, bulkheads, riprap, power and water transmission lines incl. boring (HDD), permanently moored vessels, aids to navigation, or any other potential obstacle or obstruction Work in navigable waters: dredging or disposal of dredged material, excavation, filling, or other modification of a navigable water BUILDING STRONG®
  8. 8. Other Waters of the US subject to Section404 include RPW’s like the Paluxy River BUILDING STRONG®
  12. 12. Wetlands Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, aprevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions (33 CFR 328.3 (b)) BUILDING STRONG®
  13. 13. Wetland Identification and Delineation Based on the multi-parameter approach of the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual and Regional Manuals ► Hydrology ► Hydric Soils ► Hydrophytic Vegetation Wetland Delineation Manual and Regional Manuals Purpose: provides technical criteria, field indicators, and recommended methods for identifying wetlands and delineating their upper boundaries for purposes of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Here are links to Wetlands Manual: 87.pdf Regional Supplements /RegulatoryProgramandPermits/reg_supp.aspx National Wetland Plant list BUILDING STRONG® 3:1:
  14. 14. Waters of the US do not include upland or grass- lined swales BUILDING STRONG®
  15. 15. Activities Regulated by the Corps in Section 404 Waters The discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States is the “trigger” that requires some form of authorization under Section 404 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers BUILDING STRONG®
  16. 16. Discharge of Dredged Material Material that is excavated or dredged from waters of the United States 33, CFR 323.2(c)- it’s all in the method and location that determines if a permit is required. Material excavated or dredged from waters of the U.S. and re-deposited into waters of the U.S.-33 CFR 323.2(d) Examples include: Runoff or overflow from a contained land or water disposal area Redeposit of dredged material other than incidental fallback from mechanized land-clearing, channelization, back fill and bedding, side-casting, temporary stockpiling BUILDING STRONG®
  17. 17. Discharge of Fill Material Detailed definition at 33 CFR 323.2(e) Material placed into waters of the U.S. where the material has the effect of ► replacing a water with dry land; or ► changing the bottom elevation of any portion of a water Examples: rock, sand, soil, road construction debris, wood chips, overburden from mining or other excavation activities, materials used to create any structure or infrastructure in waters of the U. S. BUILDING STRONG®
  18. 18. Discharge of dredged or fill material does not include: ► Activities involving only cutting or removing vegetation so that root systems are not disturbed ► Incidental fallback of dredged material ► Discharges associated with onshore processing of dredged material extracted for commercial use Section 404 authorization not required for incidental discharges of dredged material that would not have the effect of destroying or degrading an area of waters of the United States BUILDING STRONG®
  19. 19. With Careful Project Planning… By avoiding impacts to waters such as boring or spanning, no Section 404 permit is required (may need a Section 10) By m inim izing the impacts to waters, the work may be authorized by a nationwide permit and may not require a pre-construction notification (pcn) or costly compensatory mitigation. BUILDING STRONG®
  20. 20. Maintenance Exemption 33 CFR 323.4 exempts certain discharges from requiring a Section 404 permit and may take care of much of your routine maintenance activities, otherwise the activities may be covered by NWP-3. Includes maintenance, incl. emergency reconstruction of recently damaged parts, of currently serviceable structures such as dikes, dams, levees, groins, riprap, breakwaters, causeways, bridge abutm ents or approaches, and transportation structures . Maintenance does not include any mod. that changes the character, scope, or size of the original fill design. Emergency reconstruction of unserviceable structures should occur w/in a reasonable period of time after damage occurs in order to qualify for the exemption. BUILDING STRONG®
  21. 21. Other Exempt Activities Normal farming, silvicultural and ranching activities which includes construction or maintenance of on-channel farm or stock ponds, and farm, ranch, or forestry roads (reference 324.4). Farm ponds must be appropriately sized for the number of cattle. On-channel Frac ponds are not exempt! BUILDING STRONG®
  22. 22. Types of PermitsGeneral Permits• Nationwide Permits• Regional General Permits • Similar activities resulting in minimal effects; valid for 5 yearsIndividual Permits• Letters of Permission (LOP) • Less controversial than SPs • Minor impacts, coordinate with agencies/neighbors (no public notice)• Standard Permits (SP) • Project-specific evaluation and authorization • Process involves public notice, public comment period, agency coordination 22 BUILDING STRONG®
  23. 23. Nationwide Permits 52 NWPs, each with a scope of work of certain activities along with 31 general conditions (ESA, cultural and historic resources, etc.) and 10 regional conditions applicable in the Fort Worth District If your project meets the scope and conditions and does not exceed the pre-construction (pcn) threshold, you may complete the project w/o written Corps authorization BUILDING STRONG®
  24. 24. Some examples of the most commonly used Nationwide PermitsNWP 3: Maintenance-app avail.NWP 12: Utility Line Activities (pipelines, power lines)-app avail.NWP 13: Bank Stabilization (bulkheads, riprap)-app avail.NWP 14: Linear Trans. Projects (culverts, road crossings)-app avail.NWP 18: Minor Discharges (fill material, 25 CY max)NWP 27: Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Estab. and EnhancementNWP 29: Residential Developments-app avail.NWP 31: Maintenance of Existing Flood Control FacilitiesNWP 33: Temporary Construction, Access, and DewateringNWP 39: Commercial and Institutional Developments-app avail. Includes the construction of oil and gas well padsNWP 42: Recreational FacilitiesNWP 43: Stormwater Management Facilities-app avail.* Each project is unique, not all qualify for a NWP. When in doubt, ASK. BUILDING STRONG®
  25. 25. NWP Applications to Expedite Permitting BUILDING STRONG®
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  35. 35. Linear vs. Non-linear Projects NWPs authorize single and complete activities All losses of waters of U.S. associated with a single and complete project would be considered when determining whether acreage limit or pre- construction notification threshold is exceeded Linear Projects: ► Constructed for the purpose of getting people, goods, or services from a point of origin to a terminal point ► Each separate and distant crossing is a separate single and complete project (in most cases) ► Cumulative effects of overall utility line or road are evaluated to determine if adverse cumulative effects on aquatic environment are more than minimal and therefore do not qualify for NWP Non-linear Projects: Total project proposed is accomplished by one owner/developer/partnership. Must have independent use (i.e. stand-alone project) BUILDING STRONG®
  36. 36. Permit Area and 106 APE* Stream road crossing PA & APEWetlandroadcrossing *APE = Area of Potential BUILDING STRONG® Effect
  37. 37. Permit Area and 106 APE National Wildlife Refuge • Substantial Federal Control (Corps permit + National Wildlife Refuge Land) • Substantial Impacts (Waters of U.S., Endangered Species, Cultural Resources) • 1 Permit Area PA & APE BUILDING STRONG®
  38. 38. NWP-3 Maintenance Covers (a) the repair, rehab, or replacement of previously authorized, currently serviceable structure or fill… provided that the structure is not to be put to uses differing from those specified in the original permit, or most recent modification. -allows for minor changes, also authorizes the repair, rehab, or replacement due to changes in material, construction techniques, etc. (b) Authorizes the removal of accumulated sediments and debris in the vicinity of existing structures, (bridges, culverted road crossings including outfall and intake structures- and/or the placement of new or additional riprap to protect the structure…but cannot extend farther than 200 feet in any direction from the structure (200 ft. limit does not apply to maintenance dredging to remove accumulated sediments)(pcn). (c) Authorizes temporary structures, fills, and work necessary to conduct maintenance activities. Temporary fills must be removed and the area returned to preconstruction elevations. BUILDING STRONG®
  39. 39. NWP-12 Utility Line Activities Activities associated for the construction, maintenance, repair and removal of utility lines and associated facilities including outfall and intake structures, and the associated excavation, backfill, or bedding for the utility lines provided the activity does not result in a loss of greater then ½-acre for each single and complete project Includes utility line substations, foundations for overhead utility line towers, poles, and access roads. Pcn req.: 1) involves mechanized land-clearing in forested wetlands; 2) Section 10 permit req.; 3) utility line in waters of US exceeds 500 LF; 4) runs parallel w/in jurisdictional area; 5) results in loss of >1/10 ac.; 6) perm. roads (above grade) >500 LF; 7) perm. roads on waters constructed w/ impervious materials BUILDING STRONG®
  40. 40. NWP-13 Bank Stabilization Authorizes bank stabilization activities necessary for erosion prevention, provided the activity meets all of the following criteria: (a) no material placed in excess of the min. amount needed for erosion protection; (b) activity is no more than 500 feet in length, unless waived by the district engineer; (c) will not exceed an avg. of one cubic yard/ running foot placed below the plane of the OHWM, unless waived by the district eng.; (d) does not involve the discharges of dredged or fill material into special aquatic sites, unless waived by the district eng.; (e) no material is of a type or is placed in any location or manner, that will impair surface water flow; (f) no material is placed in a manner that will be eroded by normal or expected high flows; (g) the activity is not stream channelization BUILDING STRONG®
  41. 41. NWP-13 Bank Stabilization cont. PCN needed if the work; 1) is in a special aquatic site; or 2) is in excess of 500 LF; or 3) involves the discharge of greater than an average of one CY/ running foot along the bank below the plane of the ordinary high water mark or high tide line. BUILDING STRONG®
  42. 42. NWP-14 Linear Transportation Projects Activities req. for the construction, expansion, modification, or improvement of linear transportation projects (roads, highways, railways, trails, runways, and taxiways). Does not cause the loss of greater than ½ acre in waters of the US, and 1/3 acre in tidal waters. Stream channel modification and bank stabilization limited to the minimum amount necessary to protect the project and must be in the vicinity of the project. Authorizes wide range of temporary structures, fills, and work necessary to construct the project (coffer dams, access roads, etc). All temp fills must be removed and returned to pre-const. elevations. PCN at >1/10-acre impact and discharges into special aquatic sites BUILDING STRONG®
  43. 43. NWP-18 Minor Discharges Minor discharges of dredged or fill material into all waters of the US provided the activity meets all of the following criteria; (a) quantity of discharged material and the volume excavated does not exceed 25 CY below the plane of the OHWM; (b) will not cause the loss of more than 1/10 acre of waters of the US.; and (c) discharge is not placed for the purpose of stream diversion. PCN required if ; (1) the discharge or volume of the area excavated exceeds 10 CY below the OHWM or high tide line, or (2) the discharge is in a special aquatic site, including wetlands BUILDING STRONG®
  44. 44. NWP-27 Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement and maintenance Removal of accumulated sediments; installation, removal, of small water control structures, dikes, and berms and discharges of fill material to restore appropriate stream channel configurations, installation of current deflectors, in-stream habitat structures, removal of existing drainage structures, establishment of native vegetation, etc. BUILDING STRONG®
  45. 45. NWP-33 Temporary Construction, Access, and Dewatering Temporary structures, work, and discharges, necessary for construction activities or access fills or dewatering of construction sites, provided the associated primary activity is authorized by the USACE or CG. PCN must include a restoration plan (pcn req.) Good for projects that have already been authorized and now need additional access by the contractor BUILDING STRONG®
  46. 46. NWP- 39 Commercial and Institutional Developments Discharges into waters of the US for the construction or expansion of commercial and institutional building foundations and pads, including roads, parking lots, utility lines, storm water mgt. facilities and recreational facilities. Includes retail stores, restaurants, business parks, etc. Includes the construction of oil and gas well pads Not to exceed ½-acre loss of waters including the loss of no more than 300 LF of streambed, unless for intermittent and ephemeral stream beds this 300 LF is waived in writing (pcn req.). BUILDING STRONG®
  47. 47. NWP-42 Recreational Facilities Discharges into waters of the US for the construction or expansion of recreational facilities including playing fields (football fields, baseball fields), basketball courts, tennis courts, hiking and bike path, golf courses, horse paths and nature centers, support facilities (maintenance storage buildings, and stables), etc. Not to exceed ½-acre loss of waters including the loss of no more than 300 LF of streambed, unless for intermittent and ephemeral stream beds this 300 LF is waived in writing (pcn req.). 47 BUILDING STRONG®
  48. 48. NWP-43 Stormwater Mgt. Facilities Discharges into waters of the US for the construction of stormwater mgt. facilities, stormwater detention basins, retention basins and other stormwater mgt. facilities; the construction of water control structures, outfall structures and emergency spillway; and the construction of low impact development integrated mgt. features such as bio-retention facilities, veg. filter strips etc. Also includes the maintenance of stormwater facilities. Does not exceed ½-acre loss of waters including the loss of no more than 300 LF of streambed, unless for intermittent and ephemeral stream beds this 300 LF is waived in writing (pcn req.). 48 BUILDING STRONG®
  49. 49. Regional General Permits RGP-8 Boat Ramps and Minor Facilities-scope includes boat ramp construction and minor activities including boat docks, boathouses, boat stalls, piers, fish attractors RGP-11 Exploration and Production Wells -construction of drilling and production pads, reserve and mud pits, access roads, coffer dams and staging areas. BUILDING STRONG®
  50. 50. Letters of PermissionFor minor work that has no significant individual or cumulative environmentalimpact and no appreciable oppositionAbbreviated evaluation procedure ► Coordination with federal and state fish and wildlife agencies ► Public interest evaluation, but no public noticeLOP procedures may not have expiration datesTwo Section 404 LOP procedures currently in place in Texas (both statewide): LOP-1: Activities at Certain Reservoirs and Federal and State SponsoredProjects LOP-2: Excavation Activities BUILDING STRONG®
  51. 51. Standard Individual Permits When an activity cannot be authorized by general permit or LOP, a standard individual permit is required Must submit application form (Eng Form 4345) or template form with information about the proposed activity BUILDING STRONG®
  52. 52. Regulatory Individual Permit Process Flow ChartCorps receives application, OMBIL Regulatory PM reviews application Is the YES Does the project conducts an initial review Management (ORM) data for completeness, as application require coordination?and assigns it to a Project entered into database defined by Regulations complete? Manager (PM) 325.1(d)(10) NO NO YES NO Corps considers the PM receives a reply to PM writes a Request for application withdrawn the RAI Additional Information (RAI) within 15 days of receipt of application YES Any objections, adverse Compile coordination document (such as a Public Notice or Letter of comments or issues? Permission Coordination within 15 days of receipt of complete application) also compile Endangered Species Consultation, and/or Essential Fisheries Habitat Coordination, Historic Resource Coordination YES NO Public Hearing? PM compiles the decision recommendation document (such as the PM coordinates the Environmental Assessment – Statement of Finding document or the YES Nationwide Permit Memorandum For Record) for permit decision concerns/issues with the Have the concerns/issues applicant been resolved? NO DENY* ISSUE PM compiles a Can concerns/issues be YES Resolve the Recommendation and draft permit is recommendation for denial NO resolved through presented to management concerns/issuesof a Department of the Army additional coordination permit or project revisions? Re-write NO Does management accept the recommendation? Rewrite YESDoes management accept the NO *Denial could be recommendation? determined Permit issuance Permit denial appropriate without YES coordination Note: this flowchart is a very basic representation of the process; and, the process is affected by several exterior factors (ESA, etc) that add to, or alter it BUILDING STRONG®
  53. 53. Public Interest Review Factors Conservation  Navigation Economics  Shore Erosion and Accretion Aesthetics  Recreation General Environmental  Water Supply and Concerns Conservation Wetlands  Water Quality Historic Properties  Energy Needs Fish and Wildlife Values  Safety Flood Hazards  Food and Fiber Production Floodplain Values  Mineral Needs Land Use  Property Ownership 53 BUILDING STRONG®
  54. 54. CWA 404(b)(1) Guidelines Substantive Environmental Criteria • No discharge shall be permitted if there is a practicable alternative that would have less adverse impact on the aquatic ecosystem, so long as the alternative does not have other significant adverse environmental consequences (40 CFR 320.10) • LEDPA – Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative • Practicable in terms of cost, logistics & existing technology • FOCUS of our Guidelines analysis is impacts to aquatic resources/special aquatic sites 54 BUILDING STRONG®
  55. 55. Compensatory Mitigation Rule Published April 10, 2008, to improve the planning, implementation, and mgt. of mitigation projects Goal – level playing field (Mitigation Banks, permittee, ILFs) to the maximum extent practicable Performance Standards – ecologically-driven, equivalent/effective standards, best available science Compliance – increase compliance visits, establish enforceable success criteria, prescribed monitoring reports Mitigation Sequence Preserved - avoid, minimize, compensate for unavoidable impacts and lost aquatic functions Does not change when mitigation is required Does change where and how BUILDING STRONG®
  57. 57. Tips for Streamlining the Corps of Engineers Permitting Process AVOID, MINIMIZE, COMPENSATE – ensure that protection of the aquatic environment is integrated into your planning process to the maximum extent practicable Develop a good environmental assessment for every case Get to know the personnel in the district(s) you work with and become familiar with their procedures Think like the Corps and other natural resource agencies on protecting the aquatic environment Conduct pre-application coordination, when appropriate Read guidance/instructions carefully, CALL if you have questions BUILDING STRONG®
  58. 58. Tips for Streamlining the Corps of Engineers Permitting Process Provide detail commensurate with the complexity of the case, but always SHOW YOUR WORK Use straightforward, clearly-reproducible drawings with complete legends Check submittals for accuracy ► Consistency among sections, including figures, math More = Better? Not necessarily Make sure your submittals would be clear to an uninformed third-party (don’t make assumptions) Develop good well-thought-out plans, and follow them Seek the advice of a good environmental consultant, when appropriate BUILDING STRONG®
  59. 59. Questions? BUILDING STRONG®
  60. 60. Corps Regulatory Program Information National Regulatory Program Home Page: Permits.aspx Fort Worth District Regulatory Home Page: Fort Worth District (817) 886-1731 David Madden (817) 886-1741 Skipper Scott (817) 886-1742 Register to receive Regulatory Branch Public Notices: If this program assisted you, please help us improve our services by completing the survey on the following website: BUILDING STRONG®