CONCORD, Mass. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District has revoked the state-wide General Permits (GPs) for Massachusetts issued on Feb. 4, 2015 and replaced them with new Massachusetts GPs. The February 2015 GPs were revoked on April 16, 2018 pursuant to the Corps regulations at 33 CFR 325.7(e). The new GPs were issued on April 16, 2018 pursuant to 33 CFR 320-332.
The new GPs will continue to authorize activities 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, that are subject to 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.
The Massachusetts GPs are available for viewing and download at the Corps website:
The Corps published two public notices to announce the proposed actions and request comments on June 7, 2016 and Sept. 15, 2017. The Corps is issuing new GPs and revoking the 2015 GPs in advance of their Feb. 4, 2020 expiration date in order to improve the GPs by making them more user-friendly and result in less Regulatory burden for the regulated public and the Corps while maintaining the same level of protection for the aquatic environment and the public interest.
The new GPs retain the function and utility of the existing GPs, continue the expedited review process for the Corps Regulatory program in Massachusetts, and will not result in significant substantive changes to how activities in waters of the U.S. are regulated in Massachusetts. The new GPs will have an expiration date of April 5, 2023, which coincides with the expiration date of the 401 Water Quality Certification.
The February 2015 GPs were revoked on April 16, 2018. As a result: 1) For activities self-verified under the 2015 GPs, the Corps must have received the Self-Verification Notification Form no later than April 16, 2018, and these activities must commence (i.e., be under construction) or be under contract to commence before Feb. 4, 2020. Permittees have until Feb. 4, 2021 to complete the activity under the terms and conditions of the 2015 GPs. The permittee must be able to document to the Corps’ satisfaction that the project was under construction or under contract by the appropriate date. 2) Activities that required a preconstruction notification (PCN) and were verified by the Corps in writing under the 2015 GPs must commence (i.e., be under construction) or be under contract to commence before Feb. 4, 2020. Permittees have until Feb. 4, 2021 to complete the activity under the terms and conditions of the 2015 GPs. The permittee must be able to document to the Corps’ satisfaction that the project was under construction or under contract by the appropriate date.
The public notice, with more detailed information, can be viewed on the Corps website at: http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx.
For additional information on the Massachusetts GPs (file # NAE-2016-00599) contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Greg Penta), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751; or contact 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.