33 CFR § 325.3 - Public notice.

§ 325.3 Public notice.

(a) General. The public notice is the primary method of advising all interested parties of the proposed activity for which a permit is sought and of soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impact on the public interest. The notice must, therefore, include sufficient information to give a clear understanding of the nature and magnitude of the activity to generate meaningful comment. The notice should include the following items of information:

(1) Applicable statutory authority or authorities;

(2) The name and address of the applicant;

(3) The name or title, address and telephone number of the Corps employee from whom additional information concerning the application may be obtained;

(4) The location of the proposed activity;

(5) A brief description of the proposed activity, its purpose and intended use, so as to provide sufficient information concerning the nature of the activity to generate meaningful comments, including a description of the type of structures, if any, to be erected on fills or pile or float-supported platforms, and a description of the type, composition, and quantity of materials to be discharged or disposed of in the ocean;

(6) A plan and elevation drawing showing the general and specific site location and character of all proposed activities, including the size relationship of the proposed structures to the size of the impacted waterway and depth of water in the area;

(7) If the proposed activity would occur in the territorial seas or ocean waters, a description of the activity's relationship to the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured;

(8) A list of other government authorizations obtained or requested by the applicant, including required certifications relative to water quality, coastal zone management, or marine sanctuaries;

(9) If appropriate, a statement that the activity is a categorical exclusion for purposes of NEPA (see paragraph 7 of Appendix B to 33 CFR part 230);

(10) A statement of the district engineer's current knowledge on historic properties;

(11) A statement of the district engineer's current knowledge on endangered species (see § 325.2(b)(5));

(12) A statement(s) on evaluation factors (see § 325.3(c));

(13) Any other available information which may assist interested parties in evaluating the likely impact of the proposed activity, if any, on factors affecting the public interest;

(14) The comment period based on § 325.2(d)(2);

(15) A statement that any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in the notice, that a public hearing be held to consider the application. Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a public hearing;

(16) For non-federal applications in states with an approved CZM Plan, a statement on compliance with the approved Plan; and

(17) In addition, for section 103 (ocean dumping) activities:

(i) The specific location of the proposed disposal site and its physical boundaries;

(ii) A statement as to whether the proposed disposal site has been designated for use by the Administrator, EPA, pursuant to section 102(c) of the Act;

(iii) If the proposed disposal site has not been designated by the Administrator, EPA, a description of the characteristics of the proposed disposal site and an explanation as to why no previously designated disposal site is feasible;

(iv) A brief description of known dredged material discharges at the proposed disposal site;

(v) Existence and documented effects of other authorized disposals that have been made in the disposal area (e.g., heavy metal background reading and organic carbon content);

(vi) An estimate of the length of time during which disposal would continue at the proposed site; and

(vii) Information on the characteristics and composition of the dredged material.

(b) Public notice for general permits. District engineers will publish a public notice for all proposed regional general permits and for significant modifications to, or reissuance of, existing regional permits within their area of jurisdiction. Public notices for statewide regional permits may be issued jointly by the affected Corps districts. The notice will include all applicable information necessary to provide a clear understanding of the proposal. In addition, the notice will state the availability of information at the district office which reveals the Corps' provisional determination that the proposed activities comply with the requirements for issuance of general permits. District engineers will publish a public notice for nationwide permits in accordance with 33 CFR 330.4.

(c) Evaluation factors. A paragraph describing the various evaluation factors on which decisions are based shall be included in every public notice.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the following will be included:

“The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.”

(2) If the activity would involve the discharge of dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States or the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of disposing of it in ocean waters, the public notice shall also indicate that the evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, (40 CFR part 230) or of the criteria established under authority of section 102(a) of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended (40 CFR parts 220 to 229), as appropriate. (See 33 CFR parts 323 and 324).

(3) In cases involving construction of artificial islands, installations and other devices on outer continental shelf lands which are under mineral lease from the Department of the Interior, the notice will contain the following statement: “The decision as to whether a permit will be issued will be based on an evaluation of the impact of the proposed work on navigation and national security.”

(d) Distribution of public notices.

(1) Public notices will be distributed for posting in post offices or other appropriate public places in the vicinity of the site of the proposed work and will be sent to the applicant, to appropriate city and county officials, to adjoining property owners, to appropriate state agencies, to appropriate Indian Tribes or tribal representatives, to concerned Federal agencies, to local, regional and national shipping and other concerned business and conservation organizations, to appropriate River Basin Commissions, to appropriate state and areawide clearing houses as prescribed by OMB Circular A-95, to local news media and to any other interested party. Copies of public notices will be sent to all parties who have specifically requested copies of public notices, to the U.S. Senators and Representatives for the area where the work is to be performed, the field representative of the Secretary of the Interior, the Regional Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Regional Director of the National Park Service, the Regional Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Regional Director of the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the head of the state agency responsible for fish and wildlife resources, the State Historic Preservation Officer, and the District Commander, U.S. Coast Guard.

(2) In addition to the general distribution of public notices cited above, notices will be sent to other addressees in appropriate cases as follows:

(i) If the activity would involve structures or dredging along the shores of the seas or Great Lakes, to the Coastal Engineering Research Center, Washington, DC 20016.

(ii) If the activity would involve construction of fixed structures or artificial islands on the outer continental shelf or in the territorial seas, to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Installations, and Logistics (ASD(MI&L)), Washington, DC 20310; the Director, Defense Mapping Agency (Hydrographic Center) Washington, DC 20390, Attention, Code NS12; and the National Ocean Service, Office of Coast Survey, N/CS261, 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-3282, and to affected military installations and activities.

(iii) If the activity involves the construction of structures to enhance fish propagation (e.g., fishing reefs) along the coasts of the United States, to the Director, Office of Marine Recreational Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, Washington, DC 20235.

(iv) If the activity involves the construction of structures which may affect aircraft operations or for purposes associated with seaplane operations, to the Regional Director of the Federal Aviation Administration.

(v) If the activity would be in connection with a foreign-trade zone, to the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230 and to the appropriate District Director of Customs as Resident Representative, Foreign-Trade Zones Board.

(3) It is presumed that all interested parties and agencies will wish to respond to public notices; therefore, a lack of response will be interpreted as meaning that there is no objection to the proposed project. A copy of the public notice with the list of the addresses to whom the notice was sent will be included in the record. If a question develops with respect to an activity for which another agency has responsibility and that other agency has not responded to the public notice, the district engineer may request its comments. Whenever a response to a public notice has been received from a member of Congress, either in behalf of a constituent or himself, the district engineer will inform the member of Congress of the final decision.

(4) District engineers will update public notice mailing lists at least once every two years.