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23. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Permits
The following permits are considered together as they are administered together by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Regulatory Branch through a single permit application.
Jurisdiction: Construction or placement of structures, dredging, and dredged material disposal in the waters of the United States.
Applicability: Any project in or affecting the waters of the United States must comply with the conditions of the Massachusetts Programmatic General Permit (PGP) or, in the case of larger projects, the conditions of an Individual Permit.
Regulatory Summary: A Section 10 permit is required for all work, including structures, seaward of the annual high water line in navigable waters of the United States, defined as waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, as well as a few of the major rivers used to transport interstate or foreign commerce. A Section 404 permit is required for activities that involve the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including not only navigable waters, but also coastal waters, inland rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands. A Section 103 permit is required to transport dredged material for the purpose of disposal in the ocean.
The Corps, New England District has issued a PGP for work in Massachusetts. The PGP provides for three levels of regulatory review:
The chart below includes examples of the activities and categories of the PGP.
The complete PGP is available from www.nae.usace.army.mil/.
Review Process: With the PGP, applications for projects meeting the PGP criteria must include a brief project description, a vicinity map, a site plan, and a plan view of the proposed structure. Federal and state resource agencies meet every three weeks to review PGP applications. A PGP is usually issued, with or without special conditions, ten days after the review closes.
For Individual Permits, applications must include site location, a description of the project and its purpose, and related maps and plans. Within 15 days of receiving the required application material, the Corps issues a Public Notice seeking comments from abutters, regulatory agencies, and the public. Comments are accepted for up to 30 days. The Corps evaluates comments received, compliance with section 404(b)(1) of the federal Clean Water Act, public interest criteria and issues a permit. If denied, the applicant is informed of the reason(s).
Neither a PGP nor an Individual Permit is valid until the applicant has obtained a Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) 401 Water Quality Certification (18). Individual permits are not valid until the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) (22) concurs that the project is consistent with state coastal policies.
Forms: PGP - None; Individual - ENG Form 4345 at www.nae.usace.army.mil.
Fees: PGP - None; Individual - Commercial Activity $100.
Contact: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Branch (978) 318-8338 and (800) 362-4367.
Publication Date: Fall, 2003
A publication of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA170Z2338. This publication is funded (in part) by a grant/cooperative agreement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its sub-agencies.