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United States Regulations
33 CFR PART 325—PROCESSING OF DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY PERMITS
Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters
PART 325—PROCESSING OF DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY PERMITS
Authority: 33 U.S.C. 401 et seq.; 33 U.S.C. 1344; 33 U.S.C. 1413.
Source: 51 FR 41236, Nov. 13, 1986, unless otherwise noted.
§ 325.1 Applications for permits.
(a) General. The processing procedures of this part apply to any Department of the Army (DA) permit. Special procedures and additional information are contained in 33 CFR parts 320 through 324, 327 and part 330. This part is arranged in the basic timing sequence used by the Corps of Engineers in processing applications for DA permits.
(b) Pre-application consultation for major applications. The district staff element having responsibility for administering, processing, and enforcing federal laws and regulations relating to the Corps of Engineers regulatory program shall be available to advise potential applicants of studies or other information foreseeably required for later federal action. The district engineer will establish local procedures and policies including appropriate publicity programs which will allow potential applicants to contact the district engineer or the regulatory staff element to request pre-application consultation. Upon receipt of such request, the district engineer will assure the conduct of an orderly process which may involve other staff elements and affected agencies (Federal, state, or local) and the public. This early process should be brief but thorough so that the potential applicant may begin to assess the viability of some of the more obvious potential alternatives in the application. The district engineer will endeavor, at this stage, to provide the potential applicant with all helpful information necessary in pursuing the application, including factors which the Corps must consider in its permit decision making process. Whenever the district engineer becomes aware of planning for work which may require a DA permit and which may involve the preparation of an environmental document, he shall contact the principals involved to advise them of the requirement for the permit(s) and the attendant public interest review including the development of an environmental document. Whenever a potential applicant indicates the intent to submit an application for work which may require the preparation of an environmental document, a single point of contact shall be designated within the district's regulatory staff to effectively coordinate the regulatory process, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures and all attendant reviews, meetings, hearings, and other actions, including the scoping process if appropriate, leading to a decision by the district engineer. Effort devoted to this process should be commensurate with the likelihood of a permit application actually being submitted to the Corps. The regulatory staff coordinator shall maintain an open relationship with each potential applicant or his consultants so as to assure that the potential applicant is fully aware of the substance (both quantitative and qualitative) of the data required by the district engineer for use in preparing an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement (EIS) in accordance with 33 CFR part 230, Appendix B.
(c) Application form. Applicants for all individual DA permits must use the standard application form (ENG Form 4345, OMB Approval No. OMB 49–R0420). Local variations of the application form for purposes of facilitating coordination with federal, state and local agencies may be used. The appropriate form may be obtained from the district office having jurisdiction over the waters in which the activity is proposed to be located. Certain activities have been authorized by general permits and do not require submission of an application form but may require a separate notification.
(d) Content of application. (1) The application must include a complete description of the proposed activity including necessary drawings, sketches, or plans sufficient for public notice (detailed engineering plans and specifications are not required); the location, purpose and need for the proposed activity; scheduling of the activity; the names and addresses of adjoining property owners; the location and dimensions of adjacent structures; and a list of authorizations required by other federal, interstate, state, or local agencies for the work, including all approvals received or denials already made. See §325.3 for information required to be in public notices. District and division engineers are not authorized to develop additional information forms but may request specific information on a case-by-case basis. (See §325.1(e)).
(2) All activities which the applicant plans to undertake which are reasonably related to the same project and for which a DA permit would be required should be included in the same permit application. District engineers should reject, as incomplete, any permit application which fails to comply with this requirement. For example, a permit application for a marina will include dredging required for access as well as any fill associated with construction of the marina.
(3) If the activity would involve dredging in navigable waters of the United States, the application must include a description of the type, composition and quantity of the material to be dredged, the method of dredging, and the site and plans for disposal of the dredged material.
(4) If the activity would include the discharge of dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States or the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of disposing of it in ocean waters the application must include the source of the material; the purpose of the discharge, a description of the type, composition and quantity of the material; the method of transportation and disposal of the material; and the location of the disposal site. Certification under section 401 of the Clean Water Act is required for such discharges into waters of the United States.
(5) If the activity would include the construction of a filled area or pile or float-supported platform the project description must include the use of, and specific structures to be erected on, the fill or platform.
(6) If the activity would involve the construction of an impoundment structure, the applicant may be required to demonstrate that the structure complies with established state dam safety criteria or that the structure has been designed by qualified persons and, in appropriate cases, independently reviewed (and modified as the review would indicate) by similiarly qualified persons. No specific design criteria are to be prescribed nor is an independent detailed engineering review to be made by the district engineer.
(7) Signature on application. The application must be signed by the person who desires to undertake the proposed activity (i.e., the applicant) or by a duly authorized agent. When the applicant is represented by an agent, that information will be included in the space provided on the application or by a separate written statement. The signature of the applicant or the agent will be an affirmation that the applicant possesses or will possess the requisite property interest to undertake the activity proposed in the application, except where the lands are under the control of the Corps of Engineers, in which cases the district engineer will coordinate the transfer of the real estate and the permit action. An application may include the activity of more than one owner provided the character of the activity of each owner is similar and in the same general area and each owner submits a statement designating the same agent.
(8) If the activity would involve the construction or placement of an artificial reef, as defined in 33 CFR 322.2(g), in the navigable waters of the United States or in the waters overlying the outer continental shelf, the application must include provisions for siting, constructing, monitoring, and managing the artificial reef.
(9) Complete application. An application will be determined to be complete when sufficient information is received to issue a public notice (See 33 CFR 325.1(d) and 325.3(a).) The issuance of a public notice will not be delayed to obtain information necessary to evaluate an application.
(e) Additional information. In addition to the information indicated in paragraph (d) of this section, the applicant will be required to furnish only such additional information as the district engineer deems essential to make a public interest determination including, where applicable, a determination of compliance with the section 404(b)(1) guidelines or ocean dumping criteria. Such additional information may include environmental data and information on alternate methods and sites as may be necessary for the preparation of the required environmental documentation.
(f) Fees. Fees are required for permits under section 404 of the Clean Water Act, section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended, and sections 9 and 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. A fee of $100.00 will be charged when the planned or ultimate purpose of the project is commercial or industrial in nature and is in support of operations that charge for the production, distribution or sale of goods or services. A $10.00 fee will be charged for permit applications when the proposed work is non-commercial in nature and would provide personal benefits that have no connection with a commercial enterprise. The final decision as to the basis for a fee (commercial vs. non-commercial) shall be solely the responsibility of the district engineer. No fee will be charged if the applicant withdraws the application at any time prior to issuance of the permit or if the permit is denied. Collection of the fee will be deferred until the proposed activity has been determined to be not contrary to the public interest. Multiple fees are not to be charged if more than one law is applicable. Any modification significant enough to require publication of a public notice will also require a fee. No fee will be assessed when a permit is transferred from one property owner to another. No fees will be charged for time extensions, general permits or letters of permission. Agencies or instrumentalities of federal, state or local governments will not be required to pay any fee in connection with permits.
§ 325.2 Processing of applications.
(a) Standard procedures. (1) When an application for a permit is received the district engineer shall immediately assign it a number for identification, acknowledge receipt thereof, and advise the applicant of the number assigned to it. He shall review the application for completeness, and if the application is incomplete, request from the applicant within 15 days of receipt of the application any additional information necessary for further processing.
(2) Within 15 days of receipt of an application the district engineer will either determine that the application is complete (see 33 CFR 325.1(d)(9) and issue a public notice as described in §325.3 of this part, unless specifically exempted by other provisions of this regulation or that it is incomplete and notify the applicant of the information necessary for a complete application. The district engineer will issue a supplemental, revised, or corrected public notice if in his view there is a change in the application data that would affect the public's review of the proposal.
(3) The district engineer will consider all comments received in response to the public notice in his subsequent actions on the permit application. Receipt of the comments will be acknowledged, if appropriate, and they will be made a part of the administrative record of the application. Comments received as form letters or petitions may be acknowledged as a group to the person or organization responsible for the form letter or petition. If comments relate to matters within the special expertise of another federal agency, the district engineer may seek the advice of that agency. If the district engineer determines, based on comments received, that he must have the views of the applicant on a particular issue to make a public interest determination, the applicant will be given the opportunity to furnish his views on such issue to the district engineer (see §325.2(d)(5)). At the earliest practicable time other substantive comments will be furnished to the applicant for his information and any views he may wish to offer. A summary of the comments, the actual letters or portions thereof, or representative comment letters may be furnished to the applicant. The applicant may voluntarily elect to contact objectors in an attempt to resolve objections but will not be required to do so. District engineers will ensure that all parties are informed that the Corps alone is responsible for reaching a decision on the merits of any application. The district engineer may also offer Corps regulatory staff to be present at meetings between applicants and objectors, where appropriate, to provide information on the process, to mediate differences, or to gather information to aid in the decision process. The district engineer should not delay processing of the application unless the applicant requests a reasonable delay, normally not to exceed 30 days, to provide additional information or comments.
(4) The district engineer will follow Appendix B of 33 CFR part 230 for environmental procedures and documentation required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. A decision on a permit application will require either an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement unless it is included within a categorical exclusion.
(5) The district engineer will also evaluate the application to determine the need for a public hearing pursuant to 33 CFR part 327.
(6) After all above actions have been completed, the district engineer will determine in accordance with the record and applicable regulations whether or not the permit should be issued. He shall prepare a statement of findings (SOF) or, where an EIS has been prepared, a record of decision (ROD), on all permit decisions. The SOF or ROD shall include the district engineer's views on the probable effect of the proposed work on the public interest including conformity with the guidelines published for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States (40 CFR part 230) or with the criteria for dumping of dredged material in ocean waters (40 CFR parts 220 to 229), if applicable, and the conclusions of the district engineer. The SOF or ROD shall be dated, signed, and included in the record prior to final action on the application. Where the district engineer has delegated authority to sign permits for and in his behalf, he may similarly delegate the signing of the SOF or ROD. If a district engineer makes a decision on a permit application which is contrary to state or local decisions (33 CFR 320.4(j) (2) & (4)), the district engineer will include in the decision document the significant national issues and explain how they are overriding in importance. If a permit is warranted, the district engineer will determine the special conditions, if any, and duration which should be incorporated into the permit. In accordance with the authorities specified in §325.8 of this part, the district engineer will take final action or forward the application with all pertinent comments, records, and studies, including the final EIS or environmental assessment, through channels to the official authorized to make the final decision. The report forwarding the application for decision will be in a format prescribed by the Chief of Engineers. District and division engineers will notify the applicant and interested federal and state agencies that the application has been forwarded to higher headquarters. The district or division engineer may, at his option, disclose his recommendation to the news media and other interested parties, with the caution that it is only a recommendation and not a final decision. Such disclosure is encouraged in permit cases which have become controversial and have been the subject of stories in the media or have generated strong public interest. In those cases where the application is forwarded for decision in the format prescribed by the Chief of Engineers, the report will serve as the SOF or ROD. District engineers will generally combine the SOF, environmental assessment, and findings of no significant impact (FONSI), 404(b)(1) guideline analysis, and/or the criteria for dumping of dredged material in ocean waters into a single document.
(7) If the final decision is to deny the permit, the applicant will be advised in writing of the reason(s) for denial. If the final decision is to issue the permit and a standard individual permit form will be used, the issuing official will forward the permit to the applicant for signature accepting the conditions of the permit. The permit is not valid until signed by the issuing official. Letters of permission require only the signature of the issuing official. Final action on the permit application is the signature on the letter notifying the applicant of the denial of the permit or signature of the issuing official on the authorizing document.
(8) The district engineer will publish monthly a list of permits issued or denied during the previous month. The list will identify each action by public notice number, name of applicant, and brief description of activity involved. It will also note that relevant environmental documents and the SOF's or ROD's are available upon written request and, where applicable, upon the payment of administrative fees. This list will be distributed to all persons who may have an interest in any of the public notices listed.
(9) Copies of permits will be furnished to other agencies in appropriate cases as follows:
(i) If the activity involves the construction of artificial islands, installations or other devices on the outer continental shelf, to the Director, Defense Mapping Agency, Hydrographic Center, Washington, DC 20390 Attention, Code NS12, and to the National Ocean Service, Office of Coast Survey, N/CS261, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910–3282.
(ii) If the activity involves the construction of structures to enhance fish propagation (e.g., fishing reefs) along the coasts of the United States, to the Defense Mapping Agency, Hydrographic Center and National Ocean Service as in paragraph (a)(9)(i) of this section and to the Director, Office of Marine Recreational Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington, DC 20235.
(iii) If the activity involves the erection of an aerial transmission line, submerged cable, or submerged pipeline across a navigable water of the United States, to the National Ocean Service, Office of Coast Survey, N/CS261, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910–3282.
(iv) If the activity is listed in paragraphs (a)(9) (i), (ii), or (iii) of this section, or involves the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it in ocean waters, to the appropriate District Commander, U.S. Coast Guard.
(b) Procedures for particular types of permit situations—(1) Section 401 Water Quality Certification. If the district engineer determines that water quality certification for the proposed activity is necessary under the provisions of section 401 of the Clean Water Act, he shall so notify the applicant and obtain from him or the certifying agency a copy of such certification.
(i) The public notice for such activity, which will contain a statement on certification requirements (see §325.3(a)(8)), will serve as the notification to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to section 401(a)(2) of the Clean Water Act. If EPA determines that the proposed discharge may affect the quality of the waters of any state other than the state in which the discharge will originate, it will so notify such other state, the district engineer, and the applicant. If such notice or a request for supplemental information is not received within 30 days of issuance of the public notice, the district engineer will assume EPA has made a negative determination with respect to section 401(a)(2). If EPA determines another state's waters may be affected, such state has 60 days from receipt of EPA's notice to determine if the proposed discharge will affect the quality of its waters so as to violate any water quality requirement in such state, to notify EPA and the district engineer in writing of its objection to permit issuance, and to request a public hearing. If such occurs, the district engineer will hold a public hearing in the objecting state. Except as stated below, the hearing will be conducted in accordance with 33 CFR part 327. The issues to be considered at the public hearing will be limited to water quality impacts. EPA will submit its evaluation and recommendations at the hearing with respect to the state's objection to permit issuance. Based upon the recommendations of the objecting state, EPA, and any additional evidence presented at the hearing, the district engineer will condition the permit, if issued, in such a manner as may be necessary to insure compliance with applicable water quality requirements. If the imposition of conditions cannot, in the district engineer's opinion, insure such compliance, he will deny the permit.
(ii) No permit will be granted until required certification has been obtained or has been waived. A waiver may be explicit, or will be deemed to occur if the certifying agency fails or refuses to act on a request for certification within sixty days after receipt of such a request unless the district engineer determines a shorter or longer period is reasonable for the state to act. In determining whether or not a waiver period has commenced or waiver has occurred, the district engineer will verify that the certifying agency has received a valid request for certification. If, however, special circumstances identified by the district engineer require that action on an application be taken within a more limited period of time, the district engineer shall determine a reasonable lesser period of time, advise the certifying agency of the need for action by a particular date, and that, if certification is not received by that date, it will be considered that the requirement for certification has been waived. Similarly, if it appears that circumstances may reasonably require a period of time longer than sixty days, the district engineer, based on information provided by the certifying agency, will determine a longer reasonable period of time, not to exceed one year, at which time a waiver will be deemed to occur.
(2) Coastal Zone Management Consistency. If the proposed activity is to be undertaken in a state operating under a coastal zone management program approved by the Secretary of Commerce pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Act (see 33 CFR 320.3(b)), the district engineer shall proceed as follows:
(i) If the applicant is a federal agency, and the application involves a federal activity in or affecting the coastal zone, the district engineer shall forward a copy of the public notice to the agency of the state responsible for reviewing the consistency of federal activities. The federal agency applicant shall be responsible for complying with the CZM Act's directive for ensuring that federal agency activities are undertaken in a manner which is consistent, to the maximum extent practicable, with approved CZM Programs. (See 15 CFR part 930.) If the state coastal zone agency objects to the proposed federal activity on the basis of its inconsistency with the state's approved CZM Program, the district engineer shall not make a final decision on the application until the disagreeing parties have had an opportunity to utilize the procedures specified by the CZM Act for resolving such disagreements.
(ii) If the applicant is not a federal agency and the application involves an activity affecting the coastal zone, the district engineer shall obtain from the applicant a certification that his proposed activity complies with and will be conducted in a manner that is consistent with the approved state CZM Program. Upon receipt of the certification, the district engineer will forward a copy of the public notice (which will include the applicant's certification statement) to the state coastal zone agency and request its concurrence or objection. If the state agency objects to the certification or issues a decision indicating that the proposed activity requires further review, the district engineer shall not issue the permit until the state concurs with the certification statement or the Secretary of Commerce determines that the proposed activity is consistent with the purposes of the CZM Act or is necessary in the interest of national security. If the state agency fails to concur or object to a certification statement within six months of the state agency's receipt of the certification statement, state agency concurrence with the certification statement shall be conclusively presumed. District engineers will seek agreements with state CZM agencies that the agency's failure to provide comments during the public notice comment period will be considered as a concurrence with the certification or waiver of the right to concur or non-concur.
(iii) If the applicant is requesting a permit for work on Indian reservation lands which are in the coastal zone, the district engineer shall treat the application in the same manner as prescribed for a Federal applicant in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section. However, if the applicant is requesting a permit on non-trust Indian lands, and the state CZM agency has decided to assert jurisdiction over such lands, the district engineer shall treat the application in the same manner as prescribed for a non-Federal applicant in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section.
(3) Historic Properties. If the proposed activity would involve any property listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, the district engineer will proceed in accordance with Corps National Historic Preservation Act implementing regulations.
(4) Activities Associated with Federal Projects. If the proposed activity would consist of the dredging of an access channel and/or berthing facility associated with an authorized federal navigation project, the activity will be included in the planning and coordination of the construction or maintenance of the federal project to the maximum extent feasible. Separate notice, hearing, and environmental documentation will not be required for activities so included and coordinated, and the public notice issued by the district engineer for these federal and associated non-federal activities will be the notice of intent to issue permits for those included non-federal dredging activities. The decision whether to issue or deny such a permit will be consistent with the decision on the federal project unless special considerations applicable to the proposed activity are identified. (See §322.5(c).)
(5) Endangered Species. Applications will be reviewed for the potential impact on threatened or endangered species pursuant to section 7 of the Endangered Species Act as amended. The district engineer will include a statement in the public notice of his current knowledge of endangered species based on his initial review of the application (see 33 CFR 325.2(a)(2)). If the district engineer determines that the proposed activity would not affect listed species or their critical habitat, he will include a statement to this effect in the public notice. If he finds the proposed activity may affect an endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat, he will initiate formal consultation procedures with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service. Public notices forwarded to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service will serve as the request for information on whether any listed or proposed to be listed endangered or threatened species may be present in the area which would be affected by the proposed activity, pursuant to section 7(c) of the Act. References, definitions, and consultation procedures are found in 50 CFR part 402.
(d) Timing of processing of applications. The district engineer will be guided by the following time limits for the indicated steps in the evaluation process:
(1) The public notice will be issued within 15 days of receipt of all information required to be submitted by the applicant in accordance with paragraph 325.1.(d) of this part.
(2) The comment period on the public notice should be for a reasonable period of time within which interested parties may express their views concerning the permit. The comment period should not be more than 30 days nor less than 15 days from the date of the notice. Before designating comment periods less than 30 days, the district engineer will consider: (i) Whether the proposal is routine or noncontroversial,
(ii) Mail time and need for comments from remote areas,
(iii) Comments from similar proposals, and
(iv) The need for a site visit. After considering the length of the original comment period, paragraphs (a)(2) (i) through (iv) of this section, and other pertinent factors, the district engineer may extend the comment period up to an additional 30 days if warranted.
(3) District engineers will decide on all applications not later than 60 days after receipt of a complete application, unless (i) precluded as a matter of law or procedures required by law (see below),
(ii) The case must be referred to higher authority (see §325.8 of this part),
(iii) The comment period is extended,
(iv) A timely submittal of information or comments is not received from the applicant,
(v) The processing is suspended at the request of the applicant, or
(vi) Information needed by the district engineer for a decision on the application cannot reasonably be obtained within the 60-day period. Once the cause for preventing the decision from being made within the normal 60-day period has been satisfied or eliminated, the 60-day clock will start running again from where it was suspended. For example, if the comment period is extended by 30 days, the district engineer will, absent other restraints, decide on the application within 90 days of receipt of a complete application. Certain laws (e.g., the Clean Water Act, the CZM Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Preservation of Historical and Archeological Data Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act) require procedures such as state or other federal agency certifications, public hearings, environmental impact statements, consultation, special studies, and testing which may prevent district engineers from being able to decide certain applications within 60 days.
(4) Once the district engineer has sufficient information to make his public interest determination, he should decide the permit application even though other agencies which may have regulatory jurisdiction have not yet granted their authorizations, except where such authorizations are, by federal law, a prerequisite to making a decision on the DA permit application. Permits granted prior to other (non-prerequisite) authorizations by other agencies should, where appropriate, be conditioned in such manner as to give those other authorities an opportunity to undertake their review without the applicant biasing such review by making substantial resource commitments on the basis of the DA permit. In unusual cases the district engineer may decide that due to the nature or scope of a specific proposal, it would be prudent to defer taking final action until another agency has acted on its authorization. In such cases, he may advise the other agency of his position on the DA permit while deferring his final decision.
(5) The applicant will be given a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days, to respond to requests of the district engineer. The district engineer may make such requests by certified letter and clearly inform the applicant that if he does not respond with the requested information or a justification why additional time is necessary, then his application will be considered withdrawn or a final decision will be made, whichever is appropriate. If additional time is requested, the district engineer will either grant the time, make a final decision, or consider the application as withdrawn.
(6) The time requirements in these regulations are in terms of calendar days rather than in terms of working days.
(e) Alternative procedures. Division and district engineers are authorized to use alternative procedures as follows:
(1) Letters of permission. Letters of permission are a type of permit issued through an abbreviated processing procedure which includes coordination with Federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, as required by the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and a public interest evaluation, but without the publishing of an individual public notice. The letter of permission will not be used to authorize the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it in ocean waters. Letters of permission may be used:
(i) In those cases subject to section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 when, in the opinion of the district engineer, the proposed work would be minor, would not have significant individual or cumulative impacts on environmental values, and should encounter no appreciable opposition.
(ii) In those cases subject to section 404 of the Clean Water Act after:
(A) The district engineer, through consultation with Federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, the Regional Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, the state water quality certifying agency, and, if appropriate, the state Coastal Zone Management Agency, develops a list of categories of activities proposed for authorization under LOP procedures;
(B) The district engineer issues a public notice advertising the proposed list and the LOP procedures, requesting comments and offering an opportunity for public hearing; and
(C) A 401 certification has been issued or waived and, if appropriate, CZM consistency concurrence obtained or presumed either on a generic or individual basis.
(2) Regional permits. Regional permits are a type of general permit as defined in 33 CFR 322.2(f) and 33 CFR 323.2(n). They may be issued by a division or district engineer after compliance with the other procedures of this regulation. After a regional permit has been issued, individual activities falling within those categories that are authorized by such regional permits do not have to be further authorized by the procedures of this regulation. The issuing authority will determine and add appropriate conditions to protect the public interest. When the issuing authority determines on a case-by-case basis that the concerns for the aquatic environment so indicate, he may exercise discretionary authority to override the regional permit and require an individual application and review. A regional permit may be revoked by the issuing authority if it is determined that it is contrary to the public interest provided the procedures of §325.7 of this part are followed. Following revocation, applications for future activities in areas covered by the regional permit shall be processed as applications for individual permits. No regional permit shall be issued for a period of more than five years.
(3) Joint procedures. Division and district engineers are authorized and encouraged to develop joint procedures with states and other Federal agencies with ongoing permit programs for activities also regulated by the Department of the Army. Such procedures may be substituted for the procedures in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5) of this section provided that the substantive requirements of those sections are maintained. Division and district engineers are also encouraged to develop management techniques such as joint agency review meetings to expedite the decision-making process. However, in doing so, the applicant's rights to a full public interest review and independent decision by the district or division engineer must be strictly observed.
(4) Emergency procedures. Division engineers are authorized to approve special processing procedures in emergency situations. An “emergency” is a situation which would result in an unacceptable hazard to life, a significant loss of property, or an immediate, unforeseen, and significant economic hardship if corrective action requiring a permit is not undertaken within a time period less than the normal time needed to process the application under standard procedures. In emergency situations, the district engineer will explain the circumstances and recommend special procedures to the division engineer who will instruct the district engineer as to further processing of the application. Even in an emergency situation, reasonable efforts will be made to receive comments from interested Federal, state, and local agencies and the affected public. Also, notice of any special procedures authorized and their rationale is to be appropriately published as soon as practicable.
[51 FR 41236, Nov. 13, 1986, as amended at 62 FR 26230, May 13, 1997]
§ 325.3 Public notice.
(a) General. The public notice is the primary method of advising all interested parties of the proposed activity for which a permit is sought and of soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impact on the public interest. The notice must, therefore, include sufficient information to give a clear understanding of the nature and magnitude of the activity to generate meaningful comment. The notice should include the following items of information:
(1) Applicable statutory authority or authorities;
(2) The name and address of the applicant;
(3) The name or title, address and telephone number of the Corps employee from whom additional information concerning the application may be obtained;
(4) The location of the proposed activity;
(5) A brief description of the proposed activity, its purpose and intended use, so as to provide sufficient information concerning the nature of the activity to generate meaningful comments, including a description of the type of structures, if any, to be erected on fills or pile or float-supported platforms, and a description of the type, composition, and quantity of materials to be discharged or disposed of in the ocean;
(6) A plan and elevation drawing showing the general and specific site location and character of all proposed activities, including the size relationship of the proposed structures to the size of the impacted waterway and depth of water in the area;
(7) If the proposed activity would occur in the territorial seas or ocean waters, a description of the activity's relationship to the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured;
(8) A list of other government authorizations obtained or requested by the applicant, including required certifications relative to water quality, coastal zone management, or marine sanctuaries;
(9) If appropriate, a statement that the activity is a categorical exclusion for purposes of NEPA (see paragraph 7 of Appendix B to 33 CFR part 230);
(10) A statement of the district engineer's current knowledge on historic properties;
(11) A statement of the district engineer's current knowledge on endangered species (see §325.2(b)(5));
(12) A statement(s) on evaluation factors (see §325.3(c));
(13) Any other available information which may assist interested parties in evaluating the likely impact of the proposed activity, if any, on factors affecting the public interest;
(14) The comment period based on §325.2(d)(2);
(15) A statement that any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in the notice, that a public hearing be held to consider the application. Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing;
(16) For non-federal applications in states with an approved CZM Plan, a statement on compliance with the approved Plan; and
(17) In addition, for section 103 (ocean dumping) activities:
(i) The specific location of the proposed disposal site and its physical boundaries;
(ii) A statement as to whether the proposed disposal site has been designated for use by the Administrator, EPA, pursuant to section 102(c) of the Act;
(iii) If the proposed disposal site has not been designated by the Administrator, EPA, a description of the characteristics of the proposed disposal site and an explanation as to why no previously designated disposal site is feasible;
(iv) A brief description of known dredged material discharges at the proposed disposal site;
(v) Existence and documented effects of other authorized disposals that have been made in the disposal area (e.g., heavy metal background reading and organic carbon content);
(vi) An estimate of the length of time during which disposal would continue at the proposed site; and
(vii) Information on the characteristics and composition of the dredged material.
(b) Public notice for general permits. District engineers will publish a public notice for all proposed regional general permits and for significant modifications to, or reissuance of, existing regional permits within their area of jurisdiction. Public notices for statewide regional permits may be issued jointly by the affected Corps districts. The notice will include all applicable information necessary to provide a clear understanding of the proposal. In addition, the notice will state the availability of information at the district office which reveals the Corps' provisional determination that the proposed activities comply with the requirements for issuance of general permits. District engineers will publish a public notice for nationwide permits in accordance with 33 CFR 330.4.
(c) Evaluation factors. A paragraph describing the various evaluation factors on which decisions are based shall be included in every public notice.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the following will be included:
“The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.”
(2) If the activity would involve the discharge of dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States or the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of disposing of it in ocean waters, the public notice shall also indicate that the evaluation of the inpact of the activity on the public interest will include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, (40 CFR part 230) or of the criteria established under authority of section 102(a) of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended (40 CFR parts 220 to 229), as appropriate. (See 33 CFR parts 323 and 324).
(3) In cases involving construction of artificial islands, installations and other devices on outer continental shelf lands which are under mineral lease from the Department of the Interior, the notice will contain the following statement: “The decision as to whether a permit will be issued will be based on an evaluation of the impact of the proposed work on navigation and national security.”
(d) Distribution of public notices. (1) Public notices will be distributed for posting in post offices or other appropriate public places in the vicinity of the site of the proposed work and will be sent to the applicant, to appropriate city and county officials, to adjoining property owners, to appropriate state agencies, to appropriate Indian Tribes or tribal representatives, to concerned Federal agencies, to local, regional and national shipping and other concerned business and conservation organizations, to appropriate River Basin Commissions, to appropriate state and areawide clearing houses as prescribed by OMB Circular A–95, to local news media and to any other interested party. Copies of public notices will be sent to all parties who have specifically requested copies of public notices, to the U.S. Senators and Representatives for the area where the work is to be performed, the field representative of the Secretary of the Interior, the Regional Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Regional Director of the National Park Service, the Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Regional Director of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the head of the state agency responsible for fish and wildlife resources, the State Historic Preservation Officer, and the District Commander, U.S. Coast Guard.
(2) In addition to the general distribution of public notices cited above, notices will be sent to other addressees in appropriate cases as follows:
(i) If the activity would involve structures or dredging along the shores of the seas or Great Lakes, to the Coastal Engineering Research Center, Washington, DC 20016.
(ii) If the activity would involve construction of fixed structures or artificial islands on the outer continental shelf or in the territorial seas, to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Installations, and Logistics (ASD(MI&L)), Washington, DC 20310; the Director, Defense Mapping Agency (Hydrographic Center) Washington, DC 20390, Attention, Code NS12; and the National Ocean Service, Office of Coast Survey, N/CS261, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910–3282, and to affected military installations and activities.
(iii) If the activity involves the construction of structures to enhance fish propagation (e.g., fishing reefs) along the coasts of the United States, to the Director, Office of Marine Recreational Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington, DC 20235.
(iv) If the activity involves the construction of structures which may affect aircraft operations or for purposes associated with seaplane operations, to the Regional Director of the Federal Aviation Administration.
(v) If the activity would be in connection with a foreign-trade zone, to the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230 and to the appropriate District Director of Customs as Resident Representative, Foreign-Trade Zones Board.
(3) It is presumed that all interested parties and agencies will wish to respond to public notices; therefore, a lack of response will be interpreted as meaning that there is no objection to the proposed project. A copy of the public notice with the list of the addresses to whom the notice was sent will be included in the record. If a question develops with respect to an activity for which another agency has responsibility and that other agency has not responded to the public notice, the district engineer may request its comments. Whenever a response to a public notice has been received from a member of Congress, either in behalf of a constitutent or himself, the district engineer will inform the member of Congress of the final decision.
(4) District engineers will update public notice mailing lists at least once every two years.
§ 325.4 Conditioning of permits.
(a) District engineers will add special conditions to Department of the Army permits when such conditions are necessary to satisfy legal requirements or to otherwise satisfy the public interest requirement. Permit conditions will be directly related to the impacts of the proposal, appropriate to the scope and degree of those impacts, and reasonably enforceable.
(1) Legal requirements which may be satisfied by means of Corps permit conditions include compliance with the 404(b)(1) guidelines, the EPA ocean dumping criteria, the Endangered Species Act, and requirements imposed by conditions on state section 401 water quality certifications.
(2) Where appropriate, the district engineer may take into account the existence of controls imposed under other federal, state, or local programs which would achieve the objective of the desired condition, or the existence of an enforceable agreement between the applicant and another party concerned with the resource in question, in determining whether a proposal complies with the 404(b)(1) guidelines, ocean dumping criteria, and other applicable statutes, and is not contrary to the public interest. In such cases, the Department of the Army permit will be conditioned to state that material changes in, or a failure to implement and enforce such program or agreement, will be grounds for modifying, suspending, or revoking the permit. (continued)
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