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Issuance of the 2017 State Programmatic General Permit (17-SPGP)

Posted: 4/11/2017

Expiration date: 5/11/2017


The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below: 

APPLICANT

Commonwealth of Virginia
C/o Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
 

The Norfolk District proposes the issuance of the 2017 State Programmatic General Permit (17-SPGP).  The 17-SPGP is proposed for use with residential, commercial, institutional and linear transportation projects that meet the requirements and general conditions as written in the proposed 17-SPGP permit authorization.  The 17-SPGP will be a modified version of and replace for the 12-SPGP-01 which is set to expire May 31, 2017. 

Concurrent with issuance of the 17-SPGP, the VDEQ has requested termination of the “Programmatic Agreement Among US. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District Regulatory Office, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia State Historic Preservation Office Regarding Implementation of the Norfolk District Corps of Engineers State Program General Permit and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act” (SPGP PA).   

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE SPGP PERMIT AUTHORIZATION:The list below contains the more substantial items that are proposed to be added or deleted, but is not inclusive of every change.  The proposed changes are intended to further expedite review of the permit application as well as expedite response to public inquiries while effectively applying Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

 

  1. The 17-SPGP-01 requirements have been changed so t the SPGP authorization can no longer be used on projects that will impacts waters, including wetlands, that are regulated pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. § 403).

  2. A fillable Complete Application Form has been included that list the required information necessary for considering the SPGP application complete.

  3. Clarification was made to the threshold language and the term waters so that it is consistent with the 2017 Nationwide permit changes.

  4. The exclusions language was deleted and a statement was added to allow the 17-SPGP to be used for activities that qualify for the 17-SPGP but are excluded from State VWP regulations.

  5. The language has been clarified to show that a Corps confirmed delineation (Preliminary JD) and/or Corps confirmed jurisdictional determination (Approved JD) is required for permit application.

  6. Language detailing the steps for federal coordination have been removed as these are more appropriately located in the 17-SPGP-01 Standard Operating Procedures.

  7. A General Condition regarding 408 coordination has been added.

  8. A minimum standard compensation ratio of 0.5:1 has been added for the permanent impacts/loss of open waters.

  9. The limits for linear transportation have been raised to ½ acre of waters for all impacts and a limit of 1,000 linear feet has been added for stream channel impacts.  Lateral encroachment is no longer considered differently than other impacts and therefore limits specifically referencing lateral encroachment have been removed.

  10. Time extension language has been removed as time extensions will not be granted.  New permit verifications will need to be obtained.

  11. The SPGP PA agreement is proposed for termination and Section 106 review and coordination will be completed by the Norfolk District.

AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. 

FEDERAL EVALUATION OF APPLICATION:  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.  The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources.  The benefits which reasonably may be expected from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All of the proposal's relevant factors will be considered, including conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use classification, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.  The Environmental Protection Agency's "Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material" will also be applied (Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act).   

The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of this proposed activity.  Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal.  To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above.  Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.  Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.  Anyone may request a public hearing to consider this permit application by writing to the District Commander within 30 days of the date of this notice, stating specific reasons for holding the public hearing.  The District Commander will then decide if a hearing should be held.

Preliminary review indicates that:  (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) ESA review will be done on an individual project basis and in accordance with the NAO ESA Project Review Process. (3) Section 106 review for properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places will be performed on an individual project basis and in accordance with the NAO Section 106 Project Review Process. 

For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended for projects located in Tidewater, the Norfolk District will be requesting review by DEQ-OEIR for concurrence or objection (the six-month consistency review clock begins when OEIR receives complete information to coordinate the review)  For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable policies of the VCP, contact the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review at (804) 698-4330 or e-mail: bettina.sullivan@deq.virginia.gov or john.fisher@deq.virginia.gov. 

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on the proposed issuance of the 17-SPGP should be in writing and can be sent by either email to anna.r.lawston@usace.army.mil, or by regular mail, addressed to the USACE Norfolk District, Warrenton Field Office (ATTN:  Anna Lawston), PO Box 578, Amissville, Virginia 20106, and should be received by the close of business on Thursday, May 11, 2017. 

PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY:  Comments and information, including the identity of the submitter, submitted in response to this Public Notice may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed at the discretion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.  

If you have any questions about the proposed 17-SPGP or the permit process, contact Ms. Anna Lawston by telephone at 540-764-4459 or email at anna.r.lawston@usace.army.mil.

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