33 CFR 330.5 - Issuing, modifying, suspending, or revoking nationwide permits and authorizations.
(a) General. This section sets forth the procedures for issuing and reissuing NWPs and for modifying, suspending, or revoking NWPs and authorizations under NWPs.
(b) Chief of Engineers. (1) Anyone may, at any time, suggest to the Chief of Engineers, (ATTN: CECW-OR), any new NWPs or conditions for issuance, or changes to existing NWPs, which he believes to be appropriate for consideration. From time-to-time new NWPs and revocations of or modifications to existing NWPs will be evaluated by the Chief of Engineers following the procedures specified in this section. Within five years of issuance of the NWPs, the Chief of Engineers will review the NWPs and propose modification, revocation, or reissuance.
(2) Public notice. (i) Upon proposed issuance of new NWPs or modification, suspension, revocation, or reissuance of existing NWPs, the Chief of Engineers will publish a document seeking public comments, including the opportunity to request a public hearing. This document will also state that the information supporting the Corps' provisional determination that proposed activities comply with the requirements for issuance under general permit authority is available at the Office of the Chief of Engineers and at all district offices. The Chief of Engineers will prepare this information which will be supplemented, if appropriate, by division engineers.
(ii) Concurrent with the Chief of Engineers' notification of proposed, modified, reissued, or revoked NWPs, DEs will notify the known interested public by a notice issued at the district level. The notice will include proposed regional conditions or proposed revocations of NWP authorizations for specific geographic areas, classes of activities, or classes of waters, if any, developed by the division engineer.
(3) Documentation. The Chief of Engineers will prepare appropriate NEPA documents and, if applicable, section 404(b)(1) Guidelines compliance analyses for proposed NWPs. Documentation for existing NWPs will be modified to reflect any changes in these permits and to reflect the Chief of Engineers' evaluation of the use of the permit since the last issuance. Copies of all comments received on the document will be included in the administrative record. The Chief of Engineers will consider these comments in making his decision on the NWPs, and will prepare a statement of findings outlining his views regarding each NWP and discussing how substantive comments were considered. The Chief of Engineers will also determine the need to hold a public hearing for the proposed NWPs.
(4) Effective dates. The Chief of Engineers will advise the public of the effective date of any issuance, modification, or revocation of an NWP.
(c) Division Engineer. (1) A division engineer may use his discretionary authority to modify, suspend, or revoke NWP authorizations for any specific geographic area, class of activities, or class of waters within his division, including on a statewide basis, by issuing a public notice or notifying the individuals involved. The notice will state his concerns regarding the environment or the other relevant factors of the public interest. Before using his discretionary authority to modify or revoke such NWP authorizations, division engineers will:
(i) Give an opportunity for interested parties to express their views on the proposed action (the DE will publish and circulate a notice to the known interested public to solicit comments and provide the opportunity to request a public hearing);
(ii) Consider fully the views of affected parties;
(iii) Prepare supplemental documentation for any modifications or revocations that may result through assertion of discretionary authority. Such documentation will include comments received on the district public notices and a statement of findings showing how substantive comments were considered;
(iv) Provide, if appropriate, a grandfathering period as specified in § 330.6(b) for those who have commenced work or are under contract to commence in reliance on the NWP authorization; and
(v) Notify affected parties of the modification, suspension, or revocation, including the effective date (the DE will publish and circulate a notice to the known interested public and to anyone who commented on the proposed action).
(2) The modification, suspension, or revocation of authorizations under an NWP by the division engineer will become effective by issuance of public notice or a notification to the individuals involved.
(3) A copy of all regional conditions imposed by division engineers on activities authorized by NWPs will be forwarded to the Office of the Chief of Engineers, ATTN: CECW-OR.
(d) District Engineer. (1) When deciding whether to exercise his discretionary authority to modify, suspend, or revoke a case specific activity's authorization under an NWP, the DE should consider to the extent relevant and appropriate: Changes in circumstances relating to the authorized activity since the NWP itself was issued or since the DE confirmed authorization under the NWP by written verification; the continuing need for, or adequacy of, the specific conditions of the authorization; any significant objections to the authorization not previously considered; progress inspections of individual activities occurring under an NWP; cumulative adverse environmental effects resulting from activities occurring under the NWP; the extent of the permittee's compliance with the terms and conditions of the NWPs; revisions to applicable statutory or regulatory authorities; and, the extent to which asserting discretionary authority would adversely affect plans, investments, and actions the permittee has made or taken in reliance on the permit; and, other concerns for the environment, including the aquatic environment under the section 404(b)(1) Guidelines, and other relevant factors of the public interest.
(2) Procedures. (i) When considering whether to modify or revoke a specific authorization under an NWP, whenever practicable, the DE will initially hold informal consultations with the permittee to determine whether special conditions to modify the authorization would be mutually agreeable or to allow the permittee to furnish information which satisfies the DE's concerns. If a mutual agreement is reached, the DE will give the permittee written verification of the authorization, including the special conditions. If the permittee furnishes information which satisfies the DE's concerns, the permittee may proceed. If appropriate, the DE may suspend the NWP authorization while holding informal consultations with the permittee.
(ii) If the DE's concerns remain after the informal consultation, the DE may suspend a specific authorization under an NWP by notifying the permittee in writing by the most expeditious means available that the authorization has been suspended, stating the reasons for the suspension, and ordering the permittee to stop any activities being done in reliance upon the authorization under the NWP. The permittee will be advised that a decision will be made either to reinstate or revoke the authorization under the NWP; or, if appropriate, that the authorization under the NWP may be modified by mutual agreement. The permittee will also be advised that within 10 days of receipt of the notice of suspension, he may request a meeting with the DE, or his designated representative, to present information in this matter. After completion of the meeting (or within a reasonable period of time after suspending the authorization if no meeting is requested), the DE will take action to reinstate, modify, or revoke the authorization.
(iii) Following completion of the suspension procedures, if the DE determines that sufficient concerns for the environment, including the aquatic environment under the section 404(b)(1) Guidelines, or other relevant factors of the public interest so require, he will revoke authorization under the NWP. The DE will provide the permittee a written final decision and instruct him on the procedures to seek authorization under a regional general permit or an individual permit.
(3) The DE need not issue a public notice when asserting discretionary authority over a specific activity. The modification, suspension, or revocation will become effective by notification to the prospective permittee.