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2017 Nationwide Permit Program

On June 1, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published notice in the Federal Register announcing the reissuance of all existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions with some modifications.  The signed nationwide permit final rule was submitted to the Federal Register for publication and was published on January 6, 2017. 

On March 19, 2017, the current NWP authorizations became effective.  These authorizations will expire on March 19, 2022.  The Corps issued two new NWPs, one new general condition, and five new definitions.  The Corps also issued a final Decision Document in December 2016 for each of the 54 Nationwide Permits. 

All NWP authorizations are verified with General Conditions, as outlined in the January 6, 2017 Federal Register.  There are also specific Regional Conditions that have been added for certain NWP authorizations issued within the Walla Walla District.  Further, on a project-by-project basis, Special Conditions may be also issued with the final NWP verification. 

Pre-Construction Notification

Activities under the Nationwide Permit Program must ensure that proposed projects and work activities meet all applicable terms and conditions to minimize impacts to waters of the United States, including wetlands. 

Many NWP authorizations require both prior notification and written verification from the Corps before project/work activities begin.  Prior notification is known as a Pre-Construction Notification, or PCN. 

A Joint Application for Permits packet (including required drawings) is used to satisfy the PCN requirement, as outlined in General Condition 32: Pre-Construction Notification.  

The PCN allows the Corps and other regulatory agencies in the State of Idaho to better understand and evaluate the site specific impacts that you are proposing to do in or around waters of the United States, including wetlands, that may affect the aquatic ecosystem, habitats, water access/flow, water quality, etc.  The PCN also allows for a combined effort by the Corps and other agencies to evaluate the measures you propose to take to avoid and/or mitigate for impacts that may damage the environment. 

For further information on PCN's, requirements or where to send your PCN, please contact your local Regulatory Field office. 

Water Quality Certification

All NWP authorizations require a Section 401 Water Quality Certificate (WQC) to verify compliance with state or tribal water quality standards for any discharge of dredge and/or fill material into a Waters of the United States (Section 401, Clean Water Act). 

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) is the water quality agency that administers water quality certification for the State of Idaho.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10 (USEPA) administers water quality certification for tribes that do not have water quality certifying authority with the State of Idaho.  Currently, the only Tribes that have Section 401 water quality certification are the Coeur d'Alene Tribe and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall Reservation.  

Effective March 3, 2017, IDEQ issued its final 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) for the 2017 NWPs.  The Northwest Division Commander accepted the IDEQ’s final 401 WQC on March 17, 2017. 

IDEQ certified all NWPs with the exception of the following:

NWP 12 is Partially Denied

NWP 13 is Partially Denied

NWP 14 is Partially Denied

NWP 16 is Denied without Prejudice

NWP 17 is Denied without Prejudice

NWP 23 is Denied without Prejudice

NWP 51 is Denied without Prejudice

NWP 52 is Denied without Prejudice

NWP 53 is Denied without Prejudice

NWP 54 is Denied without Prejudice

IDEQ also denied certification for any activities authorized by the NWPs that may result in the discharge to an Outstanding Resource Water.

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, Fort Hall Reservation and the U.S. EPA denied water quality certification for all 2017 NWPs.  An individual 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) is required for any project within a tribal boundary located in the State of Idaho.  

The 54 Nationwide Permits