Public Announcement: Regulatory work days Available for Shellfish Applicants
11 January 2017
To assist applicants in completing applications and ensuring the Corps’ compliance with the programmatic ESA/MSA Biological Opinions, the Corps is holding a number of work days in local communities. Shellfish aquaculture applicants can make individual appointments to discuss their specific projects with regulatory staff at these work days. Please review this Public Announcement for details.
Endangered Species Act Coordination Complete for Shellfish Aquaculture Activities
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received Biological Opinions (BiOps) from the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to complete the Endangered Species Act Programmatic Consultation for Shellfish Aquaculture activities. The Corps is in the process of reviewing the BiOps.
Comments Received on NWS Proposed Regional Conditions for 2017 NWP 48
These comments were received during the Public Notice comment period (November 30, 2016 - January 6, 2017) for the proposed 2017 Nationwide Permit 48 Seattle District regional conditions.
Comments Received on NWS Proposed Regional Conditions for 2017 NWP
The following comments were received during the Public Notice comment period (June 20 - August 19, 2016) for the proposed 2017 Nationwide Permit Seattle District regional conditions.
Special Public Notice for 2017 Nationwide Permits Reissuance
On June 1, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published in the Federal Register its proposal to reissue the 50 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and issue two new NWPs.
Nationwide permits are general permits issued on a nationwide basis to streamline the authorization of activities that result in no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. Many of the proposed NWPs require notification to the district engineer before commencing those activities, to ensure that the activities authorized by those NWPs cause no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects.
Instructions for submitting comments are provided in our Special Public Notice.
Comments on the proposed NWPs described in the Federal Register are due by August 1, 2016.
EPA Releases On-Line Training: Aquatic Resource Awareness for Real Estate Appraisers
EPA recently released a new online training module titled "Aquatic Resource Awareness for Real Estate Appraisers" designed for licensed real estate appraisers and approved by the Appraisal Foundation. The goal of this course is to increase awareness of aquatic resources, including why and how they are protected under environmental laws, what signs to look for that might indicate their presence in the environment, and how they can be documented as part of an appraisal. After successful completion of this course, real estate appraisers should have a general awareness of aquatic resources and be able to accurately complete the portion of the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report form that deals with site conditions. Real Estate Appraisers will be provided an online, form-fillable Watershed Academy certificate after completion of a final exam in the course module which may be submitted to their respective state or national Appraisal Foundation for continuing education credits. This online module is posted at HERE; select Modules, then scroll to the bottom of the page.
Public Workshop on Mitigation Requirements and Meet & Greet Corps Regulators
The Corps held a workshop on Mitigation Requirements to inform the regulated public about mitigation requirements and processes. Please click HERE to view the PowerPoint presentation.
Pre-Publication of 2017 Nationwide Permits
In several weeks, the Corps will be publishing the Proposed 2017 Nationwide Permits in the Federal Register. Please visit the Corps headquarters website for more information.
Corps Halts Gateway Pacific Terminal Permitting Process
After careful consideration of all the information available to him, Seattle District Commander Col. John Buck has determined the potential impacts to the Lummi Nation’s usual and accustomed (U&A) fishing rights from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal are greater than de minimis. Because the district has determined the effects to the Lummi’s rights are more than de minimis and because the Lummi maintain their objections to this proposal, the project cannot be permitted by the Corps.
2016 Update to National Wetland Plant List (NWPL)
Federal agencies must use the 2016 NWPL on all new Jurisdictional Determinations after May 1, 2016. Any delineations underway with the field work conducted prior to May 1, 2016 utilizing the 2014 plant list will be accepted, please just reference which list was used in your documentation. Any subsequent revisions to a delineation will need to utilize the 2016 or most current list. The list is updated every two years.
One significant change on the 2016 list is the change of the indicator status for Himalayan blackberry which has changed from FACU to FAC. The NWPL can be found at http://wetland_plants.usace.army.mil. For a summary of the NWPL and this change please click HERE for more information.
Clean Water Rule Injunction
The Sixth Circuit issued an order staying the new Clean Water Rule nationwide, pending a determination by the court on jurisdiction to review the rule. Thus, the Clean Water Rule is stayed, and the prior 1986 regulations are in effect nationwide. USACE and EPA are evaluating the order and its implications for the litigation that is currently pending in district courts. In the meantime, USACE is not implementing the Clean Water Rule, and is using the 1986 regulations and applicable guidance (those in effect prior to August 28, 2015) in making jurisdictional determinations or taking other actions based on the definition of "waters of the United States".
A Hood Canal waterfront property owner pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to the federal felony offense in regards to his unlawful construction of a beachfront bulkhead. The unpermitted work resulted in the loss of sensitive salmon habitat that will require restoration. In addition to the criminal charge, the defendant agreed to pay $60,000 in civil penalties and $60,500 to the Hood Canal Coordinating Council for mitigation of salmon habitat to offset environmental impacts associated with construction of the bulkhead.
New Clean Water Rule published on June 29, 2015 will be effective on August 28, 2015. The Rule describes new processes to identify waters regulated under the Clean Water Act.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it received a final biological opinion from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries on the nationwide permits that were reissued on Feb. 13, 2012, and went into effect March 19, 2012.