Standard Individual Permits

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 Typical Permit Process
    1.  Pre-Application Meeting (optional) 
    2.  Applicant submits Joint Aquatic Resource Permits Application (JARPA) form. 
    3.  Application received and assigned identification number 
    4.  Public notice issued (within 15 days of receiving all information) 
    5.  15 to 30 day comment period depending upon nature of activity) 
    6.  Proposal is reviewed by Corps and: 
            •  Public 
            • Special interest groups
            •  Local agencies
            •  State agencies
            •  Federal agencies
    7.  Corps considers all comments. 
    8.  Other Federal agencies consulted, if appropriate. 
    9.  District Engineer may ask applicant to provide additional information. 
    10.  Public hearing held, if needed. 
    11.  District Engineer makes decision. 
    12.  Permit is issued, or permit is denied and applicant is advised of the reason(s).
 Pre-Application Meeting

A Pre-Application Meeting is one or more meetings between members of the Corps of Engineer's staff and an applicant and their agent or consultant. Other agency representatives may include the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington State Department of Ecology, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and/or local agency representatives. A pre-application meeting is usually related to applications for major activities and may involve discussion of alternatives, environmental documents, National Environmental Policy Act procedures, and development of the scope of the data required when an environmental impact statement is required. You are encouraged to contact the Corps of Engineers to attend a pre-application meeting for proposed work in waters in your area. By discussing project information prior to application submittal, your application should be processed more efficiently. The Seattle District holds a pre-application meeting on the second Wednesday of every month. You must notify the Corps approximately 30 days in advance that you would like to attend the monthly pre-application meeting. If no one requests to attend the pre-application meeting, the meeting will be cancelled.


    •  Limit the number of people in your presentation group to as few as necessary. 
    •  Inform the Corps in advance if you will be bringing an attorney. 
    •  Inform the Corps in advance if you will have more than four people in your group, or if you will require special equipment of any kind. 
    •  The applicant should bring an accurate wetland delineation to the pre-application meeting if it is applicable to the project being considered. 
    •  The purpose of the pre-application meeting is to allow the attending agencies to provide input that may allow the applicant to gather information that, if included in the final project design, may expedite the permit process. It is not intended to be an opportunity for the applicant to "sell" the project to the attending agencies. Therefore, the applicant should limit the presentation of the project to no more than twenty minutes and allow the attending agencies at least forty minutes to provide feedback.

 Helpful Hints for the Permit Process
  1. Plan for the permitting process to take time. Processing time for individual permits ranges from 6 to 12 months, or longer depending on the complexity of the project. Plan the hiring of consultants and contractors accordingly. Do not start work until Corps approval has been received. Watch for conflicts in timing restrictions of other local, State or Federal permits.
  2.  Submit complete, detailed, and thorough information regarding the project. Processing time cannot begin until the Corps receives complete application information, including proper drawings. Drawings must be detailed enough to allow a compliance inspector to locate the project (detailed vicinity map) and easily determine and verify dimensions and position of the project.
  3. Apply for or obtain as many of the appropriate permits from other agencies. Processing time can be delayed because the Corps usually cannot make a final decision on issuance of the Department of the Army permit if a local or State permit is pending. Other permits typically required could include: Shorelines permit from the local government, Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) from the Washington State Departments of Fisheries or Wildlife, Water Quality Certification and Coastal Zone Management Consistency (CZM) from the Washington State Department of Ecology, and leasing rights of bottom lands from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
  4. Minimize the impact on the aquatic environment. Document your efforts in the process. For example, do you really need to develop 5 acres of wetlands? Instead, is it feasible to develop 1 to 2 acres of wetlands and 3 to 4 acres of uplands? Do you have to develop wetlands, would your project succeed if you developed 5 acres of uplands? Does your boat ramp have to be 50 feet wide? Can you use other materials besides pouring concrete onto the beach (possibly destroying fish habitat)? We will ask these types of questions in order to determine if the proposed project has the least possible impact on the aquatic environment.
  5. Provide detailed information regarding the existing environmental conditions, particularly in regards to threatened and endangered species. Because of the listing of several fish species as threatened and endangered, the Corps must address any potential impacts a project may have on fish, their habitat, and other threatened and endangered species (includes fish, wildlife, insects, and plants). This endangered species act coordination is required for all permit actions, including nationwide and regional permits. As part of this coordination, an environmental document (Biological Evaluation) may need to be prepared which describes potential impacts to these species.