US Army Corps of Engineers
Buffalo District Website

Nationwide Permits

Nationwide Permit Information

NATIONWIDE PERMITS (NWP) Background:  Under Section 404(e) of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) can issue general permits to authorize activities that have only minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. General permits can be issued for a period of no more than five years. A nationwide permit (NWP) is a general permit that authorizes activities across the country, unless a district or division commander revokes the nationwide permit in a state or other geographic region. The nationwide permits authorize approximately 40,000 reported activities per year, as well as approximately 30,000 activities that do not require reporting to USACE districts. These permits provide expedited review of projects that have minimal impact on the aquatic environment. There are 52 nationwide permits, and they authorize a wide variety of activities. Categories of activities that may be covered under these NWPs include linear transportation projects, bank stabilization activities, residential development, commercial and industrial developments, aids to navigation and certain maintenance activities.

USACE Division Engineers may add, after public review and consultation, regional conditions (RC) to nationwide permits in order to protect local aquatic ecosystems such as fens or bottomland hardwoods, or to minimize adverse effects on fish or shellfish spawning, wildlife nesting or other ecologically critical areas.  In addition, the NWP require issuance of Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) and Coastal Consistency Determination (CZM) by the designated state agencies.

These permits are valid only if the conditions applicable to the permits are met, including RC, WQC & CZM. If the conditions cannot be met, then a regional or individual permit will be required.  

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced on January 6, 2017 the revised and renewed NWPs for work in streams, wetlands and other waters of the United States under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.  The new NWPs take effect March 19, 2017, and replace the 2012 NWPs, which expire on March 18, 2017.  More information is available here.

NEWS:

May 20, 2021-  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.

January 5, 2021**Updated January 15, 2021 - USACE announced today that it reissued 12 and issued four new nationwide permits for work in wetlands and other waters that are regulated by Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the coming weeks. The pre-publication version of the final rule is available at https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Nationwide-Permits/.  Click here to read the public notice, dated January 13, 2021.

29 September 2020 - the New York and Buffalo Districts issued a Joint Public Notice announcing the proposed regional conditions currently under consideration for the state of New York. The Districts are seeking comments on the proposed regional conditions and are seeking comments on the need for additional regional conditions to help ensure that the adverse environmental effects of activities authorized by the proposed NWPs are no more than minimal, individually and cumulatively. Click here to view the Public Notice. *Interested parties are requested to express their views, in writing, by following instructions provided in the public notice.*

 

Nationwide Permits by State

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2017 NWP Regional Conditions: On March 17, 2017 the final Regional Conditions for the State of New York were approved by the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Engineer (LRD), effective on March 19, 2017.  On March 21, 2017,  the Buffalo and New York Districts issued a joint public notice (PN) announcing the final Regional Conditions, Water Quality Certification and Coastal Consistency Determination for the 2017 NWP in the State of NY. Click HERE to view the PN.  To view the new Regional Conditions only, click HERE.

2017 NWP Water Quality Certification: The Final Water Quality Certification (WQC) for the 2017 NWP in NY State was issued on March 7, 2017 by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Click HERE to view.

 

2017 NWP Coastal Consistency Determination: The Final Coastal Consistency Determination for the 2017 NWP in NY State was issued on March 17, 2017 by the NYS Department of State. Click HERE to view.

 

Activities Authorized By 2017 Nationwide Permits for New York

1. Aids to Navigation

2. Structures in Artificial Canals

3. Maintenance

4. Fish and Wildlife Harvesting, Enhancement, and Attraction Devices and Activities

5. Scientific Measurement Devices

6. Survey Activities

7. Outfall Structures and Associated Intake Structures

8. Oil and Gas Structures on the Outer Continental Shelf

9. Structures in Fleeting and Anchorage Areas

10. Mooring Buoys

11. Temporary Recreational Structures

12. Utility Line Activities - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits

13. Bank Stabilization

14. Linear Transportation Projects

15. U.S. Coast Guard Approved Bridges

16. Return Water From Upland  Contained Disposal Areas 

17. Hydropower Projects

18. Minor Discharges

19. Minor Dredging

20. Response Operations for Oil and Hazardous Substances

21. Surface Coal Mining Activities - see 2021  NY Nationwide permits

22. Removal of Vessels

23. Approved Categorical Exclusions

24. Indian Tribe or State Administered Section 404 Programs

25. Structural Discharges

26. [Reserved]

27. Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement Activities

28. Modifications of Existing Marinas

29. Residential Developments - see 2021  NY Nationwide permits

30. Moist Soil Management for Wildlife

31. Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Facilities

32. Completed Enforcement Actions

33. Temporary Construction, Access, and Dewatering 

34. Cranberry Production Activities 

35. Maintenance Dredging of Existing Basins

36. Boat Ramps 

37. Emergency Watershed Protection and Rehabilitation 

38. Cleanup of Hazardous and Toxic Waste 

39. Commercial and Institutional Developments - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits.

40. Agricultural Activities - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits

41. Reshaping Existing Drainage Ditches 

42. Recreational Facilities - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits

43. Stormwater Management Facilities - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits

44. Mining Activities - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits

45. Repair of Uplands Damaged by Discrete Events

46. Discharges in Ditches

47. [Reserved]

48. Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits

49. Coal Remining Activities

50. Underground Coal Mining Activities - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits

51. Land-Based Renewable Energy  Generation Facilities - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits

52. Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects - see 2021 NY Nationwide permits

53. Removal of Low-Head Dams

54. Living Shorelines

 

2017 NWP Regional Conditions: On March 21, 2017 the Buffalo, Huntington & Pittsburgh Districts issued a joint public notice (PN) announcing the final Regional Conditions, Water Quality Certification and Coastal Consistency Determination for the 2017 NWP in the State of Ohio. Click HERE to view the PN.

 

Activities Authorized By 2017 Nationwide Permits for Ohio

1. Aids to Navigation

2. Structures in Artificial Canals

3. Maintenance

 

4. Fish and Wildlife Harvesting, Enhancement, and Attraction Devices and Activities

 

5. Scientific Measurement Devices

 

6. Survey Activities

 

7. Outfall Structures and Associated Intake Structures

 

8. Oil and Gas Structures on the Outer Continental Shelf

 

9. Structures in Fleeting and Anchorage Areas

 

10. Mooring Buoys

11. Temporary Recreational Structures

 

12. Utility Line Activities - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

13. Bank Stabilization

 

14. Linear Transportation Projects

 

15. U.S. Coast Guard Approved Bridges

 

16. Return Water From Upland Contained Disposal Areas

 

17. Hydropower Projects

18. Minor Discharges           

 

19. Minor Dredging

 

20. Response Operations for Oil or Hazardous Substances

 

21. Surface Coal Mining Activities - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

22. Removal of Vessels

 

23. Approved Categorical Exclusions

 

24. Indian Tribe or State Administered Section 404 Programs

 

25. Structural Discharges

 

26. [Reserved]

 

27. Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement Activities

 

28. Modifications of Existing Marinas

29. Residential Developments - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

30. Moist Soil Management for Wildlife

31. Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Facilities

 

32. Completed Enforcement Actions

 

33. Temporary Construction, Access, and Dewatering

 

34. Cranberry Production Activities

 

35. Maintenance Dredging of Existing Basins

 

36. Boat Ramps

 

37. Emergency Watershed Protection and Rehabilitation

 

38. Cleanup of Hazardous and Toxic Waste

 

39. Commercial and Institutional Developments - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

40. Agricultural Activities - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

41. Reshaping Existing Drainage Ditches

 

42. Recreational Facilities - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

43. Stormwater Management Facilities - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

44. Mining Activities - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

45. Repair of Uplands Damaged by Discrete Events

 

46. Discharges in Ditches (Revoked)

 

47. [Reserved]

 

48. Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

49. Coal Remining Activities

 

50. Underground Coal Mining Activities - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

51. Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

52. Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects (Revoked) - see 2021 OH Nationwide permits

 

53. Removal of Low-Head Dams

 

54. Living Shorelines

 

 

 

 

 

2021 NWP Regional Conditions: The final Regional Conditions for the State of New York for the 16 2021 NWPs were approved by the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Engineer (LRD) and North Atlantic Division (NAD), effective on March 15, 2021.  On March 8, 2021, the Buffalo and New York Districts issued a joint public notice (PN) announcing the final Regional Conditions, Water Quality Certification and Coastal Consistency Determination for the 2021 NWP in the State of NY. Click HERE to view the PN.  NOTE: there are 40 existing 2017 NWPs that were not reissued or modified by the January 13, 2021 final rule. Those 40 2017 NWPs, including associated WQC and CZM conditions, remain in effect until the Corps issues a final rule reissuing those NWPs or March 18, 2022, whichever comes first. Click HERE to view the details for 2017 NWPS still in effective in the state of New York.

2021 NWP Water Quality Certification (WQC): The WQC determinations and conditions have been incorporated into the NWP documents.  For projects where the WQC has been denied or that do not meet the general or special WQC conditions, the use of an NWP to authorize a discharge into waters of the United States is contingent upon obtaining an individual WQC or case-specific waiver from the respective agency or tribe.

On December 14, 2020, the Districts received the following final WQC determinations:

i.          New York State Department of Public Services (NYSDPS) denied WQCs for all Section 404 NWPs that may apply to activities undertaken pursuant to New York State Public Service Law (PSL) Article VII for activities that relate to the construction and operation of major natural gas or electric transmission facilities.

ii.          The New York State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (NYSORES) denied WQCs for all Section 404 NWPs that may apply to activities undertaken pursuant to New York State Executive Law Article 6, Section 94-C for activities that relate to the construction and operation of major renewable electric generating facilities.

iii.         The New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) denied the request for WQC for all Section 404 NWPs that may apply to activities undertaken pursuant to PSL Article 10 for new and repowered or modified major electric generating facilities of 25 megawatts or more.

iv.         The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), as the certifying agency for the seven federally recognized Indian Nations in New York (Cayuga Nation, Onondaga Nation, Oneida Nation of Indians, Seneca Nation of Indians, Shinnecock Indian Nation, Tonawanda Seneca Nation, and Tuscarora Nation) denied WQC for all Section 404 NWPs occurring on these tribal lands.

On December 23, 2020, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe denied WQC for all applicable NWPs occurring on Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal land.

On December 18, 2020, the Districts received the final WQC determination from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for NWP activities not covered by the above determinations. See specific NWP for WQC determination and conditions.

2021 NWP Coastal Consistency Determination: The Final Coastal Consistency Determination (CZM) for the 2021 NWP in NY State was issued on December 11, 2020 by the NYS Department of State (NYSDOS). The CZM determinations and conditions have been incorporated into the NWP documents. For the 16 NWPs effective on March 15, 2021, the NYSDOS objected with the Corps’ consistency determination for these 16 NWPs anywhere in the New York coastal area. For projects where NYSDOS has objected to the Corps consistency determination, the use of an NWP to authorize an activity within New York State's coastal zone is contingent upon obtaining an individual CZM consistency determination or case-specific presumption of CZM concurrence from NYSDOS.

Activities Authorized By 2021 Nationwide Permits for New York
12. Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities 48. Commercial Shellfish Mariculture Activities
21. Surface Coal Mining Activities   50. Underground Coal Mining Activities
29. Residential Developments 51. Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities
39.  Commercial and Institutional Developments 52. Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects
40. Agricultural Activities 55. Seaweed Mariculture Activities
42. Recreational Facilities 56. Finfish Mariculture Activities
43. Stormwater Management Facilities 57. Electric Utility Line and Telecommunications Activities
44. Mining Activities 58. Utility Line Activities for Water and Other Substances