22-SPGP-Recreational, Commercial, Institutional and Recreational Developments (RCIR) AND 22-SPGP- Linear Transportation (LT)

Published March 21, 2022
Expiration date: 4/21/2022

March 21, 2022
22-SPGP-RCIR (2021-01800)
22-SPGP-LT (2022-00286)

22-SPGP-Recreational, Commercial, Institutional and Recreational Developments (RCIR) AND 22-SPGP- Linear Transportation (LT)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Norfolk District (Corps) proposes the issuance of two 2022 State Programmatic General Permits (SPGPs) to the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The SPGPs authorize the discharge of dredged/fill material in non-tidal waters of the United States (WOTUS), including wetlands, and that is associated with certain residential, commercial, institutional, and recreational and linear transportation projects. The purpose of the SPGPs is to reduce duplicative review for activity-specific projects where state and federal regulations overlap regulatory purview.

The SPGPs will provide streamlined review of permit applications processed by the Corps and Virginia Department of Environmental (VDEQ).

This public notice is soliciting comments on the proposed issuance of the 22-SPGP Residential, Commercial, Institutional, and Recreational (RCIR) permit authorization and the 22-SPGP-Linear Transportation (LT). The 22-SPGP-RCIR will be a modified version of and replacement for the residential, commercial, and institutional portion of the 17-SPGP-01 which is set to expire May 31, 2022. The 22-SPGP-LT will be a modified version of and replacement for the linear transportation portion of the 17-SPGP-01 which is set to expire May 31, 2022. While the list below contains the more substantial items that are proposed to be added or deleted, it is not inclusive of every change. The proposed changes are intended to further expedite the review of permit applications and expedite response to public inquiries.

1. The 17-SPGP-01 activities have been separated into two separate SPGP permits. The 22-SPGP-RCIR is proposed for use with residential, commercial, institutional, and recreational developments. The 22-SPGP-LT is proposed for use with the linear transportation projects.

2. The Complete Application Form has been removed from the application requirements. 

3. The permit language was revised to remove the linear foot threshold and to be consistent with the 2021 and 2022 nationwide permit changes to Nationwide Permits 14, 29, 39, 42 and 43.

4. The permit language was revised to be consistent with the 2021 and 2022 nationwide permit changes to Nationwide Permits 14, 29, 39, 42 and 43.

5. The following activities are excluded from using the 22-SPGP-RCIR: mining activities, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) projects, stand-alone stormwater management facilities, stand-alone substations, and linear transportation projects that are not an attendant feature of a RCIR development.

6. The following activities are excluded for using the 22-SPGP-LT: mining activities, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) projects and stand-alone stormwater
management facilities that are not an attendance feature of linear transportation project.

7. The 22-SPGP-RCIR can be used to authorize recreational projects and stormwater projects that are attendant features of RCIR developments.

8. The 22-SPGP-LT can be used to authorize stormwater features that are attendant features of linear transportation projects.

9. Applications will now be sent to the Corps for all Section 7-Endangered Species Act review and coordination.

10.The Corps has added a preliminary federal screening option that can be utilized prior to the submittal of a permit application. This process can help expedite
delineations, federal coordination, and the SPGP verification process.

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: The decision whether to issue these general permits will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the authorized activities 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 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" (Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act) will also be applied. 

The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties 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 the SPGPs in 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 in the SPGPs. Anyone may request a public hearing to consider these general permits 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) Endangered Species Act (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. (4) Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) review will be done on an individual project basis and in accordance with the NAO EFH project review process

VIRGINIA’S COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended for projects located in Virginia’s Coastal Zone, the Corps must certify that federally permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal uses or resources will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia’s Coastal Zone Management Program (Virginia CZM Program), and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Office of Environmental Impact Review (OEIR). The Corps will be submitting a consistency certification review request to the OEIR for concurrence or objection. For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable policies of the Virginia CZM Program,
contact the DEQ-OEIR at (804) 659-1915 or e-mail: bettina.rayfield@deq.virginia.gov.

VIRGINIA’S SECTION 401 WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM: For compliance with the Virginia Section 401 Water Quality Certification Program, the Corps must obtain, from the Virginia DEQ, a Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the SPGP permits. As the Certifying Authority, the Virginia DEQ may grant, grant with conditions, or deny a certification request. Alternatively, the Virginia DEQ may waive, expressly or implicitly, its authority to act on a certification request. The Corps will be submitting a 401 Certification request to the Virginia DEQ. Pursuant to 33 CFR 325.2(b)(1)(i), this Public Notice serves as the Corps’ CWA §401(a)(2) notification to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA). Pursuant to 40 CFR 121.11-13, the EPA shall notify the Corps, the Virginia DEQ, and the applicant, within 30 days of receipt of the application and certification, if the Regional Administrator determines that the proposed discharge may affect the quality of the waters of any neighboring jurisdiction

COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on the proposed issuance of the 22-SPGP-RCIR and the 22-SPGP-LT should be in writing and can be sent by email to anna.r.lawston@usace.army.mil, or by regular mail, addressed to the USACE Norfolk District, Amissville Field Office (ATTN: Anna Lawston), PO Box 489, Amissville, Virginia 20106, and should be received by the close of business on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

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 22-SPGP-RCIR, the proposed 22-SPGPLT or the general permit process, contact Ms. Anna Lawston by telephone at 540-764-4459 or email at anna.r.lawston@usace.army.mil.

Proposed 22-SPGP-RCIR permit
Proposed 22-SPGP-LT permit
Preliminary screening process
Preliminary screening form