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Unsure if you need a permit for your project?
The Corps holds a monthly Interagency Meeting on the second Thursday of every month for potential applicants to receive feedback on upcoming projects.
We invite representatives from local, state and federal agencies to attend so that they may hear a project presentation from the applicant and offer feedback on the project as proposed.
Prospective applicants can request that their project be included in the next interagency meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
More information can be found here: San Francisco District > Missions > Regulatory > Interagency Meetings (army.mil)
“Waters of the United States” is legally defined in section 40 CFR 230.3(s) of the Clean Water Act , as well as at 33 CFR Part 328 . However, this term is also used more generally to refer to all wetlands and surface waters considered to be jurisdictional under the USACE Regulatory program.
The term "fill" refers to material placed in waters of the U.S. in which the material has the effect of:
• Replacing any portion of a water of the U.S. with dry land; or Changing the bottom elevation of any portion of a water of the U.S.
Examples of such fill material can include, but are not limited to rock, sand, soil, clay, plastics, construction debris, wood chips, overburden from mining or other excavation activities, and materials used to create any structure or infrastructure in the waters of the United States.
Any person, firm, tribe or agency (including Federal, state, and local government agencies) planning to work in navigable waters of the United States, or discharge dredged or fill material in waters of the United States, including wetlands, must first obtain a permit from USACE Regulatory. Permits, licenses, variances, or similar authorization may also be required by other Federal, state and local statutes.
Wetlands are areas that are periodically or permanently inundated by surface or ground water and support vegetation adapted for life in saturated soil. Wetlands include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas. Caution: Most wetlands lack both standing water and waterlogged soils during at least part of the growing season.
To know if there are wetlands on your site/property, you should have a wetland delineation conducted. Completing a wetland delineation requires expertise and is typically done by a professional wetland scientist. You may hire a professional wetland scientist to delineate wetlands on your site/property. After the delineation is completed submit the report to USACE Regulatory and we will verify the accuracy of the wetland delineation.
Debris removal generally does not require USACE Regulatory involvement when conducted using these guidelines:
• Does not occur in a Navigable waterway.
• Do not use machinery in waters in a way that moves soil or other native material from one location to another along the substrate (for example, bulldozing or pushing/dragging material with an excavator bucket prior to scooping it out).
• Only conduct surface level vegetation or debris removal. Do not remove roots.
• Do not dig into the soil/sediment of a water’s bed or banks.
• Removed material must be placed/stored in uplands without return of material or drained water back into the waterbody.
Information on specific permits can be found here: CESPN Nationwide Permitting (army.mil)
Mitigation hierarchy: Avoidance -> minimization -> compensatory mitigation
Applicant must show that they’ve avoided and minimized impacts to waters of the US to the extent practicable before we will consider proposals for compensatory mitigation
All project proponents applying for individual 401 certification must request a pre-filing meeting request 30 days before submitting a 401 certification application.
Pre-certified and existing general water quality certifications do NOT need to complete this process.
Small Habitat Restoration - Notice of Intent (NOI) (https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/cwa401/docs/generalorders/shrpcert032713.pdf)
2021 Army Corps Nationwide permits 1, 3(a), 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 20, 22, 28, 32, 36, 54, 57 and 58
Army Corps Emergency RGP 5 projects (https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/cwa401/docs/RGP_5_Signed.pdf)
401 certification application should be submitted concurrently to the Corps and the 401 certifying agency.
Concurrent application should be sent to email@example.com
For more detailed information, here is the link to EPA website (https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401/overview-cwa-section-401-certification
Assigned Corps PM will review 401 water quality certification application for 9 items listed in 40 CFR Part 121 (https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-40/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-121)
1. identify the project proponent(s) and a point of contact;
2. identify the proposed project;
3. identify the applicable federal license or permit;
4. identify the location and nature of any potential discharge that may result from the proposed project and the location of receiving waters;
5. include a description of any methods and means proposed to monitor the discharge and the equipment or measures planned to treat, control, or manage the discharge;
6. include a list of all other federal, interstate, tribal, state, territorial, or local agency authorizations required for the proposed project, including all approvals or denials already received;
7. include documentation that a prefiling meeting request was submitted to the certifying authority at least 30 days prior to submitting the certification request;
8. contain the following statement: ‘The project proponent hereby certifies that all information contained herein is true, accurate, and complete, to the best of my knowledge and belief’; and
9. contain the following statement: ‘The project proponent hereby requests that the certifying authority review and take action on this CWA 401 certification request within the applicable reasonable period of time.
Once the Corps receives notification of 401 water quality certification application submission the Corps will acknowledge receipt of the 401 water quality certification and provide the reasonable period of time to the certifying agency.
Reasonable period of times have been established as follows:
60 days for NWPs,
90 days for SPs that do not require an EIS, and
180 days for SPs where the Corps is the lead agency under NEPA on an EIS.
*The certifying agency may ask for extension of the reasonable period of time.
If the certifying agency has not completed 401 water quality certification within the reasonable period of time – without an extension – the 401 water quality certification is assumed to be waived and the Corps can move forward with the permitting process.
PM will notify – in writing - the certifying authority and the project proponent of waiver.
Once the 401 water quality certification is complete and the Corps has a 404 application, the Corps will send the appropriate documents to EPA contact within 5 days for determination of potential effects to a neighboring jurisdiction.
This process must still be done for non- notifying permits. You must still get certifying action and neighboring jurisdiction determination for all non-notifying permits.
The Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 16-01 explains the differences between these two types of JDs and provides guidance on when an approved JD is required and when a landowner, permit applicant, or other “affected party” can decline to request and obtain an approved JD and elect to use a preliminary JD instead.