Public Notice of Issuance of Colorado Regional General Permit 5

CESPA-RD
Published July 30, 2021

Regional General Permit 5

Ditch Related Activities in the State of Colorado
Effective: July 30, 2021
Expires: July 30, 2024

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque and Omaha Districts, hereby issue Regional General Permit 5 for discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States associated with ditch related activities in the state of Colorado.

ISSUING OFFICE: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque and Omaha Districts

ACTION ID: SPA-2021-00064

AUTHORITIES: Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the U.S.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Regional General Permit (RGP) is to authorize discharges into ditches that have minimal individual or cumulative adverse effects on the aquatic environment. For additional information regarding the application of exemptions, please refer to the Memorandum to the Field on Exemptions from Regulation under Section 404(f)(1)(C) of the CWA for the Construction or Maintenance of Irrigation Ditches and for the Maintenance of Drainage Ditches (Attachment A).

LOCATION: This RGP is applicable to waters of the U.S. within the state of Colorado, including tribal lands.

ACTIVITIES COVERED: The types of activities covered under this permit are those that result in discharges of dredged or fill material into jurisdictional irrigation and drainage ditches (ditches). Irrigation ditches convey irrigation water to or away from irrigated lands. Drainage ditches increase the drainage of a particular land area. To the extent that a Corps permit is required, activities authorized by this RGP include:

  • Construction of irrigation ditches,
  • Relocation/realignment of existing irrigation ditches,
  • Converting existing ditches into pipes,
  • Filling of existing ditches, and
  • Lining or armoring existing ditches.

This RGP also authorizes temporary structures, fills, and work, including the use of temporary mats, necessary to conduct the ditch related activity. In accordance with 33 CFR 322.2(f)(1), this RGP authorizes activities that are substantially similar in nature that would result in no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse effects on the aquatic environment, when conducted under the terms and conditions of this permit.

TERMS: For activities requiring preconstruction notification (PCN), the discharge must not cause the loss of greater than 0.5 acre of wetland or 3 acres of non-wetland waters of the U.S. (i.e., ditches), unless: (1) the district engineer waives this criterion by making a written determination concluding that the discharge will result in no more than minimal adverse environmental effects (see general conditions 1h and 10), or (2) is a part of a salinity or selenium control project per a binding agreement with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This RGP does not authorize discharges of dredged or fill material into ditches that are constructed in a stream or that entirely relocate a stream.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES: Activities conducted as part of a salinity or selenium control project per a binding agreement with USBR or USDA do not require notification. Per general condition 1 below, you must submit a PCN to the Corps for the following activities:
  1. activities that result in the loss of 0.1 acre or more of wetland;
  2. activities that result in the loss of 1 acre or more of non-wetland waters; or
  3. activities conducted per a binding agreement with USBR or USDA that are not part of a salinity or selenium control project but that result in the loss of greater than 0.5 acre of wetland or greater than 3 acres of non-wetland waters.

See general conditions 6, 7, and 8 for additional notification requirements.

The prospective permittee shall not begin the activity until either:
  1. he or she is notified in writing by the district engineer that the activity may proceed under the NWP with any special conditions imposed by the district or division engineer; or,
  2. 45 calendar days have passed from the district engineer’s receipt of the complete PCN and the prospective permittee has not received written notice from the district or division engineer.

However, if the permittee was required to notify the Corps pursuant to General Condition 6 that listed species or critical habitat might be affected or are in the vicinity of the activity, or to notify the Corps pursuant to General Condition 7 that the activity might have the potential to cause effects to historic properties, the permittee cannot begin the activity until receiving written notification from the Corps that there is “no effect” on listed species or “no potential to cause effects” on historic properties, or that any consultation required under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and/or section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act has been completed. If the proposed activity requires a written waiver to exceed specified limits of the RGP, the permittee may not begin the activity until the district engineer issues the waiver. If the district or division engineer notifies the permittee in writing that an individual permit is required within 45 calendar days of receipt of a complete PCN, the permittee cannot begin the activity until an individual permit has been obtained. Subsequently, the permittee’s right to proceed under the RGP may be modified, suspended, or revoked only in accordance with the procedure set forth in 33 CFR 330.5(d)(2).

For those activities conducted per a binding agreement with the USBR or USDA, a PCN is not required if the activity is part of a salinity or selenium control project, however you must submit to the Corps a copy of: (1) the respective agency’s documentation for compliance with the Endangered Species Act and National Historic Preservation Act and/or the lead Federal Agency NEPA document containing the same, (2) a project description, (3) project plans, and a location map. These documents must be submitted to the local Corps office at least 30 days prior to commencing activities in waters of the U.S. authorized by this RGP. Compensatory mitigation will not be required for activities conducted per a binding agreement with the USBR or USDA, since the purpose of such projects is to improve water quality and these activities would result in a net increase in aquatic resource functions and services.

For assistance in determining the appropriate Corps office, please contact one of the offices below or visit the Colorado Regulatory website at: https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Locations/District-Offices/Colorado/.

Grand Junction Regulatory Office                    
(Albuquerque District)
400 Rood Ave., Room 224
Grand Junction, CO 81501  
Phone: (970) 243-1199
Pueblo Regulatory Office
(Albuquerque District)
201 West 8th Street, Suite 350
Pueblo, CO 81003
Phone: (719) 543-9459 
 
Durango Regulatory Office
(Albuquerque District)
1970 E 3rd Ave., Suite 109           
Durango, CO 81301
Phone: (970) 259-1764
 
Denver Regulatory Office
(Omaha District)
9307 South Wadsworth Blvd.
Littleton, CO 80128-6901  
Phone: (303) 979-4120