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Application and Permit Process

The permitting process begins with requesting and receiving a geographic jurisdictional determination on the subject property, of your particular project(s), to determine if wetlands or other waters are present, and if the Corps regulates them. If a project will affect a jurisdictional wetland, or other water, then a permit from the Corps may be required.

Useful documents, links, and information about Jurisdictional Determinations, Pre-Application Meetings, Permit Exemptions, Nationwide Permits, Regional Permits, Individual Permits, and the South Pacific Division’s Permit Applications and Permit Resources are available on this page (see down below under Applicant and Permit Information section). Please contact us if you have questions about any aspect of the permitting process.

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Permit Types and Program Overview

There are three basic types of permits: Standard Permits, General Permits and Letters of Permission (LOP).

  • Standard Permits are a type of individual permit issued for projects that are likely to have more than a minimal individual or cumulative impact on aquatic resources, require a 30-day Public Notice period, and review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
  • LOPs are a type of individual permit issued through an abbreviated processing includes coordination with Federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, and a public interest evaluation, but without the publishing of an individual public notice.
  • General permits are a type of permit issued on a Regional or Nationwide basis for a category or categories of activities when: (1) those activities are substantially similar in nature and cause only minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts; or (2) the general permit would result in avoiding unnecessary duplication of the regulatory control exercised by another Federal, state, or local agency provided it has been determined that the environmental consequences of the action are individually and cumulatively minor. Additional Information Regarding The Los Angeles District's General Permits can be found below.

Application and Permit Information

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issues nationwide permits (NWPs) to authorize activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 that will result in no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. The NWP program is designed to provide timely authorizations for the regulated public while protecting the Nation’s aquatic resources. Information regarding historic nationwide permits can be found on the U.S. Army Corps Headquarters webpage here.

2017 Nationwide Permit Information

The following tribes within the Los Angeles District with delegated 401 authority have denied certification of the 2017 NWP Program. Application for individual Section 401 water quality certification from the respective tribe is required for NWP activities on their tribal lands, regardless of whether notification to the Corps is required. Contact information for each tribe is provided below.

2012 Nationwide Permit Information

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A Jurisdictional Determination (JD) is a two-step process of 1) identifying and locating the geographic boundaries of jurisdictional Waters of the United States (including wetlands) on a property and 2) determining whether those areas are regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Receiving a jurisdictional determination is recommended when planning a project.

Please find additional information regarding jurisdictional delineations at the following link: Minimum Standards for Acceptance of Aquatic Resources Delineation ReportsRegulatory Jurisdictional Overview and an overview of wetland delineations here: Wetland Delineations and Regional Supplements. Also please see Regulatory Guidance Letter 16-01.

Forms:

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A Pre-application meeting is an optional step in the permitting process. Pre-application meetings may be requested for any type of proposed project, but it is recommended for those projects that may be complex and/or potentially controversial.

Please use the following contact information to call and request a pre-application meeting with the Corps, or email us at Regulatory.SPL@usace.army.mil.  All available project information may be submitted at the time of the request.

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Regional General Permits are not available for immediate use without contacting a representative of the Corps for specific project authorization. Many RGPs still require outside agency coordination and submittal of required information. A full list of our current RGPs can be found here.

Regional General Permit (RGP) 63 Emergency Processing Procedures

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Compliance with Federal Environmental Statutes

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Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires that an applicant for a federal license or permit provide a certification that any discharges from the facility will comply with the act, including state-established water quality standard requirements.

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The 408 permission process is often conducted prior to applying for regulatory permits. It is for review and approval of alteration of existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public works projects. Public works projects include U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dams and local flood protection works constructed by the United States for which Non-Federal Sponsors (State, City, or other agency) have the responsibilities for operation and maintenance. Visit the Section 408 permit information page here.

Contact Information:

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The Federal Consistency Unit of the California Coastal Commission (CCC) implements the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972 as it applies to federal activities, development projects, permits and licenses, and support to state and local governments. The federal government certified the California Coastal Management Program (CCMP) in 1977. The enforceable policies of that document are Chapter 3 of the California Coastal Act of 1976. All consistency documents are reviewed for consistency with these policies.

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The purpose of the ESA is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. It is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Additional information regarding the ESA can be found here.

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Essential Fish Habitat describes all waters and substrate necessary for fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity. All federal agencies whose work may affect fish habitats must consult with NOAA Fisheries. For more information, please visit NOAA's website here.

Additional information regarding California Eelgrass can be found here.

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Activities permitted under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, that may result in impacts to cultural resources listed on, or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), are required to comply with Section 106 of the NHPA. Additional information and resources can be found here.

 

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Technical Information and Supplemental Decision Documents

Technical Information

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Emergency Processing Procedures

The most common form of emergency permitting is through Regional General Permit (RGP) No.63. The standard form for notifying the Corps of an emergency permit action is through ENG Form 4345, which can be found above. Information pertaining to applying for an emergency permit, including timing, contents of notification, mitigation requirements, and more, are described within the following document:

Regional General Permit 63 - Repair and Protection Activities in Emergency Situations

Applicant's are also required to notify and comply with the 401 WQC requirements, linked below.