Every five years, the United States Army Corps’ of Engineers (USACE) issues a series of general Nationwide Permits (NWPs) to authorize federal permitted activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.
The current Nationwide Permits expire on March 18, 2017. The USACE issued and finalized new NWPs on January 6, 2017 that will go into effect on March 19, 2017. The new NWPs will expire on March 18, 2022.
The Water Quality Certification Section (WQC) at the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) issues water quality certifications (WQCs) in accordance with Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The 401 Section of the CWA authorizes states and tribes to certify that the USACE 404 and Section 10 permits will comply with applicable water quality standards. You can see the full listing of all 54 NWPs at the link below.
In response, the Division of Water is issuing the corresponding general certifications to these NWPs. The commonwealth of Kentucky has three options with all the NWPs. One option is to certify as is, meaning that the conditions that need to be met for DOW’s 401 WQC program are the same as the USACE’s NWPs. Another option is to certify the NWPs with conditions, meaning that the commonwealth of Kentucky has additional conditions to qualify for the NWP and/or criteria that must be met, on top of the conditions listed by the USACE NWP. The final option is to deny a NWP. This means that an individual 401 WQC will be issued for the project. All of this information can be found at this link:
If you have any questions or concerns about these NWPs or the 401 WQC process in general, please feel free to contact Stephanie Hayes, Water Quality Certification Section supervisor at 502-782-6970.