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SPECIAL PUBLIC NOTICE: Post-Flood and Flood Protection Permitting within the State of New Mexico

Posted: 9/17/2013

Expiration date:


The Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District recently issued an emergency permit (Regional General Permit NM-12-01 for Repair and Protection Activities in Emergency Situations) which can be used to authorize emergency post-flooding projects in New Mexico under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. If you are implementing an emergency project that may impact a water of the United States, you should contact the Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District Regulatory Office (505) 342-3678 before you begin work. This special public notice is intended to provide information and answer common questions about the emergency permit.

The Corps recognizes there may be situations where there is an imminent threat to health or safety and 404 authorization cannot be obtained in advance. If you need to begin work prior to 404 authorization, you should provide prior notice to the Corps with basic information about your project by telephone, facsimile, or e-mail.

A full copy of the emergency permit for New Mexico is available at: http://www.spa.usace.army.mil/Portals/16/docs/civilworks/regulatory/Regional%20General%20Permits/New%20Mexico/NM%20Emergency%20RGP-%20FINAL%20UPDATE%2027-Feb-13.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the purpose of RGP NM-12-01?

Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the Corps of Engineers regulates discharges of dredged or fill material to waters of the United States. If you are uncertain about whether your project is located within a water of the U.S. or if your project is a regulated activity, you should contact the Corps at the phone number provided above. RGP NM-12-01 provides an expedited process, under which the Corps can quickly authorize discharges for necessary repair and protection measures associated with an emergency situation in New Mexico.

2. What does the term ‘Emergency Situation’ mean?

Actions necessary to prevent or mitigate flooding impacts may be considered an “emergency situation”. An “emergency situation” is present where there is a clear, sudden, unexpected, and imminent threat to life or property demanding immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of, or damage to, life, health, property or essential public services (i.e., a situation that could potentially result in an unacceptable hazard to life or a significant loss of property if corrective action requiring a permit is not undertaken immediately).

3. What types of emergency activities are covered under this RGP? 

  • Levee construction, rebuilding or maintenance
  • Removal of accumulated sediment, debris or vegetation to prevent or mitigate the emergency situation
  • Bank stabilization to prevent or minimize erosion or the loss of structures such as bridges
  • Debris containment structures
  • Construction of diversion channels and flow deflection structures
  • Other actions necessary to prevent or mitigate flooding impacts

4. When should the Corps be notified regarding the proposed emergency activity?

The applicant should notify the Corps as early as possible. Most emergency projects can be authorized within seven (7) days and the Corps will work with applicants in situations where a quicker authorization is necessary.

5. What information must be included in the emergency permit application?

RGP NM-12-01 specifies the information required (called a preconstruction notification, or PCN), and offers a form that can be used to organize the information. The form asks for basic information such as your contact information and the location of the proposed activity, and elements such as the purpose of the project, the type of waterbody affected (i.e. perennial, intermittent, or ephemeral stream; wetland; or other type), estimates of length, width and depth of impact, map of the project area, and a location for disposal of excavated material. Once a project is reviewed, the permittee will be notified that they can proceed with the activity.

6. Are there any restrictions to the types of equipment that can be used for emergency response?

There are no prohibitions against the use of the type of heavy equipment. Guidelines for Best Management Practices (BMPs) are available to help prevent unnecessary impacts to water quality and aquatic resources.

7. Where do I send the Pre-Construction Notification?

Attn: NM/TX Branch Chief via fax at 505-342-1514 or mail/electronic mail at:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Albuquerque District
Regulatory Division, CESPA-RD
4101 Jefferson Plaza NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Marcy.L.Leavitt@usace.army.mil

8. In addition to providing project information to the Corps, what other agencies must be notified?

For projects on non-tribal lands in New Mexico, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) must certify that the project will not negatively impact water quality. The applicant must therefore provide a copy of the Pre-Construction Notification directly to the NMED Surface Water Quality Bureau, and obtain confirmation prior to commencing work. The Corps and NMED work together closely to ensure that projects are certified quickly and efficiently. For projects on tribal lands, water quality certification must be obtained from the appropriate tribal authority. Please contact:

New Mexico Environment Department- SWQB
1190 South St. Francis Drive
PO Box 5469, Santa Fe, NM 87502
505-476-3017
Abraham.Franklin@state.nm.us

9. Once authorized, how many days do I have to initiate the project?

Any emergency projects authorized under this permit must be initiated within seven (7) days of receiving authorization to proceed. Projects that cannot be initiated within seven (7) days are not considered emergencies and can be authorized under other 404 permits.

Please note: You are encouraged to read the permit and certification conditions for a full list of requirements and conditions. Not all requirements and conditions are applicable for every permitted project.

10. When does this permit expire?

This permit will be effective through January 24, 2017; however projects authorized under this permit will have a timeframe for completion specified in the approval notification.

11. Who can I contact for more information?

ATTN: Marcy Leavitt and/or Jennifer Lillard
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Albuquerque District
Regulatory Division, CESPA-RD
4101 Jefferson Plaza NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Marcy.L.Leavitt@usace.army.mil
Jennifer.J.Lillard@usace.army.mil

12. Where can I find more information on RGP NM-12-01?

www.spa.usace.army.mil/Portals/16/docs/civilworks/regulatory/Regional%20General%20Permits/New%20Mexico/NM%20Emergency%20RGP-%20FINAL%20UPDATE%2027-Feb-13.pdf