January 20, 2023 - 2022 NWPL
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, is announcing the availability of the draft changes to the 2022 NWPL and its web address to solicit public comments. The public now has the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to wetland indicator status ratings for two plant species in the Arid West region. The Federal Register Notice (FRN) for the 2022 NWPL update can be found here: 2023-01026. The public comment period ends on 21 March 2023.
The two species and their draft 2022 wetland ratings by region, as well as the FRN, can also be viewed at the NWPL homepage, https://wetland-plants.sec.usace.army.mil/, under “2022 NWPL Update Information.” A link to provide general or species-specific comments is also available at this location. Users are encouraged to submit literature citations, herbaria records, experiential references, monitoring data, and other relevant information. Specific knowledge of, or studies related to, individual species are particularly helpful. Commenters should use their regional botanical and ecological expertise, field observations, reviews of the most recent indicator status information, appropriate botanical literature, floras, herbarium specimens with notation of habitat and associated species, habit data, relevant studies, and historic list information. Providing ratings without supporting documentation or information is not recommended. All submitted comments and information will be compiled and sent to the National Panel for their consideration.
USACE is also seeking comments regarding the NWPL update process and a proposed change to update the NWPL every three years, rather than the present every two years. Detailed information on the update process, protocol, and technical issues can be found in the following documents (available on the “NWPL Publications” web page referenced above):
- Lichvar, Robert W. and Minkin, Paul. Concepts and Procedures for Updating the National Wetland Plant List. Sept 2008. ERDC/CRREL TN-08-3
- Lichvar, Robert W. and Gillrich, Jennifer J. Final Protocol for Assigning Wetland Indicator Status Ratings during National Wetland Plant List Update. Sept 2011. ERDC/CRREL TN-11-1
USACE administers the NWPL for the United States and its territories. The NWPL provides plant species 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. Additions or deletions to the NWPL represent new records, range extensions, nomenclatural and taxonomic changes, and newly proposed species. The latest review process began in 2022 and included review by Regional Panels and the National Panel.
December 1, 2022-Interim Draft OHWM Manual
USACE and EPA announced the availability of the Interim Draft of the National Ordinary High Water Mark Field Delineation Manual for Rivers and Streams (National OHWM Manual) and its accompanying data sheet. A direct link to the announcement with a link to the public notice is available at: https://www.usace.army.mil/Media/Announcements/Article/3233308/1-december-2022-release-of-the-interim-draft-of-the-national-ordinary-high-wate/
November 3, 2022 - Corrections to the Maryland State Programmatic General Permit-6 (MDSPGP-6) Dated September 30, 2020
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District issued special public notice #21-39 on September 30, 2020, announcing issuance of the final Maryland State Programmatic General Permit-6 (MDSPGP-6) for a five-year period. In special public notice 22-31, the Baltimore District provided notice of corrections and clarifications to that final MDSPGP-6. These corrections and clarifications are effective immediately until the MDSPGP-6 expires on September 30, 2026, unless a decision is made to suspend or revoke the permit before that date.
August 23, 2022 - Virtual Nationwide USACE Regulatory Recruitment Event
Mark your calendars! Our Virtual Nationwide USACE Regulatory Recruitment Event will take place September 14 and 15. Prior to the event, recruiters and hiring managers will be reaching out to candidates to schedule interviews for 14-15 Sept. Early registration is highly encouraged in order to increase opportunities to have an interview invitation extended. Registration opens August 23, 2022 and closes September 13, 2022 at 1:00 pm EDT. To learn more, click on Regulatory Recruitment Flyer, Enterprise Regulatory Event Notice, and to register, visit: http://usace.yellogov.com/app/collect/event/k8A8gNs17u73pC2gEbKYpQ.
August 19, 2022 - Modification to Baltimore District's Water Quality Certification and Coastal Zone Management Act Regional Conditions in the State of Maryland for 16 Final 2021 Nationwide Permits 12, 21, 29, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 48, 50, 51, 52, 55, 56, 57, and 58 (86FR 2744)
The Baltimore District is announcing modifications to the Baltimore District’s regional condition II.H for the 16 final 2021 NWPs 12, 21, 29, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 48, 50, 51, 52 (activities in tidal navigable waters of the U.S.), 55, 56, 57, and 58 to incorporate the modified WQC and CZMA issued by the State of Maryland. Of these NWPs, NWPs 48, 55, and 56 are in effect within Maryland in the Baltimore District’s area of responsibility. NWP 52 is in effect in tidal navigable waters of the U.S. in Maryland, but suspended in nontidal waters and wetlands. In the Baltimore District, NWPs 12, 21, 29, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 50, 51, 57, and 58 are suspended in Maryland. Special Public Notice SPN-22-27.
August 12, 2022 – Invitation: USACE Section 408 External Listening Session Series
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers invites you to attend one or all of the listening sessions below to discuss and garner feedback on our Section 408 process. Your input will help us shape future improvements to the program. Feedback is particularly useful from those who have gone through or are currently going through the Section 408 approval process, so we can determine what is working and what is not. Sessions will include questions that focus on identifying best practices, challenges, and opportunities to improve consistency. This is an open forum and two-way dialogue is encouraged. For more information click here or go to the Section 408 webpage at https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Section408/.
January 5, 2022 - Vacatur of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a statement responding to the order from the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona to vacate and remand the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Read the full statement here for the Corps' response and important information on changes to the Regulatory permitting process.
November 2, 2021 - Updated National Wetland Plant List available in the Federal Register
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, is announcing the availability of the final 2020 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). 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).
September 1, 2021 - Special Public Notice - Public Information Announcement Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ida Storm Damage Repair
Winds, storm surge, and flooding from Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ida are currently projected in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania and threaten to result in severe flooding and other storm related damage. It is anticipated that owners of damaged property caused by Ida will want to conduct repair activities in the near future. A Public Notice has been posted at https://www.nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices/ to inform property owners of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) permit requirements for storm damage repairs proposed in the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania within the Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh District’s regulatory geographic boundaries, the District of Columbia, and certain military installations of northern Virginia (i.e., Fort Belvoir, Fort Myer, and the Pentagon).
The Corps has federal jurisdiction over activities that include dredging or construction in, over, under, or affecting navigable waters of the United States, certain excavation activities, and the placement of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States (including wetlands). Such activities may require a Department of the Army permit, in accordance with Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 320-332. Please note that waters of the United States include all navigable waters, rivers, perennial and intermittent streams, tributaries, drainage courses, lakes, ponds, impoundments, and wetlands, which meet applicable federal criteria, regardless of their size.
July 30, 2021 – EPA and Army Announce Next Steps for Crafting Enduring Definition of Waters of the United States
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) have announced plans for upcoming community engagements to inform their efforts to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). EPA and Army have stated a commitment to developing a reasonable, effective, and durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries.
EPA and Army are announcing a series of engagement opportunities, including an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide written recommendations and a series of public meetings in August to hear perspectives on the rulemaking. In addition, the agencies are initiating Federalism and Tribal consultations for the foundational rule. The agencies also intend to host a series of dialogues with state and Tribal co-regulators this fall to discuss both rulemakings.
The full announcement can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-and-army-announce-next-steps-crafting-enduring-definition-waters-united-states.
For more information on submitting written recommendations or to register for the public meetings, see www.epa.gov/wotus.
June 25, 2021 – Issuance of the Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit – 6.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh Districts announced the issuance of the Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit (PASPGP-6) on June 25, 2021. PASPGP-6 will be effective July 1, 2021, expires June 30, 2026, and replaces the PASPGP-5 streamlined review process in Pennsylvania, which expires on June 30, 2021. View the Public Notice or the full PASPGP-6.
June 9, 2021 - EPA and Army Statement of Intent to Revise the Definition of Waters of the United States
On 9 June 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army announced their intent to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth. The EPA/Army press release can be accessed here: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-army-announce-intent-revise-definition-wotus. Further details of the agencies’ plans, including opportunity for public participation can be accessed at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus/public-outreach-and-stakeholder-engagement-activities-forthcoming. For any questions, or additional information regarding either the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) or WOTUS Rulemaking, see the EPA/Army website (https://www.epa.gov/wotus).
March 5, 2021 - Announcement of Regional Conditions for 16 of the 2021 Nationwide Permits
On March 5, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, announced the Regional Conditions for 16 of the 2021 Nationwide Permits announced earlier this year. View the Public Notice along with the Regional Conditions for Maryland, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.
January 13, 2021 - Reissuance of 12 Nationwide Permits
On January 13, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published a final rule in the Federal Register (86 FR 2744) announcing the reissuance of 12 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and four new NWPs, as well as the reissuance of NWP general conditions and definitions with some modifications. These 16 NWPs will go into effect on March 15, 2021, and will expire on March 14, 2026. View the Public Notice of the reissuance announcement, including the full list of new and reissued Nationwide Permits.