Corps Reauthorizes Nationwide Wetlands Permits
On March 19, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps") reauthorized the Nationwide Permit ("NWP") program for the discharge of dredge and fill material in waters and wetlands pursuant to section 404 of the Clean Water Act. NWPs provide quick federal approval to conduct certain activities requiring a section 404 permit, but which create, in the aggregate, only minimal environmental harm. In addition to reauthorizing the former NWPs, the Corps announced six new NWPs, including for coal mining area reclamation and pipeline repairs. NWPs are of limited application in the Delaware Valley, because New Jersey had previously been delegated the Corps’ section 404 permitting authority, and the Corps has suspended application of many NWPs in Pennsylvania in favor of the Pennsylvania Statewide Programmatic General Permit. Projects located in Delaware, and those along certain navigable waters in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, may still use NWPs.