The permitting phase begins by overlaying the infrastructure of your project onto the JD map. Federal law requires that efforts are made to avoid and then minimize impacts to the jurisdictional waters. In cases where impacts are unavoidable a permit is required. The timeline for acquiring a permit ranges from three months on simple projects, to over a year for large projects such as power plants and surface coal mines. If you foresee the potential need for a permit it is best to begin the process as soon as possible to avoid delays. The timeline for almost every permit varies according to extenuating circumstances, and all require consult with Fish & Wildlife for endangered species, as well as the state historians office for cultural resources. Various permit options are available depending on your specific project.
Many small activities can be authorized by one of the Nationwide (NW), Regional (RGP) or Programmatic General Permits (PGP). These typically include activities that are similar in nature and cause minimal environmental impact. These permits reduce the duplication of regulatory control by State and Federal agencies. The most common of these are linear projects for transportation or utilities, residential & commercial developments, aquatic resource restoration, and agricultural activities. Typically, if the total area of impacts is less than 0.1-acre total then the impact is non-reportable and no mitigation is required. The value created by some projects can also sometimes be considered as self-mitigating and with no mitigation requirements.
Individual permits are required for projects that are complex or have many impacts. Examples include large mines, industrial sites & power plants. These are the most rigorous permits with respect to paperwork, as well as a 30-day public comment period. The application then undergoes extensive review by various state, federal, public & private agencies.
Wetland Services has been permitting projects with the Army Corps of Engineers since 1997. At that time only the largest scale industrial activities were actively regulated. Since then, the Clean Water Act has expanded to encompass all activities, including agriculture which is otherwise regulated by USDA. Our company remains consistently current with all regulatory requirements, and has an excellent track record with all stakeholders. We are glad to assist with your permitting needs.
The main repercussion of the permit is the Mitigation plan. This is the plan of when, where and how the applicant will restore streams or wetlands to offset the losses caused by their project.