Corps Regulatory Program Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 regulates structures, or work in, on, over or under navigable waters of the United States Section 404 of the Clean Water Act regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the U.S.
History Court Cases –Reilly Decisions, Robertson, Rivenburg, Bulen, Rowlette, Bulen II Rules and Policy –Definition of Fill –SOPs for NWPs –Mitigation RGLs and guidance clarification –Silt Snake guidance Staffing
Typical Mining Activities that require authorization from the Corps Valley/Hollow Fills Refuse fills Sediment Structures Stream relocations Operational Areas Culvert placements (road crossings) Bank Protection Utility Lines
Regulatory Program Permit Authorization Tools –General Permits Nationwide and Regional –Individual Permits Letters of Permission and Standard
General Permits Definition: –Authorization for a category of activities that are: similar in nature and cause only minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts; adequately regulated by a local, regional, state or Federal agency and cause only minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts.
Individual Permits Definition: –Required for activities which may cause more than minimal adverse effects to the aquatic environment –Exceeds terms and conditions of a general permit –Public interest review – public notice –Opportunity for public hearing –Evaluated on a case-by-case basis
Current Status NWP 21 –Expires March 2007 –Possible replacement out for comment now along with proposed NWPs E & F IPs
Timing/Permit Sequencing Corps last…… Conditional SMCRA issuance Jurisdictional determination Corps and 401 review Mitigation Plan revision ARP on every permit Alternatives Assessment Mitigation Lengthy Delays in permitting Lack of Coordination among Regulators Challenges
Duplication of Efforts –BZVR – Intermittent and Perennial streams Alternatives analysis Avoidance and minimization –SMCRA – CHIA –Corps – CIA on waters of US –Endangered Species Act –National Historic Preservation Act
Improve Communication & Coordination Consistent Permit Requirements Implement Concurrent Reviews Reduce need for Conditional Issuances Reduce Permit Revisions Education/Awareness Goals
Other Initiatives –Stream Assessment Protocols –Consistency among the districts –Mitigation Banks –In-Lieu Fee Arrangement Performance Bonds !!!!!!!!!!!!!COMMUNICATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!