US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

Nationwide Permit reissuance request for comment

Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Sept. 30, 2020
Expiration date: 11/16/2020

September 30, 2020
CENAO-WR-R

DISTRICT PUBLIC NOTICE – PROPOSAL NATIONWIDE PERMIT REISSUANCE REQUEST FOR COMMENTS

On September 15, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published in the Federal Register its proposal to reissue the 52 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and issue five new NWPs. 

Nationwide permits are general permits issued on a nationwide basis to streamline the authorization of activities that result in no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. Many of the proposed NWPs require notification to the district engineer before commencing those activities, to ensure that the activities authorized by those NWPs cause no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects.  

National Issues Concerning the Proposed NWPs: The Federal Register notice is the public’s opportunity to comment on the proposed NWPs, general conditions, and definitions.  Comments on national issues relating to these NWPs should be submitted to docket number COE-2020-0002 at www.regulations.gov, or by email to nationwidepermits2020@usace.army.mil or by mail to Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Directorate of Civil Works, ATTN: CECW-CO-R, 441 G Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20314-1000. Instructions for submitting comments are provided in the September 15, 2020 Federal Register notice. Comments on the proposed NWPs are due by November 16, 2020.

Regional Issues Concerning the Proposed NWPs, Including Regional Conditioning: Division engineers are authorized to add regional conditions specific to the needs and/or requirements of a particular region or state. Regional conditions are an important mechanism to help ensure that the adverse environmental effects of activities authorized by the NWPs are no more than minimal, both individually and cumulatively. Division engineers may also suspend or revoke specific NWPs in certain geographic areas (e.g., states or watersheds) or high-value aquatic systems where the adverse environmental effects caused by activities authorized by those NWPs may be more than minimal. An enclosure for this public notice (Enclosure 1) lists the proposed regional conditions currently under consideration by the North Atlantic Division for the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the military installations in Northern Virginia within Baltimore District’s Area of Responsibility (AOR). The Norfolk District is seeking comments on the proposed regional conditions and 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. Consistent with the NWP proposal, the Norfolk District is considering whether to modify the regional conditions that require pre-construction notification (PCN) by removing the notification requirement from Federal permittees, as specified in the following regional conditions: Part I-1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, Part II- NWP 5, NWP 12, NWP 23, NWP 27, NWP 53, NWP A, NWP B, NWP C, and NWP D.  If the PCN requirement is removed, the Federal agencies will be required to mitigate for all wetland losses that exceed 0.1 acres and/or 300 linear feet of stream, unless waived by the Norfolk District, as clarified in the proposed Regional Condition 9.  Unless otherwise noted, all proposed regional conditions listed on this enclosure are applicable for activities in Commonwealth of Virginia, including the military installations in Northern Virginia within Baltimore District’s Area of Responsibility (AOR). Comments on regional issues relating to the proposed NWPs and proposed regional conditions should be sent Norfolk District, Regulatory Branch at 803 Front Street, Norfolk, VA 23510; ATTN: Melissa Nash or to melissa.a.nash@usace.army.mil. Comments relating to regional conditions are due by November 16, 2020. Similar public notices proposing regional conditions in other regions or states are being published concurrently by other division or district offices. After the final NWPs are issued, the final regional conditions will be issued after they are approved by the Division Commander.

States, tribes, and other certifying authorities will make their Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification (WQC) decisions after reviewing the proposed NWPs. States will make their Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency determination decisions after reviewing the proposed NWPs.

Draft decision documents for each of the proposed NWPs, which include environmental documentation prepared for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act, have been written by Corps Headquarters. The decision documents will address compliance of the NWPs with the requirements for issuance under the Corps’ general permit authority. These draft decision documents, as well as the proposed NWPs, are available for viewing at www.regulations.gov, docket number COE-2020-0002. Final decision documents will be prepared for the NWPs that are issued. 

Enclosed (Enclosure 2) is an index of the proposed NWPs and conditions.  Anyone wishing to provide comments may obtain a full text copy of the NWPs through the Corps Home Page at https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Nationwide-Permits/, at www.regulations.gov in docket number COE-2020-0002, or at the following Federal Register address: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/15/2020-17116/proposal-to-reissue-and-modify-nationwide-permits

If you have any questions on regional issues relating to the proposed NWPs or the Norfolk District’s Regional Conditions, please contact Melissa Nash at (757) 201-7489 or by email at melissa.a.nash@usace.army.mil.

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.

ENCLOSURE 1

Norfolk District Proposed Regional Conditions for the2020 Nationwide Permits (NWPs) Applicable in Virginia (Including Northern Virginia Military Installations within Baltimore District’s Area of Responsibility)

I.   REGIONAL conditions applicable to all NWPs UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED:

  1. Waters Containing Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Beds:
    This condition applies to: NWPs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 44, 45, 48, 52, 53, 54, A, B, C and D.


    A pre-construction notification (PCN) is required if work will occur in areas that contain submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).  Information about SAV habitat can be found at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s website http://mobjack.vims.edu/sav/savwabmap/.  Additional avoidance and minimization measures, such as relocating a structure or time-of-year restrictions (TOYR), may be required to reduce impacts to SAV habitat.

  2.  Anadromous Fish Use Areas:
    Authorizations associated with the NWPs shall not adversely affect spawning habitat or a migratory pathway for anadromous fish. Areas of anadromous fish use are indicated on the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) information system at: http://vafwis.org/fwis/ . If a project is located within an area documented as an anadromous fish use area (confirmed or potential), all in-stream work is prohibited from occurring between February 15 through June 30 of any given year or other time of year restriction (TOYR) specified by the DWR and/or the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC). Should the Norfolk District determine that the work is minimal and no TOYR is needed, the District will initiate consultation with NOAA Fisheries Service for their concurrence. A TOYR is not required for dredging activities in the Elizabeth River upstream of the Mid-Town Tunnel on the main-stem and the West Norfolk Bridge (Route 164, Western Freeway) on the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River

  3. Designated Critical Resource Waters, which include National Estuarine Research Reserves

A PCN is required for work under NWPs 3, 8, 10, 13, 15, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 30, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38 and 54 in the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia.  This multi-site system along a salinity gradient of the York River includes Sweet Hall Marsh, Taskinas Creek, Catlett Islands, and Goodwin Islands.  More information can be found at: http://www.vims.edu/cbnerr/.   

NWPs 7, 12, 14, 16, 17, 21, 29, 31, 35, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44, 49, 50, 51, and 52 cannot be used to authorize the discharge of dredged or fill material  in the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia.

4. Federally Listed Threatened or Endangered Species and Designated Critical Habitat for Non-Federal Permittees

For ALL NWPs, a PCN is required for any project that may affect a federally listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has developed an online system that allows users to find information about sensitive resources that may occur within the vicinity of a proposed project. This system named “Information, Planning and Conservation System” (IPaC), is located at: http://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/ . The applicant may use IPaC to determine if any federally listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat may be affected by their proposed project.  If your Official Species List from IPaC identifies any federally listed threatened or endangered species, you are required to submit a PCN for the proposed activity, unless the project clearly does not impact a listed species or suitable habitat for the listed species.  If you are unsure about whether your project will impact federally listed threatened or endangered species, please submit a PCN, so the Norfolk District may review the action.  Further information about the Virginia Field Office “Project Review Process” may be found at:  http://www.fws.gov/northeast/virginiafield/endangered/projectreviews.html.

Additional consultation may also be required with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for species or critical habitat under their jurisdiction, including sea turtles, marine mammals, shortnose sturgeon, and Atlantic sturgeon.  For additional information about their jurisdiction in Virginia, please see https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/new-england-mid-atlantic/consultations/section-7-consultations-greater-atlantic-region .   

Additional resources to assist in determining compliance with this condition can be found on our webpage: http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/USFWS.aspx

5. Conditions for Designated Trout Waters

A PCN is required for work in Designated Trout Waters, as defined by the Virginia State Water Control Board and the DWR. The waters, occurring specifically within the mountains of Virginia, are within the following river basins:

  1. Potomac-Shenandoah River Basins
  2. James River Basin
  3. Roanoke River Basin
  4. New River Basin
  5. Tennessee and Big Sandy River Basins
  6. Rappahannock River Basin

Information on designated trout streams can be obtained via DWR’s Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service's (VAFWIS's) Cold Water Stream Survey database.  Basic access to the VAFWIS is available via http://vafwis.org/fwis/.

DWR recommends the following time-of-year restrictions (TOYRs) for any in-stream work within streams identified as wild trout waters in its Cold Water Stream Survey database. The recommended TOYRs for trout species are:

  • Brook Trout:            October 1 through March 31
  • Brown Trout:           October 1 through March 31
  • Rainbow Trout:        March 15 through May 15

This condition applies to the following counties and cities: Albemarle, Allegheny, Amherst, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Bristol, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Carroll, Clarke, Covington, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Franklin, Frederick, Giles, Grayson, Greene, Henry, Highland, Lee, Loudoun, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Page, Patrick, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Roanoke City, Roanoke Co., Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Staunton, Tazewell, Warren, Washington, Waynesboro, Wise, and Wythe.

Any discharge of dredged and/or fill material authorized by the NWPs, which would occur in the designated waterways or adjacent wetlands of the specified counties, requires a PCN to the appropriate Corps of Engineers field office, and written approval from that office prior to performing the work. The Norfolk District recommends that permittees first contact the applicable Norfolk District Field Office, found at this web link: http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Contacts.aspx, to determine if the PCN procedures would apply. 

6. Invasive Species

Plant species listed in the most current Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Invasive Alien Plant List shall not be used for re-vegetation for activities authorized by any NWP. The list of invasive plants in Virginia is found at:

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/invsppdflist.  DCR recommends the use of regional native species for re-vegetation as identified in the DCR Native Plants for Conservation, Restoration and Landscaping brochures for the coastal, piedmont and mountain regions http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/nativeplants#brochure also see the DCR native plant finder: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/native-plants-finder.

7. Countersinking Pipes and Culverts

This condition applies to: NWPs 3, 7, 12, 14, 17, 18, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 32, 33, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 49, 50, 51, 52, C and D.

NOTE:  COUNTERSINKING IS NOT REQUIRED IN TIDAL WATERS. However, replacement pipes/culverts in tidal waters must be installed with invert elevations no higher than the existing pipe/culvert invert elevation, and a new pipe/culvert must be installed with the invert no higher than the stream bottom elevation.

Based on consultation with DWR, the Norfolk District has determined that fish and other aquatic organisms are most likely present in any nontidal stream being crossed, in the absence of site-specific evidence to the contrary. The following conditions will apply in nontidal waters:

 a. All pipes and culverts placed in streams will be countersunk at both the inlet and outlet ends, unless indicated otherwise by the Norfolk District on a case-by-case basis (see below). Pipes that are 24” or less in diameter shall be countersunk 3” below the natural stream bottom. Pipes that are greater than 24” in diameter shall be countersunk 6” below the natural stream bottom. The countersinking requirement does not apply to bottomless pipes/culverts or pipe arches. All single pipes or culverts (with bottoms) shall be depressed (countersunk) below the natural streambed at both the inlet and outlet of the structure. In sets of multiple pipes or culverts (with bottoms) at least one pipe or culvert shall be depressed (countersunk) at both the inlet and outlet to convey low flows.

b. When countersinking culverts, permittees must ensure reestablishment of a surface water channel (within 15 days post construction) that allows for the movement of aquatic organisms and maintains the same hydrologic regime that was present pre-construction (i.e. the depth of surface water through the permit area should match the upstream and downstream depths).  This may require the addition of finer materials to choke the larger stone and/or placement of riprap to allow for a low flow channel.  

c. The requirement to countersink does not apply to extensions of existing pipes or culverts that are not countersunk, or to maintenance to pipes/culverts that does not involve replacing the pipe/culvert (such as repairing cracks, adding material to prevent/correct scour, etc.).

d. Floodplain pipes: The requirement to countersink does not apply to pipes or culverts that are being placed above ordinary high water, such as those placed to allow for floodplain flows. The placement of pipes above ordinary high water is not jurisdictional (provided no fill is discharged into wetlands).

e. Hydraulic opening: Pipes should be adequately sized to allow for the passage of ordinary high water with the countersinking and invert restrictions taken into account.

f. Pipes on bedrock or above existing utility lines: Different procedures will be followed for pipes or culverts to be placed on bedrock or above existing buried utility lines where it is not practicable to relocate the lines, depending on whether the work is for replacement of an existing pipe/culvert or a new pipe/culvert:

     i. Replacement of an existing pipe/culvert: Countersinking is not required provided the elevations of the inlet and outlet ends of the replacement pipe/culvert are no higher above the stream bottom than those of the existing pipe/culvert. Documentation (photographic or other evidence) must be maintained in the permittee’s records showing the bedrock condition and the existing inlet and outlet elevations.

      ii. A pipe/culvert is being placed in a new location: If the permittee determines that bedrock or an existing buried utility line that is not practicable to relocate prevents countersinking, they should evaluate the use of a bottomless pipe/culvert, bottomless utility vault, span (bridge) or other bottomless structure to cross the waterway, and also evaluate alternative locations for the new pipe/culvert that will allow for countersinking. If the permittee determines that neither a bottomless structure nor an alternative location is practicable, then a PCN is required.  The permittee must provide documentation of measures evaluated to minimize disruption of the movement of aquatic life as well as documentation of the cost, engineering factors, and site conditions that prohibit countersinking the pipe/culvert. Options that must be considered include partial countersinking (such as less than 3” of countersinking, or countersinking of one end of the pipe), and constructing stone step pools, low rock weirs downstream, or other measures to provide for the movement of aquatic organisms. PCN must also include photographs documenting site conditions. NOTE: Blasting of stream bottoms through the use of explosives is not acceptable as a means of providing for countersinking of pipes on bedrock.

g. Pipes on steep terrain: Pipes being placed on steep terrain (slope of 5% or greater) must be countersunk in accordance with the conditions above and will in most cases be non-reporting.  It is recommended that on slopes greater than 5%, a larger pipe than required be installed to allow for the passage of ordinary high water in order to increase the likelihood that natural velocities can be maintained. There may be situations where countersinking both the inlet and outlet may result in a slope in the pipe that results in flow velocities that cause excessive scour at the outlet and/or prohibit some fish movement. This type of situation could occur on the side of a mountain where falls and drop pools occur along a stream. Should this be the case, or should the permittee not want to countersink the pipe/culvert for other reasons, they must submit a PCN. The permittee must provide documentation of measures evaluated to minimize disruption of the movement of aquatic life as well as documentation of the cost, engineering factors, and site conditions that prohibit countersinking the pipe/culvert. The permittee should design the pipe to be placed at a slope as steep as stream characteristics allow, countersink the inlet 3-6”, and implement measures to minimize any disruption of fish movement. These measures can include constructing a stone step/pool structure, preferably using river rock/native stone rather than riprap, constructing low rock weirs to create a pool or pools, or other structures to allow for fish movements in both directions. Stone structures should be designed with sufficient-sized stone to prevent erosion or washout and should include keying-in as appropriate. These structures should be designed both to allow for fish passage and to minimize scour at the outlet. The quantities of fill discharged below ordinary high water necessary to comply with these requirements (i.e., the cubic yards of stone, riprap or other fill placed below the plane of ordinary high water) must be included in project totals.

h. Problems encountered during construction: When a pipe/culvert is being replaced, and the design calls for countersinking at both ends of the pipe/culvert, and during construction it is found that the streambed/banks are on bedrock, a utility line, or other documentable obstacle, then the permittee must stop work and contact the Norfolk District (contact by telephone and/or email is acceptable). The permittee must provide the Norfolk District with specific information concerning site conditions and limitations on countersinking. The Norfolk District will work with the permittee to determine an acceptable plan, taking into consideration the information provided by the permittee, but the permittee should recognize that the Norfolk District could determine that the work will not qualify for a NWP.

i. Emergency pipe replacements: In the case of an emergency situation, such as when a pipe/culvert washes out during a flood, a permittee is encouraged to countersink the replacement pipe at the time of replacement, in accordance with the conditions above. However, if conditions or timeframes do not allow for countersinking, then the pipe can be replaced as it was before the washout, but the permittee will have to come back and replace the pipe/culvert and countersink it in accordance with the guidance above.  In other words, the replacement of the washed out pipe is viewed as a temporary repair, and a countersunk replacement should be made at the earliest possible date. The Norfolk District must be notified of all pipes/culverts that are replaced without countersinking at the time that it occurs, even if it is an otherwise non-reporting activity, and must provide the permittee's planned schedule for installing a countersunk replacement (it is acceptable to submit such notification by email). The permittee should anticipate whether bedrock or steep terrain will limit countersinking, and if so, should follow the procedures outlined in (f) and/or (g) above.

8. Repair of Pipes

This condition applies to: NWPs 3, 7, 12, 14, 17, 18, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 32, 33, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 49, 50, 51, 52, C and D.

NOTE: COUNTERSINKING IS NOT REQUIRED IN TIDAL WATERS. However, replacement pipes/culverts in tidal waters must be installed with invert elevations no higher than the existing pipe/culvert invert elevation, and a new pipe/culvert must be installed with the invert no higher than the stream bottom elevation.

For Nontidal Waters: If any discharge of fill material will occur in conjunction with pipe maintenance, such as concrete being pumped over rebar into an existing deteriorated pipe for stabilization, then the following conditions apply:

a. If the existing pipe or multi-barrel array of pipes are NOT currently countersunk:

     i. As long as the inlet and outlet invert elevations of at least one pipe located in the low flow channel are not being altered, and provided that no concrete apron is being constructed, then the work may proceed under the NWP for the other pipes, provided it complies with all other NWP General Conditions. In such cases, a PCN is not required, unless specified in the Regional Conditions for other reasons, and the permittee may proceed with the work.

     ii. Otherwise, the permittee must submit a PCN prior to commencing the activity. For all such projects, the following information should be provided:

          1) Photographs of the existing inlet and outlet;
           2) A measurement of the degree to which the work will raise the invert elevations of both the inlet and outlet of the existing pipe;
           3) The reasons why other methods of pipe maintenance are not practicable (such as metal sleeves or a countersunk pipe replacement);
           4) A vicinity map showing the pipe locations.

The Norfolk District will assess all such pipe repair proposals in accordance with guidelines that can be found under “Pipe Repair Guidelines” at:

http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/GuidanceDocuments.aspx

     iii. If the Norfolk District determines that the work qualifies for the NWP, additional conditions will be placed on the verification.  Those conditions can be found at the web link above (in item ii).

     iv. If the Norfolk District determines that the work does NOT qualify for the NWP, the applicant will be directed to apply for either Regional Permit 01, applicable only for Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) projects or an Individual Permit. However, it is anticipated that the applicant will still be required to perform the work such that the waterway is not blocked or restricted to a greater degree than its current conditions.

b.  If the existing pipe or at least one pipe in the multi-barrel array of pipes IS countersunk and at least one pipe located in the low flow channel will continue to be countersunk, and no concrete aprons are proposed:

No PCN to the Norfolk District is required, unless specified in the Regional Conditions for other reasons, and the permittee may proceed with the work.

c.  If the existing pipe or at least one pipe in the multi-barrel array of pipes IS countersunk and no pipe will continue to be countersunk in the low flow channel:

This work cannot be performed under the NWPs. The permittee must apply for either a Regional Permit 01 (applicable only for VDOT projects) or an Individual Permit. However, it is anticipated that the permittee will still be required to perform the work such that the waterway is not blocked or restricted more so than its current conditions.

d.  In emergency situations, if conditions or timeframes do not allow for compliance with the procedure outlined herein, then the pipe can be temporarily repaired to the condition before the washout.  If the temporary repair would require a PCN by the above procedures, the permittee must submit the PCN at the earliest practicable date, but no longer than 15 days after the temporary repair.   

9.  Impacts Requiring a Compensatory Mitigation Plan

When a PCN is required, a compensatory mitigation plan must be submitted if the permanent loss of wetlands exceeds 1/10 acre and/or 300 linear feet of waters of the U.S., unless otherwise stated in the Regional Conditions (see Regional Condition 11 for Transportation Projects).  Federal permittees are required to mitigate for losses of wetlands greater than 1/10 acre and 300 linear feet of stream, unless otherwise waived by the Norfolk District.

10. Removal of Temporary Fills and Impacts

The soils of any temporarily impacted areas located in wetlands that are cleared, grubbed, and/or filled, must be restored once these areas are no longer needed for their authorized purpose, no later than completion of project construction, and not to exceed twelve (12) months after commencing the temporary impacts. To restore, temporary fill must be removed in its entirety and the affected areas returned to preconstruction elevations, the soil surface loosened by ripping or chisel plowing to a depth of 8-12”, and then seeded using native wetland species. See Regional Condition 6: Invasive Species for more information on vegetation recommendations.

Fill or dredged material in waters of the U.S. that is not removed within the 12-month period will be considered a permanent impact, unless otherwise determined by the Corps. This additional impact to waters of the U.S. may result in the Corps initiating a permit non-compliance action, which may include a restoration order, after-the-fact permitting, and/or compensatory mitigation.

11. Transportation Projects Funded in Part or in Total by Local, State or Federal Funds

For all impacts associated with transportation projects funded in part or in total by local, state or federal funds and requiring a PCN, compensatory mitigation will generally be required for all permanent wetland impacts (including impacts less than 1/10 acre).  Therefore, the PCN must include a compensatory mitigation plan.

12. Activities Affecting Structures or Works Built by the United States

If the NWP activity also requires permission from the Corps pursuant to 33 U.S.C. 408 because it will alter or temporarily or permanently occupy or use a Corps Federally authorized Civil Works project, the activity that requires section 408 permission is not authorized by the NWP until the appropriate Corps District office issues the section 408 permission to alter, occupy, or use the Corps Civil Works project, and the District Engineer issues a written NWP verification.

Contact a Norfolk District Regulatory Project Manager to assist in determining if your proposed activity might alter or temporarily or permanently occupy or use a Corps of Engineers Civil Works project.

Locations of Norfolk District Civil Works projects can be found at: http://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Portals/31/docs/regulatory/RPSPdocs/RP-17_Corps_Project_Maps.pdf

For projects located within the Civil Works boundary of the Baltimore, Huntington, Nashville or Wilmington District, please contact a Norfolk District Project Manager for assistance.

II. Regional Conditions Applicable To Specific NWPs:

NWP 5 - Scientific Measurement Devices Condition for Construction or Installation of Subaqueous Turbines: 

A PCN is required if a permittee proposes the construction or installation of subaqueous turbines because this work may have more than minimal impacts and the work will need to be coordinated with appropriate federal, state, and/or local agencies.

NWP 7 - Outfall Structures and Associated Intake Structures Conditions for Intakes in Anadromous Fish Waters:

        When an intake is proposed in designated anadromous fish waters, the following design parameters will be incorporated as permit conditions to protect the sensitive life stages of anadromous fish:

1. Screening over the mouth of the intake with mesh size that does not exceed 1mm;
2. Intake velocities that do not exceed 0.25 feet per second;
3. Intake must be positioned such that an unimpeded flow of water parallel to the screen surface occurs along the entire surface of the screen to take advantage of sweeping velocity.

NWP 10 - Mooring Buoys Conditions for Sufficient Mooring Depths:

  1. Water depths in the mooring areas should be sufficient that vessels moored float at all stages of the tide. 
  2. Boats should not hit bottom during low water conditions.  The swing radius of the vessel plus the mooring chain should not result in the vessel becoming an obstruction to navigation. 
  3. Use of this NWP is prohibited in and around SAV beds.  Information about SAV habitat can be found at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s website http://mobjack.vims.edu/sav/savwabmap/.

NWP 11 - Temporary Recreational Structures Conditions for Sufficient Mooring Depths:

  1. Water depths in the mooring areas should be sufficient that structures moored float at all stages of the tide or stoppers must be utilized to prevent the structures from resting on the bottom, so as to not damage the underlying benthic communities. 
  2. Structures should not hit bottom during low water conditions. 
  3. Use of this NWP is prohibited in and around SAV beds.  Information about SAV habitat can be found at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s website http://mobjack.vims.edu/sav/savwabmap/.  

NWP 12 - Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities Conditions Specific to NWP 12:

  1. Construction of access roads may not cause the loss of more than 1/3 acre of waters of the United States. 
  2. A PCN is required when the activity involves greater than 0.10 acre of mechanized land clearing in a forested wetland for the utility line right-of-way.
  3. For utility activities requiring a PCN the permittee shall provide the following information:
    a. A map of the entire utility corridor to assist with our completeness determination.  The map should include a delineation of all wetlands and waters of the United States within the corridor.  Aquatic resource information shall be submitted using the Cowardin Classification System mapping conventions (e.g. PFO, PEM, POW, etc.).
    b. An analysis of onsite minimization, which specifically addresses the following:
         i. Selection of an alignment which avoids and minimizes wetland and stream impacts to the maximum extent practicable.  The utility line should make a direct or perpendicular crossing of a stream.  Directional drilling should be reviewed as an option.  However, the Norfolk District recognizes that in certain areas (e.g. karst areas) directional drilling may not be the environmentally preferred option.  
         ii. Selection of an alignment which avoids fragmenting large tracts of forested wetlands by routing utility lines outside of forested tracts or on the edges of forested tracts. Consult the Virginia Conservation Vision, a GIS analysis for identifying and prioritizing areas of un-fragmented natural cover in Virginia http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/vaconvision.
         iii. Minimizing clearing of wetlands. Grubbing shall be limited to the permanent easement for underground utility lines.  Outside of the permanent easement, wetland vegetation shall only be removed at or above the ground surface unless written justification is provided, and the impacts are reviewed and approved by the Corps.
         iv. For buried utility lines, allowance of natural succession to restore the area to tree and scrub/shrub except for a 20-foot wide access corridor, to the maximum extent practicable.
    c. Compensatory mitigation may be required for permanent conversion of wetlands within the utility line corridor. 

4. For all submerged utility lines across navigable waters of the United States, a location map and cross-sectional view showing the utility line crossing from bank to bank is required.  In addition, the location and depth of any Federal Navigation Channels shall be shown in relation to the proposed utility line.  In general, all utility lines shall be buried at least six (6) feet below the authorized bottom depth of Federal Navigation Channel and at least three (3) feet below the bottom depth in all subaqueous areas.  When circumstances prevent the placement of at least three feet of cover over the line (outside of the Federal Navigation Channel), then written justification and an alternative method must be provided with the PCN and the deviation must be reviewed and approved by the Norfolk District.  Section 408 permission may be required (see Regional Condition 12 under Section I).

5. Whenever practicable, excavated material shall be placed on a Corps confirmed upland site, scow or barge. However, when this is not practicable, temporary stockpiling is authorized provided that:
     a. All excavated material stockpiled in a vegetated wetland area is placed on filter cloth, mats, or some other semi-permeable surface. The material will be stabilized with straw bales, filter cloth, etc. to prevent reentry into any waterway.
     b. All excavated material must be placed back into the trench to the original contour and all excess excavated material must be completely removed from the wetlands within 30 days after the pipeline has been laid through the wetland areas. Permission must be granted by the Norfolk District if the material is to be stockpiled longer than 30 days.

6. The applicant must receive written verification before performing the work when open-cut trenching, temporary stockpiling dredge material, or hydrostatic testing of a pipeline involving water withdrawals in designated anadromous fish use areas is proposed.  The Norfolk District will coordinate with NOAA and/or the DWR. In most cases, the following time-of-year restrictions (TOYRs) will apply:

  • James River, below Rt. 17 bridge: No TOYR.
  • James River, at Jamestown Island (Gray's Creek) downstream to Rt. 17 bridge: TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • James River, at Jamestown Island upstream to Bosher's Dam: TOYR from February 15 through June 30 of any given year.
  • James River, above Bosher's Dam (including Rivanna River):  TOYR from March 15 through June 30 of any given year.
  • Rappahannock River, below Route 360 bridge:  TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • York River, below Route 33 bridge:  TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • Nansemond River:  TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • Elizabeth River:  If dredging upstream of the Mid-Town Tunnel on the mainstem and the West Norfolk Bridge (Route 164, Western Freeway) on the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River, then a TOYR is not required. 
  • Unless otherwise noted: TOYR from February 15 through June 30 of any given year.

7. For utility lines landing in Virginia, from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the applicant shall send the PCN to the following federal agencies:
Director, Naval Seafloor Cable Protection Office Naval Facilities Engineering Command
1322 Patterson Ave SE, Suite 1000
Washington DC 20374

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
Atlantic OCS Region
1201 Elmwood Park Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70123-2394.
or utility line projects completed by horizontal directional drilling or other boring methods, include a plan to address the prevention, containment, and cleanup of sediment or other materials caused by inadvertent returns of drilling fluids to waters of the U.S. through sub-soil fissures or fractures with the PCN (if a PCN is required).  If an inadvertent return of drilling fluids to waters of the U.S. occurs, and the remediation requires work within waters of the U.S., then the applicant must notify the Corps immediately and submit a remediation plan as soon as possible, regardless of whether a PCN was required for the original work.

9. When an intake is proposed in designated anadromous fish waters, the following design parameters will be incorporated as permit conditions to protect the sensitive life stages of anadromous fish:
     a. Screening over the mouth of the intake with mesh size that does not exceed 1mm;
     b. Intake velocities that do not exceed 0.25 feet per second;
     c. Intake must be positioned such that an unimpeded flow of water parallel to the screen surface occurs along the entire surface of the screen to take advantage of sweeping velocity.

NWP 14-Linear Transportation Projects Restricted use of NWP 14 Linear Transportation Projects in Nontidal Waters

A portion of NWP 14 overlaps with the current State Program General Permit (SPGP-01); therefore, NWP 14 may not be used for projects impacting Section 404 only, nontidal waters of the United States, including wetlands, unless the Norfolk District determines that the SGPG-01 is not applicable.  NWP 14 may still be considered for projects impacting tidal waters of the United States, other nontidal, Section 10 waters of the United States and in the Northern Virginia Military Installations within Baltimore District’s Area of Responsibility. 

NWP 23 - Approved Categorical Exclusions Conditions Specific to NWP 23:

  1. The use of this NWP applies to an entire project addressed in the Categorical Exclusion prepared by another Federal agency.  This NWP cannot be used separately at individual crossings/impact areas of a single project.  However, multiple crossings/impact areas of a single project can be authorized by this NWP provided the combined impacts of all crossings/impact areas do not exceed the thresholds described below.  This NWP cannot be used in combination with other NWPs for a single project.
  2. Discharges from an entire project must not cause a combined permanent loss of greater than ½ acre of wetlands or 1,000 linear feet of stream.
  3. The permittee must submit a PCN if the project results in a discharge to a special aquatic sites, including wetlands, and/or results in combined impacts to more than 300 linear feet of streambed from the entire project.

  4. To ensure that permanent losses of waters of the United States do not result in more than minimal adverse effects to the aquatic environment, compensation will be required for all wetland impacts and for any single impact to a stream of greater than 300 linear feet.  For projects where the combined impacts to streams due to the entire project exceed 300 linear feet, but no single impact exceeds 300 linear feet, the Corps will determine on a case-by-case basis whether compensation for stream impacts is required.

NWP 27-Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement Activities

  1. For all projects proposing stream restoration, when a PCN is required, proponents must provide a completed Natural Channel Design Review Checklist and Selected Morphological Characteristics form, including the name and location of the reference reach, unless the district engineer waives this criterion by making a written determination concluding that the discharge will result in no more than minimal adverse environmental effects.  These forms and the associated manual can be located at:

    https://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/StreamReports/NCD%20Review%20Checklist/Natural%20Channel%20Design%20Checklist%20Doc%20V2%20Final%2011-4-11.pdf .

  2. Proponents must provide a monitoring plan to DEQ in accordance with the 401 certificate conditions for NWP 27.

  3. A PCN is required if the work authorized by this NWP is being conducted for the construction of a mitigation bank or in-lieu fee compensatory mitigation site and in conjunction with a mitigation banking instrument, in-lieu fee program instrument, or a modification to those instruments.
         a. The permittee must comply with all terms and conditions of the mitigation banking instrument/in-leu fee program instrument and modifications to those instruments if the permittee intends for the permitted activity to generate compensatory mitigation credits; and
         b. The verification of this NWP prior to execution of the mitigation banking instrument/in-leu fee program instrument or modifications to those instruments does not guarantee the approval of the use of any credits, generated from the permitted activities, for compensatory mitigation.

NWP 29-Residential Developments Restricted use of NWP 29 for Multiple Unit Residential Developments and Residential Subdivisions

NWP 29 overlaps with the current State Program General Permit (SPGP-01); therefore, NWP 29 may not be used to authorize multiple unit residential developments and residential subdivisions, unless the Norfolk District determines that the SGPG-01 is not applicable.  NWP 29 may still be used for a single residence and attendant features and in the Northern Virginia Military Installations within Baltimore District’s Area of Responsibility. 

NWP 39-Commercial and Institutional Developments

NWP 39 overlaps with the current State Program General Permit (SPGP-01); therefore, NWP 39 may not be used, unless the Norfolk District determines that the SGPG-01 is not applicable.  NWP 39 may still be used in the Northern Virginia Military Installations within Baltimore District’s Area of Responsibility.     

NWP 48-Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities

  1. No aquaculture activity shall occur within beds of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) or saltmarsh, nor shall such vegetation be damaged or removed.  Should an area become colonized by SAV or saltmarsh after an authorized aquaculture activity is installed, the activity shall be allowed to remain; however, no expansion of the aquaculture operation into newly colonized areas is authorized by this NWP.  Information on the location of SAV beds can be found at:  http://mobjack.vims.edu/sav/savwabmap/ .
  2. An aquaculture activity will not meet the terms for this NWP if it will have more than minimal adverse effects on avian resources such as, but not limited to: shore birds, wading birds, or waterfowl.  This includes nesting, feeding or resting activities by migratory birds identified at 50 CFR 10.13.
  3. An aquaculture activity will not qualify for this NWP if it will have more than minimal adverse effects on existing or naturally occurring beds or population of shellfish, marine worms or other invertebrates that could be used by man, other mammals, birds, reptiles, or fish. Feeding and harvesting plans, including the use of a hydraulic dredge, should be included in the application to evaluate impacts.
  4. No aquaculture activity or vehicular access to the activity shall occur in such a way as to negatively impact coastal or wetland vegetation.
  5. As-built drawings must be submitted with the certificate of compliance for all aquaculture projects.
  6. The District Engineer will require an Individual Department of the Army permit for any project which they determine to have greater than minimal individual or cumulative impacts.
  7. If the permittee decides to abandon the activity authorized under this NWP (unless such abandonment is merely the transfer of property to a third party), the permittee must notify the Corps and may be required to remove the structures and restore the area to the satisfaction of the Corps.

NWP 51-Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities

If aerial transmission lines crossing navigable waters are proposed, please see NWP C Regional Condition 7.

NWP 52-Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects

If aerial transmission lines crossing navigable waters are proposed, please see NWP C Regional Condition 7.

NWP 53-Removal of Low-Head Dams

The following information related to physical removal of the dam structure should be included in the PCN:

  1. Timing and rate of the drawdown of the impoundment to avoid and minimize downstream flooding and excessive sedimentation to downstream areas.
  2. Method of re-establishment and stabilization of the stream channel, and avoidance of other environmental impacts, including the potential for drainage of adjacent wetlands.
  3. Construction equipment to be used in the stream channel and appropriate measures that will be taken, such as the use of construction mats or barges, to minimize impacts.
  4. Information sufficient to ensure that accumulated sediments are free from contaminants and are disposed of properly.  If testing is required, the testing criteria shall be developed in cooperation with Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
  5. Information concerning competing uses of the waterbody above the dam if the impoundment is not fully owned by the applicant.

NWP 54-Living Shorelines

  1. This activity authorizes the placement of sandy fill material, including the placement landward of sill(s) provided the fill is for shoreline protection and/or wetland establishment or enhancement (and not solely a recreational beach).  The maximum fill area within waters of the United States that can be authorized under this NWP is one (1) acre.  For the purpose of this NWP, a sill is defined as a low (not to exceed +1 ft. above MHW), detached structure constructed near shore and parallel to the shoreline for the purpose of building up an existing beach by trapping and retaining sand in the littoral zone.  Because a sill acts like a natural bar, it is most effective when constructed at or near the mean low water line and low enough to allow wave overtopping. 
  2. The grain size of the source material used for fill must be beach quality sand that is the same size or slightly larger than that of the native beach material and suitable for the proposed project.  Excess silt/clay fraction and grain sizes smaller than the former native sands will perform poorly.  In most cases, sand material with no more than 10% passing a #100 sieve is appropriate. All fill material will be obtained from either an upland source, a borrow pit, or dredge material approved by the Corps. 
  3. Coir logs, coir mats, and native oyster shell should be of sufficient weight, adequately anchored, or placed in a manner to prevent them from being dislodged or carried away by wave action.
  4. Sills may be constructed of riprap stone, gabion baskets, or clean broken concrete free of metal and re-bar.  Alternative materials may be considered for use during the permit review process.  The materials should be of sufficient weight or adequately anchored to prevent them from being dislodged and carried away by wave action.  Asphalt and materials containing asphalt or other contaminants shall not be used in the construction of sills. 
  5. Sills will be designed with at least one 5-foot window/gap per property and per 100 linear feet of sill unless waived by the District Engineer.
  6. The sill height should be a maximum of +1 foot above mean high water and should be placed at a distance no greater than 30 feet from mean low water to the channelward toe of the sill unless waived by the District Engineer.
  7. The total amount of existing vegetated wetlands, which may be filled, graded, or excavated, in square feet, may not exceed the length of the activity along the shoreline in linear feet unless the District Engineer waives this criterion by making a written determination concluding that the project will result in minimal adverse effects. Impacts to sub-tidal, inter-tidal, and/or existing wetland vegetation may require a wetland mitigation plan and must result in no net loss of vegetated wetlands.
  8. If the proposed project results in impacts to existing wetland vegetation, then a written monitoring report may be required at the end of the first full growing season following planting, and after the second year of establishment. If required, the monitoring should be undertaken between June and September of each year and should include at a minimum: the project location, the Corps project number, representative photos of the site, and a brief statement on the success of the project.
  9. As the design of a living shoreline project is site specific, it is suggested that the applicant refer to the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences Living Shoreline Design Guidelines for Shore Protection in Virginia’s Estuarine Environments and other reference documents which can be found at: https://www.vims.edu/ccrm/outreach/living_shorelines/index.php
  10. Projects which include placement of sandy fill material may result in creation of suitable habitat for various federally listed threatened or endangered species. If this occurs and the applicant seeks to either add to or replenish the area previously filled, the Corps will consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act to ensure work is not likely to adversely affect proposed or listed species or proposed or designated critical habitat. Specific requirements on the type of sand allowed for beach and dune work may be required.

NWP A- Seaweed Mariculture Activities

The PCN should include the type of bottom substrate in the location where the project will occur.

NWP B- Finfish Mariculture Activities

The PCN should include the type of bottom substrate in the location where the project will occur.

NWP C- Electric Utility Line and Telecommunications Activities

  1. Construction of access roads may not result in more than 1/3 acre of impacts to waters of the United States. 
  2. A PCN is required when the activity involves greater than 0.10 acres of mechanized landclearing in a forested wetland for the utility line right-of-way. 
  3. For utility activities requiring a PCN the permittee shall provide the following information:

     a. A map of the entire utility corridor to assist with our completeness determination.  The map should include a delineation of all wetlands and waters of the United States within the corridor.  Aquatic resource information shall be submitted using the Cowardin Classification System mapping conventions (e.g. PFO, PEM, POW, etc.).

     b. An analysis of onsite minimization, which specifically addresses the following:

          i. Selection of an alignment which avoids and minimizes wetland and stream impacts to the maximum extent practicable.  The utility line should make a direct or perpendicular crossing of a stream.  Directional drilling should be reviewed as an option.  However, the Norfolk District recognizes that in certain areas (e.g. karst areas) directional drilling may not be the environmentally preferred option.

          ii. Selection of an alignment which avoids fragmenting large tracts of forested wetlands by routing utility lines outside of forested tracts or on the edges of forested tracts. Consult the Virginia Conservation Vision, a GIS analysis for identifying and prioritizing areas of un-fragmented natural cover in Virginia http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/vaconvision.

          iii. Minimizing clearing of wetlands. Grubbing shall be limited to the permanent easement for underground utility lines.  Outside of the permanent easement, wetland vegetation shall only be removed at or above the ground surface unless written justification is provided, and the impacts are reviewed and approved by the Corps.

          iv. For overhead utility lines, allowance of natural succession to restore and maintain the corridor in scrub-shrub wetlands except for a minimum corridor needed for access, to the maximum extent practicable.

          v. For buried utility lines, allowance of natural succession to restore the area to tree and scrub/shrub except for a 20-foot wide access corridor, to the maximum extent practicable.

c. Compensatory mitigation may be required for permanent conversion of wetlands within the utility line corridor. 

4. For all submerged utility lines across navigable waters of the United States, a location map and cross-sectional view showing the utility line crossing from bank to bank is required.  In addition, the location and depth of any Federal Navigation Channels shall be shown in relation to the proposed utility line.  In general, all utility lines shall be buried at least six (6) feet below the authorized bottom depth of Federal Navigation Channel and at least three (3) feet below the bottom depth in all subaqueous areas.  When circumstances prevent the placement of at least three feet of cover over the line (outside of the Federal Navigation Channel), then written justification and an alternative method must be provided with the PCN and the deviation must be reviewed and approved by the Corps.  Section 408 permission may be required (see Regional Condition 13 under Section I).

5. Whenever practicable, excavated material shall be placed on a Corps confirmed upland site, scow or barge. However, when this is not practicable, temporary stockpiling is hereby authorized provided that:

     a. All excavated material stockpiled in a vegetated wetland area is placed on filter cloth, mats, or some other semi-permeable surface. The material will be stabilized with straw bales, filter cloth, etc. to prevent reentry into any waterway.
     b. All excavated material must be placed back into the trench to the original contour and all excess excavated material must be completely removed from the wetlands within 30 days after the pipeline has been laid through the wetland areas. Permission must be granted by the Norfolk District if the material is to be stockpiled longer than 30 days.

6. The applicant must receive written verification before performing the work when open-cut trenching, temporary stockpiling dredge material, or hydrostatic testing of a pipeline involving water withdrawals in designated anadromous fish use areas is proposed.  The Norfolk District will coordinate with NOAA and/or the DWR. In most cases, the following time-of-year restrictions (TOYRs) will apply:

  • James River, below Rt. 17 bridge: No TOYR.
  • James River, at Jamestown Island (Gray's Creek) downstream to Rt. 17 bridge: TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • James River, at Jamestown Island upstream to Bosher's Dam: TOYR from February 15 through June 30 of any given year.
  • James River, above Bosher's Dam (including Rivanna River):  TOYR from March 15 through June 30 of any given year.
  • Rappahannock River, below Route 360 bridge:  TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • York River, below Route 33 bridge:  TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • Nansemond River:  TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • Elizabeth River:  If dredging upstream of the Mid-Town Tunnel on the mainstem and the West Norfolk Bridge (Route 164, Western Freeway) on the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River, then a TOYR is not required. 
  • Unless otherwise noted: TOYR from February 15 through June 30 of any given year.

7. Aerial Transmission Lines Crossing Navigable Waters:

     a. The following minimum clearances are required for aerial electric power transmission lines crossing navigable waters of the United States. These clearances are related to the clearances over the navigable channel provided by existing fixed bridges, or the clearances which would be required by the United States Coast Guard for new fixed bridges, in the vicinity of the proposed aerial transmission line. These clearances are based on the low point of the line under conditions producing the greatest sag, taking into consideration temperature, load, wind, length of span, and type of supports as outlined in the National Electrical Safety Code:

           Nominal System Voltage (kV)

Minimum additional clearance (ft.) above

clearance required for bridges

115 and below

20

138

22

161

24

230

26

350

30

500

35

700

42

750 - 765

45

 

     b. Clearances for communication lines, stream gaging cables, ferry cables, and other aerial crossings must be a minimum of ten feet above clearances required for bridges, unless otherwise specifically authorized by the District Engineer.

     c. Corps of Engineer regulation ER 1110-2-4401 prescribes minimum vertical clearances for power communication lines over Corps lake projects. In instances where both this Regional Condition and ER 1110-2-4401 apply, the greater minimum clearance is required.

8. For utility lines landing in Virginia, from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the applicant shall send the PCN to the following federal agencies:

Director, Naval Seafloor Cable Protection Office
Naval Facilities Engineering Command
1322 Patterson Ave SE, Suite 1000
Washington DC 20374

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
Atlantic OCS Region
1201 Elmwood Park Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70123-2394.

9. For utility line projects completed by horizontal directional drilling or other boring methods, a plan to address the prevention, containment, and cleanup of sediment or other materials caused by inadvertent returns of drilling fluids to waters of the U.S. through sub-soil fissures or fractures needs to be included with the PCN (if a PCN is required).  If an inadvertent return of drilling fluids to waters of the U.S. occurs, and the remediation requires work within waters of the U.S., then the applicant must notify the Corps immediately and submit a remediation plan as soon as possible, regardless of whether a PCN was required for the original work.

10. When an intake is proposed in designated anadromous fish waters, the following design parameters will be incorporated as permit conditions to protect the sensitive life stages of anadromous fish:

a. Screening over the mouth of the intake with mesh size that does not exceed 1mm;
b. Intake velocities that do not exceed 0.25 feet per second;
c. Intake must be positioned such that an unimpeded flow of water parallel to the screen surface occurs along the entire surface of the screen to take advantage of sweeping velocity.

NWP D- Utility Line Activities for Water and Other Substances

  1. Construction of access roads may not result in more than 1/3 acre of impacts to waters of the United States. 
  2. A PCN is required when the activity involves greater than 0.10 acres of mechanized landclearing in a forested wetland for the utility line right-of-way.
  3. For utility activities requiring a PCN the permittee shall provide the following information:
         a. A map of the entire utility corridor to assist with our completeness determination.  The map should include a delineation of all wetlands and waters of the United States within the corridor.  Aquatic resource information shall be submitted using the Cowardin Classification System mapping conventions (e.g. PFO, PEM, POW, etc.).
         b. An analysis of onsite minimization, which specifically addresses the following:
              i. Selection of an alignment which avoids and minimizes wetland and stream impacts to the maximum extent practicable.  The utility line should make a direct or perpendicular crossing of a stream.  Directional drilling should be reviewed as an option.  However, the Norfolk District recognizes that in certain areas (e.g. karst areas) directional drilling may not be the environmentally preferred option.
              ii. Selection of an alignment which avoids fragmenting large tracts of forested wetlands by routing utility lines outside of forested tracts or on the edges of forested tracts. Consult the Virginia Conservation Vision, a GIS analysis for identifying and prioritizing areas of un-fragmented natural cover in Virginia http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/vaconvision.
              iii. Minimizing clearing of wetlands. Grubbing shall be limited to the permanent easement for underground utility lines.  Outside of the permanent easement, wetland vegetation shall only be removed at or above the ground surface unless written justification is provided and the impacts are reviewed and approved by the Corps.
              iv. For overhead utility lines, allowance of natural succession to restore and maintain the corridor in scrub-shrub wetlands except for a minimum corridor needed for access, to the maximum extent practicable.
              v. For buried utility lines, allowance of natural succession to restore the area to tree and scrub/shrub except for a 20-foot wide access corridor, to the maximum extent practicable.

     c. Compensatory mitigation may be required for permanent conversion of wetlands within the utility line corridor. 

4. For all submerged utility lines across navigable waters of the United States, a location map and cross-sectional view showing the utility line crossing from bank to bank is required.  In addition, the location and depth of any Federal Navigation Channels shall be shown in relation to the proposed utility line.  In general, all utility lines shall be buried at least six (6) feet below the authorized bottom depth of Federal Navigation Channel and at least three (3) feet below the bottom depth in all subaqueous areas.  When circumstances prevent the placement of at least three feet of cover over the line (outside of the Federal Navigation Channel), then written justification and an alternative method must be provided with the PCN and the deviation must be reviewed and approved by the Corps.  Section 408 permission may be required (see Regional Condition 13 under Section I).

5. Whenever practicable, excavated material shall be placed on a Corps confirmed upland site, scow or barge. However, when this is not practicable, temporary stockpiling is hereby authorized provided that:

     a. All excavated material stockpiled in a vegetated wetland area is placed on filter cloth, mats, or some other semi-permeable surface. The material will be stabilized with straw bales, filter cloth, etc. to prevent reentry into any waterway.
        b. All excavated material must be placed back into the trench to the original contour and all excess excavated material must be completely removed from the wetlands within 30 days after the pipeline has been laid through the wetland areas. Permission must be granted by the Norfolk District Commander if the material is to be stockpiled longer than 30 days.

6. The applicant must receive written verification before performing the work when open-cut trenching, temporary stockpiling dredge material, or hydrostatic testing of a pipeline involving water withdrawals in designated anadromous fish use areas is proposed.  The Norfolk District will coordinate with NOAA and/or the DWR. In most cases, the following time-of-year restrictions (TOYRs) will apply:

  • James River, below Rt. 17 bridge: No TOYR.
  • James River, at Jamestown Island (Gray's Creek) downstream to Rt. 17 bridge: TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • James River, at Jamestown Island upstream to Bosher's Dam: TOYR from February 15 through June 30 of any given year.
  • James River, above Bosher's Dam (including Rivanna River):  TOYR from March 15 through June 30 of any given year.
  • Rappahannock River, below Route 360 bridge:  TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • York River, below Route 33 bridge:  TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • Nansemond River:  TOYR from February 15 through June 15 of any given year.
  • Elizabeth River:  If dredging upstream of the Mid-Town Tunnel on the mainstem and the West Norfolk Bridge (Route 164, Western Freeway) on the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River, then a TOYR is not required. 
  • Unless otherwise noted: TOYR from February 15 through June 30 of any given year.

8. For utility lines landing in Virginia, from the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), the applicant shall send the PCN to the following federal agencies:

Director, Naval Seafloor Cable Protection Office
Naval Facilities Engineering Command
1322 Patterson Ave SE, Suite 1000
Washington DC 20374

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
Atlantic OCS Region
1201 Elmwood Park Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70123-2394.

8. For utility line projects completed by horizontal directional drilling or other boring methods, a plan to address the prevention, containment, and cleanup of sediment or other materials caused by inadvertent returns of drilling fluids to waters of the U.S. through sub-soil fissures or fractures needs to be included with the PCN (if a PCN is required).  If an inadvertent return of drilling fluids to waters of the U.S. occurs, and the remediation requires work within waters of the U.S., then the applicant must notify the Corps immediately and submit a remediation plan as soon as possible, regardless of whether a PCN was required for the original work.

9. When an intake is proposed in designated anadromous fish waters, the following design parameters will be incorporated as permit conditions to protect the sensitive life stages of anadromous fish:

a. Screening over the mouth of the intake with mesh size that does not exceed 1mm;
b. Intake velocities that do not exceed 0.25 feet per second;
c. Intake must be positioned such that an unimpeded flow of water parallel to the screen surface occurs along the entire surface of the screen to take advantage of sweeping velocity.

ENCLOSURE 2
Index of Proposed Nationwide Permits, Conditions, and Definitions

Nationwide Permits

  1. 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. Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities
  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
  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
  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
  40.  Agricultural Activities
  41.  Reshaping Existing Drainage Ditches
  42.  Recreational Facilities
  43.  Stormwater Management Facilities
  44. Mining Activities
  45.  Repair of Uplands Damaged by Discrete Events
  46.  Discharges in Ditches
  47.  [Reserved]
  48.  Commercial Shellfish Mariculture Activities
  49.  Coal Remining Activities
  50.  Underground Coal Mining Activities
  51.  Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities
  52.  Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects
  53.  Removal of Low-Head Dams
  54.  Living Shorelines
    A.Seaweed Mariculture Activities
    B. Finfish Mariculture Activities
    C. Electric Utility Line and Telecommunications Activities
    D. Utility Line Activities for Water and Other Substances
    E. Water Reclamation and Reuse Facilities

Nationwide Permit General Conditions

  1. 1. Navigation
  2. Aquatic Life Movements
  3. Spawning Areas
  4. Migratory Bird Breeding Areas
  5. Shellfish Beds
  6. Suitable Material
  7. Water Supply Intakes
  8. Adverse Effects from Impoundments
  9. Management of Water Flows
  10.  Fills Within 100-Year Floodplains
  11.  Equipment
  12.  Soil Erosion and Sediment Controls
  13.  Removal of Temporary Fills
  14.  Proper Maintenance
  15.  Single and Complete Project
  16. Wild and Scenic Rivers
  17.  Tribal Rights
  18.  Endangered Species
  19.  Migratory Birds and Bald and Golden Eagles
  20.  Historic Properties
  21.  Discovery of Previously Unknown Remains and Artifacts
  22.  Designated Critical Resource Waters
  23.  Mitigation
  24.  Safety of Impoundment Structures
  25. Water Quality
  26.  Coastal Zone Management
  27.  Regional and Case-by-Case Conditions
  28.  Use of Multiple Nationwide Permits
  29.  Transfer of Nationwide Permit Verifications
  30.  Compliance Certification
  31.  Activities Affecting Structures or Works Built by the United States
  32.  Pre-Construction Notification

District Engineer’s Decision

Further Information

Definitions

Best management practices (BMPs)
Compensatory mitigation
Currently serviceable
Direct effects
Discharge
Ecological reference
Enhancement
Establishment (creation)
High Tide Line
Historic property
Independent utility
Indirect effects
Loss of waters of the United States
Navigable waters
Non-tidal wetland
Open water
Ordinary high water mark
Perennial stream
Practicable
Pre-construction notification
Preservation
Re-establishment
Rehabilitation
Restoration
Riffle and pool complex
Riparian areas
Shellfish seeding
Single and complete linear project
Single and complete non-linear project
Stormwater management
Stormwater management facilities
Stream bed
Stream channelization
Structure
Tidal wetland
Tribal lands
Tribal rights
Vegetated shallows
Waterbody