The Corps issues LOPs for activities outside of the RMV Planning Area that are consistent with the purposes and goals of the SAMP. Such activities would need to have undergone effective pre-application coordination, complied with the Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines, and included effective compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts. The LOP authorization is an abbreviated method for issuing an individual permit, where a decision to issue a final permit authorization for particular activities is made after coordination with federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, a public interest evaluation, and a concise environmental review. In addition, review involving other resource agencies will insure adverse impacts are minimized to the maximum extent practicable.
To determine whether your proposed project is eligible for abbreviated LOP permitting in areas of the San Juan Creek/Western San Mateo Creek SAMP that are outside the RMV Planning Area click here.
Pre-application coordination is required for projects with permanent losses of WoUS greater than 0.1 acre or for projects with temporary impacts greater than 0.25 acre of WoUS with native wetland and/or riparian vegetation. For projects permanently impacting 0.1 acre of WoUS or less and temporarily impacting 0.25 acre of vegetated WoUS or less, pre-application coordination is not required; the applicant only needs to submit an application directly to the applicable agencies. Pre-application coordination must involve the Corps, CDFG, the SDWQCB, and the USFWS. For the pre-application meetings, the applicant may meet with the agencies separately or in small groups, consult by telephone, or schedule a pre-application meeting held bi-monthly at the Corps office. A written record of the proceedings must be provided afterwards to the Corps, documenting substantive issues discussed, agency recommendations, and any pertinent conclusions. In preparation for the pre-application meeting, the following information should be provided to the agencies at least two weeks prior to the meeting:
The Corps will make an initial determination that the project may qualify for the LOP permitting process based on a preliminary determination that the project meets the 404(b)(1) guidelines, that the project is consistent with the SAMP, and that standard individual permit processing with Public Notice review would not result in a substantive change in the proposed project or mitigation. If the Corps makes an initial determination that the project may not qualify for the LOP permitting process, the Corps would provide recommendations that would enable the project to qualify for the LOP permitting process.
- A delineation of WoUS for the project area;
- A site location and plan view of the project areas and acreage to be impacted showing permanent and temporary impacts to WoUS;
- A draft statement addressing the Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines;
- A draft mitigation plan, if unavoidable impacts occur to riparian habitat and/or wetlands; and
- When appropriate, a cultural resources inventory and results from an endangered or threatened species survey for the project area.
If your project is eligible for LOP permitting, proceed by submitting the following application materials:
- A completed Department of the Army application form Eng Form 4345.
- A complete project description, which includes:
- Pre-project photographs of the project site;
- A site location map and view of the project showing areas and acreage to be impacted on 8.5" x 11" sheets;
- Location coordinates: latitude/longitude or UTM's;
- Volume, type and source of material to be placed into WoUS;
- Total area of WoUS to be directly and indirectly affected;
- A verified delineation of WoUS located in the project area including a wetland delineation map on 8.5" x 11" sheets;
- A description of habitat, including plant communities, located in the project area;
- A description of methods to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse impacts to water quality or aquatic function at the project site including best management practices used during project implementation to control siltation and erosion;
- Any other information pertinent to the wetlands, stream, or water body involved; and
- Proposed project schedule.
- A record of pre-application coordination with the Corps, CDFG, SDWQCB, and USFWS. If coordination was not accomplished with any of the agencies, the applicant must show that a concerted effort was made to meet with the agency and explain why such coordination was not achieved. The record must document comments and concerns made by each agency during pre-application consultation.
- A discussion of how each agency comment/concern was addressed.
- A statement addressing the Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines alternatives analysis, with explicit discussion on why a mainstem stream as mapped by ERDC cannot be avoided.
- A mitigation plan addressing unavoidable impacts to WoUS and the program goal of no net loss of wetlands.
- Local approvals or other evidence that the project has been reviewed by the appropriate local governmental body and has been found to be consistent with state and local land use plans and policies, particularly state and local wetland policies.
- Appropriate surveys, inventories, or reports that will allow the Corps to make a determination of the effect of the proposed project (and if necessary consult) pursuant to the Endangered Species Act or evidence of incidental take authorizations under the ESA.
- Evidence of compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.
Upon receipt of a complete application, the Corps will process the application by following the procedure detailed below:
- The applicant will provide the Corps and the review agencies a complete application. The Corps will review the applicant's submission and assign an action ID number.
- Within 7 calendar days, the Corps will determine if the application is complete. If an application is incomplete, the Corps would within 7 calendar days notify the applicant of the needed information items and the applicant will be required to resubmit.
- Within 10 calendar days of receiving a complete application, the Corps will submit materials to the agencies (CDFG, RWQCB, USFWS, EPA, NOAA Fisheries, and SHPO) via fax and request the agencies provide comments. The agencies (except for SHPO) will provide comments to the Corps within 21 calendar days. The SHPO will provide comment within 30 calendar days. “No objections” comments may be provided by phone, but substantive comments should be provided and confirmed by fax or letter. When the LOP fax is transmitted to the other resource agencies, the Corps will consider the following subjects:
- Conformity of the proposed project with the SAMP;
- Accuracy of the wetland delineation and the resource assessment;
- Minimization of impacts to the maximum extent practicable;
- Consistency of the proposed project-specific compensatory mitigation with the SAMP compensatory mitigation policy framework (see below);
- Whether threatened or endangered species issues have been resolved in a manner consistent the Endangered Species Act through the issuance of an individual incidental take statement or through reference to the local Natural Communities Conservation Planning program; and
- Status of compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.
- The Corps will review the comments received and make a final determination within 45 calendar days of receiving the complete application. After all the comments are received from the resource agencies, the Corps will perform a final evaluation of the project. Any problems identified during the LOP notification process to the resource agencies will be resolved before an LOP is issued. If the project meets the criteria for LOP authorization, an LOP will be issued.
- If the project fails to meet the criteria for LOP authorization, the Corps will notify the applicant of the need for review through a Standard Individual Permit process.
- Section 401 Water Quality Certification or waiver must be obtained from RWQCB. An LOP will not be issued until Section 401 certification or a waiver is obtained. If no Section 401 Water Quality Certification has been issued within 45 days after submittal of a complete application, the Corps will issue a provisional LOP.