A Nationwide Permit (NWP) is a general permit that authorizes a category of activities throughout the nation by streamlining the approval process for certain types of activities that have minimal impacts to aquatic resources. These permits are valid only if the conditions applicable to the permit are met. If the conditions cannot be met, a regional or individual permit will be required.
Nationwide permits are regulated by 33 CFR Part 330 for certain specified activities. In most cases, the formal evaluation of a permit application is not required because nationwide permits have already been issued to the public at large by the Corps of Engineers and Congress.
Examples include fish and wildlife harvesting devices; structures for the exploration, production, and transportation of oil, gas, and minerals; and activities required for the construction, expansion, modification, or improvement of linear transportation projects.
To apply for a Nationwide Permit, a complete Application Form, a Vicinity Map, one set of plan-view drawings, and one set of section-view drawings must be submitted to the appropriate Field Office.
REGIONAL GENERAL PERMITS
Regional General Permits (RGPs) may be granted for activities that cause only a minimal cumulative impact.
Determining factors for the District Engineer to issue a Regional Permit (for a general category of activities) are:
- Are activities similar in nature and cause minimal environmental impacts, both individually and cumulatively?
- Will the regional permit reduces duplication of regulatory control by State and Federal agencies?
Examples of Regional Permits may include activities necessary during the emergency to prevent the loss of life, significant loss of property, or economic hardship; and specific work activities in Pend Oreille Lake and Pend Oreille River.
To apply for a Regional General (RGP) permit, a complete application form, a vicinity map, one set of plan-view drawings, and one set of section-view drawings must be submitted to the appropriate Field Office.
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.