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NWP-2007-999

Posted: 11/7/2012

Expiration date: 11/23/2012


Public Notice: Proposal to Issue One Year Extension for USFS/BLM Regional General Permit (RGP-4)

15-day Notice
Issue Date: Nov. 7, 2012
Expiration Date: Nov. 23, 2012

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District

For additional information contact:
Judy Linton, Regulatory Project Manager
Portland District, Regulatory Branch
Action ID: NWP-2007-999
Telephone 503-808-4382
judy.l.linton@usace.army.mil

Interested parties are hereby notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District proposes to extend RGP-4 for one year. RGP-4 authorizes the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to conduct aquatic habitat restoration activities on federal lands within the state of Oregon. Projects may also occur on non-federal lands when those projects directly assist the USFS and/or BLM in achieving their aquatic restoration goals and are funded in part by the USFS and BLM. The USFS and BLM are permitted to fund such projects under Wyden Amendment authority (16 U.S.C. 1011(a), as amended by Section 136 of PL 105-277). RGP-4 is set to expire Dec. 31, 2012. No changes to authorized activities will occur as part of a one-year extension. With an extension, RGP-4 would expire Dec. 31, 2013.

PURPOSE: The USFS and BLM have expressed interest in reauthorizing RGP-4 and the state’s comparable general permit. As a result, the Corps and Oregon Department of State Lands have begun the process of evaluating the potential for reauthorizing the RGP/GP. One phase of the evaluation process will be a review of existing projects completed under this permit to look at cumulative impacts and compliance with existing conditions. DSL will be conducting a series of compliance inspections on completed projects over the next few months. A one-year extension will allow the Corps and DSL sufficient time to evaluate the results of these inspections, and any proposal by the USFS/BLM for new or modified activities, and determine if reauthorizing this RGP/GP is appropriate and whether the terms and conditions should be revised. If RGP-4 is not extended, restoration projects that would have been covered will need to be evaluated by other permitting means until the Corps can complete the process of determining whether reauthorizing RGP-4 is appropriate.
The Corps is seeking input from the public on the proposal to extend RGP-4. A separate public review process will be conducted for the RGP-4 reauthorization process and will include a detailed description of the proposed activity categories and the proposed terms and conditions.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: With the issuance of the current RGP-4 on May 29, 2009, the Corps determined the activities to be covered fell within the categories of activities authorized by the Corps’ 2007 Nationwide Permits. As a result, projects completed under RGP-4 were required to comply with the conditions of the 401 Water Quality Certification issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for the 2007 Nationwide Permits on July 18, 2007.

The Corps believes the activities authorized by RGP-4 similarly fall within the activities authorized by the 2012 Nationwide Permits issued February 21, 2012. The Corps proposes that actions completed under a one year extension comply with the Water Quality Certification issued by DEQ for the 2012 Nationwide Permits on April 9, 2012.

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT ACT CERTIFICATION: By letter dated June 9, 2009, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development concurred with the USFS and BLM’s certification that the aquatic habitat restoration activities covered by RGP-4 are consistent with the Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP). If RGP-4 is extended, the Corps will require all projects authorized under the extended RGP to meet the conditions of this OCMP consistency concurrence.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The USFS and BLM are in the process of revising aquatic restoration biological opinions previously received from both the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Where projects conducted under an extended RGP-4 will affect ESA-listed species, compliance with the terms and conditions of the revised programmatic aquatic restoration opinions, or individual consultations, will be required.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The USFS and BLM will ensure compliance with all cultural resource laws and regulations for each project proposed for authorization under this RGP. Such review will occur as part of their evaluation process under the National Environmental Policy Act. The USFS and BLM will also coordinate with appropriate Native American Tribes and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office to ensure proposed projects will not impact such things as cultural resources, treaty fishing access sites, usual and accustomed areas, burial sites, or Traditional Cultural Properties.

COMMENTS: Comments on the proposed extension of RGP-4 should reference the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers number shown above and should reach this office no later than the expiration date of this public notice to become part of the record and to be considered in the decision. Comments should be mailed to the following address:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
Attn: CENWP-OD-G (Judy Linton)
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946

Comments may also be sent by e-mail to: judy.l.linton@usace.army.mil

public notice regulatory RGP