CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District announces the issuance of the statewide New Hampshire General Permits (GPs) for minimal impact activities in U.S. waters in the state of New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire GPs replace the prior statewide New Hampshire General Permit, which expired on Aug. 3, 2017, with a series of multiple GPs covering activity specific categories. These GPs became effective on Aug. 18, 2017 and will continue the expedited review process for activities subject to Corps jurisdiction under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, and Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, located in waters of the U.S., including navigable waters, within the boundaries of the state of New Hampshire.
General Permits are used as a way to streamline state and Federal regulatory programs. The New England District already has had success with streamlining these programs with use of GPs in New England. These GPs are designed to authorize activities under the Nationwide Permit (NWP) program and the prior NH GP.
Some of the major changes from the previous GP include: 1) The new NH GPs are organized into 23 activity-specific General Permits (Appendix A). This was intended to satisfy the requirements of Section 404(e) of the Clean Water Act, which allows the Corps to issue general permits for activities that are similar in nature and will cause only minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. Identifying specific activities allows the Corps to adequately assess cumulative impacts of permitted activities, as well as fully assess impacts on threatened and endangered species. Appendix A also combines non-tidal and tidal waters and wetlands in one table instead of the previous GP's Coastal and Inland tables; 2) Updated general conditions according to current state and Federal law and policies; 3) The new NH GPs' category names have changed from Minimum to Self-verification (SV) Minimum and from Minor/Major to Pre-Construction Notification (PCN) Minor/Major to be consistent with the NWP program.
The 2017 NH GPs supersede the previous NH GP which expired on Aug. 3, 2017. Activities authorized by the previous GP but had not commenced or were not under contract to commence by Aug. 3, 2018 will need to apply for a new authorization under the new NH GPs. Conversely, activities authorized by the previous NH GP that have either commenced or are under contract to commence will have an additional year from the expiration date of Aug. 3, 2017 to complete the work.
The public notice, with more specifics on the issuance of the New Hampshire GPs, can be viewed on the Corps website at www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
For additional information or to request a copy of the New Hampshire GPs contact Permit Project Manager Lindsey Lefebvre at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division, 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751; or by phone at 978-318-8295 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.