The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) published a final rule in the Federal Register on January 13, 2021 for the reissuance and modification of Nationwide Permits (NWPs). In this final rule, the USACE is reissuing and modifying 12 existing NWPs and issuing 4 new NWPs. The 16 NWPs will go into effect on March 15, 2021 (60 days from publication) unless the final rule is repealed or revised by the incoming Administration and will expire on March 14, 2026.
The 12 existing NWPs that are replaced by this rule include:
- NWP 12 (oil or natural gas pipeline activities)
- NWP 21 (surface coal mining activities)
- NWP 29 (residential developments)
- NWP 39 (commercial and institutional developments)
- NWP 40 (agricultural activities)
- NWP 42 (recreational facilities)
- NWP 43 (stormwater management facilities)
- NWP 44 (mining activities)
- NWP 48 (commercial shellfish mariculture activities)
- NWP 50 (underground coal mining activities)
- NWP 51 (land-based renewable energy generation facilities)
- NWP 52 (water-based renewable energy generation pilot projects)
The four new NWPs issued under this final rule include:
- NWP 55 (seaweed mariculture activities)
- NWP 56 (finfish mariculture activities)
- NWP 57 (electric utility line and telecommunications activities)
- NWP 58 (utility line activities for water and other substances)
The NWP 12 was split into three NWPs: NWP 12, NWP 57, and NWP 58. According to the final rule, electric utility line, telecommunications activities, and utility line activities for water and other substances continue to be authorized by the 2017 NWP 12 for up to 12 months (until March 18, 2022) as long as the project proponent has commenced construction or is under contract to commence construction before NWPs 57 and 58 go into effect.
The remaining 40 NWPs that were not reissued or modified by this final rule will remain in effect until March 18, 2022 unless the USACE issues a final rule reissuing them prior to that date. Regional conditions are being finalized by the USACE divisions and will be announced in a future public notice.