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JULY 2008 MEETING
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

TECHNICAL PROGRAM

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Regulatory Program Update

Speaker: Denise Sloan, Project Manager for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, Tel. 409-766-3962

PRESENTATION SUMMARY

Ms. Sloan began by informing the group of about 55 that the Army Corps. (Corps) was established in 1775 to assist in civil works. The Corps is divided into districts with the Galveston District overseeing about 47 counties. The Galveston District is an operating component of the Southwestern Division, responsible for providing support along an arc of the Texas Gulf Coast, approximately 150 miles in width, extending from the Texas-Louisiana border on the northeast, to the Mexican border on the southwest. Within this area, it is the Galveston District's mission to:

  • Plan, design, and construct river and harbor, multiple purpose, and flood control works
  • Operate and maintain flood control and navigation facilities and installations
  • Administer laws for the protection and preservation of navigable waters and wetlands
  • Acquire, manage, and dispose of real property for civil works and military activities
  • Provide real estate services for the Department of Energy, other federal agencies, and for local cost sharing partners
  • Perform any other functions assigned by law

The Corps' work revolves around guidelines offered by Section 9 & 10 of the Harbors Act and Section 404 - Fill & dredge Material Section- of the Clean Water Act. Ms. Sloan taught the audience the definition of "Waters of the U.S." meant navigational waters for commerce. Wetlands meant area that has plant life dependent on saturated soils to survive.

If your company wishes to work in the areas mentioned above, you apply for a General Permit (GP) or an Individual Permit (IP). There are 49 different categories of General Permits and 20 Individual Permits. If your project qualifies for a GP, you can reduce the overall time needed to evaluate your permit application since what you are asking to do is done often in many areas.

Nationwide Permits (NWPs) are a type of general permit issued by the Chief of Engineers and are designed to regulate with little, if any, delay or paperwork certain activities having minimal impacts. Individual Permits are specific to a location having somewhat unique issues that need to be acted upon as a stand alone project. You often have to do an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to gain necessary data to be allowed to do project desired.

Ms. Sloan described the Mitigation Processes and the Compensatory Mitigation types involved when you desire to alter the land in these special areas. She reviewed a few of the numerous Regulatory Highlights of 2007 her district chose to handle. These actions included studying new performance measurements, assisted with the the Galveston Permit Service Center start up, the evaluation of Mitigation Banks that companies can contribute to or withdraw from, the trial phase of the Great Plains Regional supplement to the Delineation Manual and helping set up Public Education seminars required to help facilitate Settlement Agreements just to name a few of their accomplishments.

The Corps is currently assisting with navigation projects, energy projects (including wind farms) and studying future Nuclear Power Plants.

These and many other projects can be studied by going to several web pages, including http://www.usace.army.mil/cw/cecwo/reg/ and http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html

To download Ms. Sloan's slide presentation, click here.

 

 

 

 

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