CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing to replace the state-wide General Permits for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (MA GPs) pursuant to 33 CFR Part 325.5(c)(l) with revised MA GPs. The revised MA GPs would continue to authorize activities subject to the Corps jurisdiction in waters of the U.S. within the boundaries of, and off the coast of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, excluding work within the boundaries of Indian tribal lands. Public comments can be submitted to the Corps until Oct. 16, 2017.
The revised MA GPs would continue the expedited review process for activities in Corps jurisdiction pursuant to 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. This notice is being issued in accordance with 33 CFR 325.3(b) to coordinate reissuance of the GPs with Federal and state agencies and the public. The revised Draft MA GPs on which the Corps is seeking public and agency comments is on the website listed below.
The existing MA GPs, which were issued on Feb. 4, 2015, expire on Feb. 4, 2020. Although they expire in 2020, the Corps is proposing to reissue the MA GPs for five years with a new start date in 2017 and an expiration date five years later in 2022. The Corps previously published a public notice and draft MA GPs on June 7, 2016, but has made changes since then and is again seeking public comments.
The existing MA GPs and their procedures will remain in effect until the effective date of the new MA GPs. Authorizations issued by the Corps under the existing MA GPs, prior to the effective date of the new MA GPs, will remain authorized until the original expiration date (Feb. 4, 2020). Permittees who received written authorization under the existing MA GPs would not be required to re-apply under the new MA GPs before Feb. 4, 2020 unless the project proposal is modified to alter the authorized impacts to waters of the U.S.
The public notice, with more detailed information and noteworthy proposed changes since Feb. 4, 2015, can be viewed on the Corps website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
Public comments on the proposed replacement and revision of the Massachusetts GPs (file # NAE-2016-00599) should be forwarded no later than Oct. 16, 2017 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Greg Penta), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Greg Penta at 978-318-8862 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: email@example.com.