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US Army Corps of Engineers BUILDING STRONG ® Coordinating U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Permits with Species Conservation Plans November 16,

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Presentation on theme: "US Army Corps of Engineers BUILDING STRONG ® Coordinating U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Permits with Species Conservation Plans November 16,"— Presentation transcript:

1 US Army Corps of Engineers BUILDING STRONG ® Coordinating U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Permits with Species Conservation Plans November 16, 2010 Mary Pakenham-Walsh Project Manager, Regulatory Division U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District

2 BUILDING STRONG ® Objectives  Corps’ Role ► Mission & primary authorities ► Types of permits ► Regional and Programmatic Permits (RGPs and PGPs)  Application: East Contra Costa County HCP/NCCP ► HCP Overview ► Approved HCPs - regulatory efficiencies ► Advantages of regional permitting ► Meeting regulatory criteria for an RGP ► Architecture of ECCHCP/NCCP RGP ► Challenges ► Commitment

3 BUILDING STRONG ® 3 Regulatory Mission To protect the Nation’s aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions. Goal: “No Net Loss of Wetlands”


5 5 Primary Authorities  Section 404 of the Clean Water Act ►Discharge of dredged or fill material  Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 ►Work or structures in or affecting navigable waters  Regulations: 33 CFR 320-332 ►Part 332: “New” (2008) Federal Mitigation Rule

6 BUILDING STRONG ® Types of Permits  Standard / Individual ► More than minimal impact ► Individual & letters of permission (LOP) ► > 0.5 acre ► Public notice (*not for LOP) ► Offsite alternatives analysis  General Permits – 3 Types ► Similar in nature & minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts ► Nationwide Permits (NWP) ► Regional general permits (RGP) ► Programmatic General Permits (PGP)

7 BUILDING STRONG ® 7 RGPs and PGPs PGPs: ► Issued by Division ► Corps can delegate parts of administrative authority ► Founded on an existing state, local or other federal agency program ► Designed to avoid duplication RGPs: ► Issued by District or Division ► Corps retains administrative authority ► Class of activities in the region ► Examples in our District: ► RGP No. 16 (Tahoe Basin) ► RGP No. 40 (Utah – stream alteration permits & Corps permits)

8 BUILDING STRONG ® East Contra Costa County HCP/NCCP: Strong Connection With Wetlands and Waters

9 Aquatic Resources Inventory/Assessment

10 Initial Permit Area for Urban Development. Restrictions on permit area flexibility: acreage limit and no conflict with conservation strategy Max = approx 12,000 acres of future impact Initial = approx 9,000 acres of future impact

11 Acquisition Priorities For Maximum Urban Development Area 30,300 acres is estimate of required acquisitions

12 Development Fee Amounts Zone II (natural lands) $21,116 per acre Zone I (ag lands) $10,558 per acre Zone III (Infill<10 acres) $5,279 per acre HCP also includes wetlands fee. It is a surcharge on wetted area.

13 Wetland and Stream Conservation Land Cover Preservation Ratio Restoration Ratio Total Compensation Est. Acres Preserved/ Restored* Riparian woodland2:11:13:170/55 Perennial wetlands1:1 2:175/85 Seasonal wetland complex 3:12:15:1168/163 Alkali wetland complex 3:12:15:193/67 Ponds2:11:13:116/16 Perennial streams2:11:13:10.8/0.4 mi. Intermittent or ephemeral streams 1:1 2:15.4/5.4 mi. * Includes preservation/restoration above and beyond mitigation.


15 ACQUISITION SUMMARY Pre-HCP: 1,270 acres Acquisition complete: 4,653 acres Purchase agreements:1,587 acres TOTAL:7,510 acres Funds spent or committed: $34.2M

16 BUILDING STRONG ® 2009 Souza II—Before Restoration

17 BUILDING STRONG ® Souza II—Just After Restoration 2010 Four wetland restoration/creation projects constructed so far resulting in approximately 10 acres of restored/created wetlands and 4000 feet of stream restoration.

18 To help coordinate implementation of the HCP/NCCP, local agencies are seeking:  Regional General Permit (RGP): applicants would apply to Corps but mitigation would coordinate with HCP  401 Certification of RGP (programmatic)  In Lieu Fee Instrument

19 BUILDING STRONG ® 19 Advantages of Regional Permitting (Relative to Business as Usual) Regional Permitting: ► Proactive ► Relative functional assessments ► Mitigation ► Regulated community: More predictability ► Corps: More efficient use of resources Use of “programmatics” Project-by-project: ► Reactive ► Limited functional assessments ► Mitigation case-by-case  Less assurances ► Regulated community: ► Less predictability ► Corps: ► Business as usual

20 BUILDING STRONG ® 20 Efficiencies Gained by Approved HCPs  Section 404 Authorizations: ► Section 106 National Historic Preservation Act ► Section 7 Endangered Species Act ► Section 401 Water Quality Certification  With Approved HCP: ► Enhances Section 7 timeline ► Opportunity for coordinated mitigation approach

21 BUILDING STRONG ® Two Key Determinations for RGP  Similar in nature  Minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts

22 BUILDING STRONG ® Application to ECCHCP RGP  Similar in Nature ► Specific categories of activities as defined in the HCP as “covered activities”  Minimal Impacts ► “Focusing on the good stuff” ► Comprehensive mitigation strategy ► Acreage threshold ► General conditions ► Discretionary authority ► Cumulative impacts

23 BUILDING STRONG ® Example – Comprehensive Avoidance, Minimization & Mitigation  HCP requires stream setbacks  Construction Best Management Practices  Mitigation is mandatory (unlike NWPs for impacts < 0.10 acre)  Proposed In-lieu Fee (ILF) Program

24 BUILDING STRONG ® Basic Architecture of ECCHCP RGP Proposed Regional General Permit (Section 404) Programmatic Sec. 7 Consultation (USFWS) Programmatic 401 Water Quality Certification Independent Coordination: Sec. 7 NMFS Section 106 NHPA HCP’s Aquatic Mitigation Strategy Proposed In-lieu Fee Program

25 BUILDING STRONG ® Challenges in Developing Regional Permitting Approaches  Baseline inventory and assessment needed  Consistency with Clean Water Act Section 404: ► Avoidance and Minimization at larger landscape scales ► 2008 federal mitigation rule  Substantial up-front time investment needs to be worthwhile  Coordinating regulatory mandates and procedures  Coordination – generally speaking

26 BUILDING STRONG ® One-stop Shopping?

27 BUILDING STRONG ® Summary  Corps’ role  General Permits and LOPs  Advantages of regional permitting  Efficiencies of approved HCPs  Architecture of ECCHCP’s RGP  Challenges & commitment  *Public Notice - draft RGP Souza II Wetland Restoration Project

28 BUILDING STRONG ® Thank You Web Site:

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