In February of 2022, the Savannah District of the United States Army Corps of Engineers issued new regional conditions for the Nationwide Permit (NWP) program that affect Residential, Commercial and Industrial Developments.
The updated conditions are a regional supplement to the overall Federal updates to the Nationwide Permit program that went into effect in 2021.
Limitations on Disturbances
The most significant change associated with the new regulations is the limitation on stream and wetland disturbances under the NWP as well as update the threshold on mitigation requirements. The new Savannah regional conditions limit the permanent loss of stream to no more than 0.05 acres of stream for Nationwide Permits 29 (Residential) and 39 (Commercial and Industrial) per project for NWPs Wetland disturbance is similarly limited by acreage, to 0.5 acres per project. Disturbances exceeding these limitations require an Individual Permit.
The threshold for NWP’s is 0.05 acres for streams and 0.5 acres of combined disturbance for streams and wetlands.
Similarly, the new regional conditions put the thresholds for mitigation at 0.01 acre of permanent stream loss and/or 0.1 acre of wetland loss. If one or both thresholds are met per project, the project must provide some sort of mitigation effort, usually in the form of compensatory mitigation, through credit purchases.
“A compensatory mitigation plan is required for NWP projects that result in an adverse effect to 0.1 acre or more of wetland and /or 0.01 acre or more of stream that results in a loss in aquatic function.”
The Big Picture
Impacts to streams are now quantified by area instead of by linear feet. For smaller intermittent and perennial streams, this means that more stream disturbance can occur, and conversely for larger streams, less disturbance can occur under the Nationwide Permit.
The disturbance thresholds are 0.05 acres for streams and0.5 acres of combined disturbance of both streams and wetlands. However, the thresholds for mitigation are 0.01 acres for streams and 0.01 acres wetland disturbance.
If you have questions about your project, let us know!