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.
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.*