IMPORTANT NEWS!

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1. High submittal of requests: We are currently receiving a very high number of applications and jurisdictional determination requests, which has caused a longer response time for the Regulatory staff. Increased requests are a result of fluctuating lake levels in the Great Lakes, green energy initiatives (e.g. solar and wind development), increased commercial/residential development, recent regulation changes, and other factors.

2. Recent regulation changes: There have been several substantial regulation changes in the past 12-18 months, which have required significant time for staff to be trained and for certain regulatory processes to be modified. These process changes have resulted in additional workload/staff time, which has also resulted in a longer response time for Regulatory staff.

If you have not been contacted by a Corps of Engineers Project Manager regarding your request, and you would like to inquire regarding the project status, please look at the 'Check Permit Status' page [click here] and then if needed, please contact us using the appropriate email address [click here], or the project manager that has been assigned to your file. If your file has been assigned a number (ex. LRB-20XX-XXXX), please reference this number in your email.

Please note that early coordination makes the process easier for you! By contacting the Corps of Engineers early in your planning, we can help guide you and understand your project’s needs and identify potential challenges. This will help us to work towards the appropriate authorization in as timely a manner as possible. Pre-application meetings are encouraged, particularly for larger projects.

We appreciate your patience and understanding, as we work through these challenges to help you get the authorization you need to complete your project.

*Buffalo District Regulatory Branch*

Last Updated 11/9/2021

The Federal Register Notice for the 2020 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/02/2021-23891/national-wetland-plant-list

The NWPL provides plant species wetland indicator status ratings, which are used in determining whether the hydrophytic vegetation factor is met when conducting wetland delineations under the Clean Water Act and wetland determinations under the Wetland Conservation Provisions of the Food Security Act. Other applications of the NWPL include wetland restoration, establishment, and enhancement projects. The list is effective as of 2 November 2021 and will be used in any wetland delineations performed after this date. Completed wetland delineation/determination forms should reference the version of the NWPL used to complete the form.  The final NWPL is available at https://wetland-plants.sec.usace.army.mil/ (preferred browsers are Chrome and Firefox). 

 Consultant List within the USACE, Buffalo District Area of Responsibility - Click here for a list of consultants for environmental and engineering services that have requested listing. This list is not all inclusive. The Corps of Engineers provides this list as a service to the public.

The USACE Buffalo District has activated the Emergency Regional Permit for Allegany, Cayuga, Onondaga, Steuben and Yates Counties.  More information can be found at: https://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/New-York-Permit-Information/  Go to: Types of Permits, Regional General Permits, 99-000-1

On June 2, 2021, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will revise the “Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule” (2020 Rule) and initiate a series of stakeholder engagements on the upcoming rulemaking effort. A copy of the Federal Register notice is available at https://www.epa.gov/cwa-401. EPA is accepting written feedback through a docket for 60-days at Docket ID EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0302.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a document in the Federal Register of January 13, 2021, a final rule concerning the reissuance and modification of nationwide permits.  This document contains a correction to the rule.  This correction is effective May 20, 2021, and is applicable beginning March 15, 2021. Click here for more information.

Site Visits/Inspections (*UPDATE*) - Site visits and inspections have paused in both New York and Ohio, as we heed advisories from the New York and Ohio Departments of Health.  Site visits and inspections may be conducted on a case by case basis if deemed necessary, such as a high priority or emergency action.  In these instances, site visits and inspections will be limited to Corps staff.  If applicants, consultants or other agency staff must attend, participation will be limited to the minimum necessary and all CDC protocols will be required to protect our staff and you.  We continue to evaluate the ability to sign off on actions absent a site visit by using available in-house and on-line resources.  You can assist in this effort by ensuring all submittals are complete, e.g. all the information required in an application form is completed, data sheets for wetland determinations are thoroughly filled out, maps and drawings are included, etc.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during these challenging times. 

Buffalo District Regulatory Program

This message is to update you on temporary changes being made to Regulatory operations at the Buffalo District office and our Auburn, Stow and Oak Harbor Field Offices.  The US Army Corps of Engineers continues to operate under our telework plan and several changes to normal business operations remain in place.  As the COVID situation remains fluid impacts to Regulatory Program delivery are unavoidable but we continue to adapt as conditions change.  We recognize contact with applicants, stakeholders, other agencies, and the general public is required to successfully and efficiently deliver the program.  We are prepared to administer the program in a way that is protective of our employees, agency partners, stakeholders, applicants, consultants, the general public and all those with whom we interact.

The Buffalo District staff will minimize impacts to the continued delivery of Regulatory Program functions through the following actions. These actions are effective immediately and for an indefinite period of time.

Office Visits - The Buffalo. New York District Office, Auburn, New York, Stow, Ohio, and Oak Harbor, Ohio Field Office are closed to the public.  You may reach Regulatory staff at the respective offices by email or telephone at the contact information included at the end of this message.

Site Visits/Inspections (*UPDATE*) - Site visits and inspections have paused in both New York and Ohio, as we heed advisories from the New York and Ohio Departments of Health.  Site visits and inspections may be conducted on a case by case basis if deemed necessary, such as a high priority or emergency action.  In these instances, site visits and inspections will be limited to Corps staff.  If applicants, consultants or other agency staff must attend, participation will be limited to the minimum necessary and all CDC protocols will be required to protect our staff and you.  We continue to evaluate the ability to sign off on actions absent a site visit by using available in-house and on-line resources.  You can assist in this effort by ensuring all submittals are complete, e.g. all the information required in an application form is completed, data sheets for wetland determinations are thoroughly filled out, maps and drawings are included, etc.

New Submittals - We have created three email boxes specific to New York and Ohio, and Permit Compliance, Non-compliance and Unauthorized Activities.  All new submittals, where you are not already working with a Project Manager should be emailed to the following email boxes:

LRB.Ohio.RegActions@usace.army.mil for Ohio applications and submittals

LRB.NewYork.RegActions@usace.army.mil for New York applications and submittals

LRB.Regulatory.PermitCompliance@usace.army.mil for Alleged Violations, Compliance, or Non-compliance matters

For large files up to 8GB you should use https://safe.apps.mil/  DoD SAFE allows users the capability to securely send and receive large files, including files that are too large to be transmitted via email. If you using DoD SAFE you must send files to a Regulatory staff member.  If a Regulatory Project Manager has not yet been assigned to your file you should direct new submittals as follows:

Pending Actions:  If your request is currently under evaluation by a Regulatory Project Manager, we request you continue to submit electronic correspondence directly to the assigned Project Manager.  The subject line of the email should include the Corps-assigned project number (ORM Number) and/or project name and location.  We recognize that updates and having a timeline are important to you in planning your project. The following links will provide the status of Pending Permit Applications or finalized Jurisdictional Determinations: https://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Check-Permit-Status/

Note: Please consider file size limits when submitting information electronically.  Files larger than 5MB may need to be submitted into multiple files that are emailed separately or through use of DoD Safe.    

If electronic submission is not possible, hard copy submissions thru postal mail will continue to be accepted.  Hard copy should only be provided when electronic submissions are not possible.  There will be intermittent access to postal mail and therefore this will further delay receipt, internal distribution and handling of your submittal.  Further, precautionary internal mail handling procedures may be instituted to protect our workforce, which may result in longer than normal times to receive hard copy submissions.

Public Notices: Posting of Public Notices on our website will continue.  Mailing of hard copies of Public Notices may be interrupted or significantly delayed therefore interested parties are strongly encouraged to request to be added to our electronic mailing list to receive information in a timely and uninterrupted manner.  Please send a request to one of the email inboxes listed above.

The threat from CoVID-19 remains and we all must stay diligent to protect ourselves, our friends and family and our communities. I appreciate your understanding and patience as we all adapt to this new work environment and the changes we have implemented to protect everyone from the coronavirus while continuing to deliver the Regulatory program.

Regulatory staff continue to be available by email and telephone.  You may contact our office by phone using the following:

SENDING AN EMAIL TO:

LRB.Ohio.RegActions@usace.army.mil for Ohio applications and submittals

LRB.NewYork.RegActions@usace.army.mil for New York applications and submittals

LRB.Regulatory.PermitCompliance@usace.army.mil for Alleged Violations, Compliance, or Non-compliance matters

Buffalo District Office, Buffalo, New York: (716)879-4330

Auburn, NY Field Office: (716)879-4330 OR (315)255-8090

Oak Harbor, Oh Field Office: (716)879-4330 OR (419)898-3491

Stow, Oh Field Office: (716)879-4330 OR (330-923-8197)

Information regarding the Regulatory Program and permit applications is available on our webpage: https://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/

Everyone take care of yourself and stay well! 

Sincerely,

Diane Kozlowski

Chief, Buffalo District Regulatory Branch

Buffalo District Regulatory Program - Overview

The Department of the Army (DA) Regulatory Program is one of the oldest programs in the federal government. Initially, the Regulatory Division served a fairly simple, straightforward purpose: To protect and maintain the navigable capacity of the Nation's waters, under Section 10 of the River and Harbors Act of 1899. In 1972, the Clean Water Act (Act) was signed into law and the DA was directed to administer Section 404 of the Act, which regulates the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States. In 1977, the Corps of Engineers jurisdiction was increased to include wetlands as part of the Waters of the US.

The Regulatory Program is committed to protecting the Nation's aquatic resources and navigation capacity, while allowing reasonable development through fair and balanced decisions.  Buffalo District Regulators are dedicated to protecting New York and Ohio's federal waters while allowing reasonable and necessary development to move forward through evaluation of permit applications for essentially all construction activities that occur in the Nation's waters, including wetlands.

More Information

  Please submit new permit applications to the Buffalo District Office and use the Buffalo District office contact information for general questions and inquiries.  If you leave a message regarding general questions and inquiries, a Regulatory staff member will return your call as soon as possible; generally within 24 hours or the next business day. See APPLICATION SUBMITTAL DIRECTIONS on the Contact Us page

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