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SPA-2012-00347 Public Notice of the Proposed Reissuance of Regional General Permit, NM/West Texas-17-01, Emergency Repair and Protection Activities.

Published Nov. 8, 2022
Expiration date: 12/7/2022

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Albuquerque District, Regulatory Division, (Corps) is proposing to re-issue Regional General Permit (RGP) NM/West TX-17-01 for emergency repair and protection activities within the New Mexico and West Texas (NM/ West TX) Regulatory Branch area of responsibility, which includes New Mexico, parts of west Texas, and the entire Navajo Nation within New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed re-issuance of RGP NM/West TX-17-01 and to solicit comments.

AUTHORITY: Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 for structures or work in or affecting navigable waters and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States (WOTUS).

PURPOSE AND NEED: The purpose of this proposed RGP is to provide prospective applicants with a permitting mechanism for discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), including wetlands, that are associated to emergency situations as defined by the RGP. This proposed RGP would only authorize projects that cause no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental impacts. The need for this RGP is recognized by the Albuquerque District as a permitting mechanism that would allow for expedited review of proposed projects while ensuring compliance with all applicable federal regulations and conditions of the proposed RGP. Previously, the RGP has been utilized within the NM/West Texas Branch of the Corps Albuquerque District, Regulatory Division, and has been reissued multiple times for 5-year periods based on the need for this permitting mechanism. 

SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES: Work authorized by this RGP is limited to discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands, and/or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States, associated with 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, a significant loss of property, or damage to essential public services if corrective action requiring a permit is not undertaken immediately).

ACTIVITIES COVERED BY THIS RGP: Permanent or temporary work or structures in navigable waters of the U.S., and/or the permanent or temporary discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the U.S., including wetlands, for repair or protection activities for which this office has determined that an emergency situation exists as defined by this RGP. Typical activities authorized under this RGP include, but are not limited to: bank stabilization (not to exceed 500-linear feet, unless this limit is waived by the Corps in writing); restoration of damaged areas; temporary fills for staging, access, and dewatering; repair, replacement, or rehabilitation of existing structures and/or fills (e.g. roads, bridges, utility pipelines and flood control structures, including attendant features, irrigation pumps or intakes, and other existing structures located in waters of the U.S.); construction or repair of fire/fuel breaks, debris and sediment containment structures, including erosion control basins (erosion control basins cannot be located within a perennial or intermittent stream); removal of accumulated debris and/or sediment (limited to restoring flow conveyance/channel geometry to pre-event dimensions), and other activities associated to emergency repair or protection situations.

This RGP may NOT be used to upgrade an existing structure to current standards when that activity would result in additional adverse effects on aquatic resources, except in very limited circumstances. Such upgrade projects shall be considered separate activities for which other forms of authorization will be required.

Projects that are beyond the scope and timing of this emergency permit should be authorized using the appropriate general or individual permit. Impacts to waters of the U.S., including wetlands, shall be avoided or minimized through the use of practicable alternatives.

Compensatory mitigation for unavoidable adverse impacts to waters of the U.S. may be required.

LENGTH OF AUTHORIZATION: This RGP, if reissued, will expire five years from the date of issuance.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, is required for this RGP.

COMMENT PERIOD: All comments pertaining to this Public Notice must be submitted to this office on or before December 8, 2022. Extensions of the comment period may be granted for valid reasons provided a written request is received prior to the comment period end date. If no comments are received by that date, it will be considered that there are no objections. Anyone may request, in writing, that a public hearing be held to consider this effort. Requests shall specifically state, with particularity, the reason(s) for holding a public hearing. If the Corps determines that the information received in response to this notice is inadequate for thorough evaluation, a public hearing may be warranted. If a public hearing is warranted, interested parties will be notified of the time, date, and location. Please note that names and addresses of those who submit comments in response to this public notice may be made publicly available through the Freedom of Information Act.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPA-2012-00347, must be submitted to the office listed below on or before December 8, 2022.

Daniel Delgado, Senior Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Albuquerque District
Regulatory Division, NM/Texas Branch
4101 Jefferson Plaza NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109-3435
Phone: (505) 342-3111


Please note that all written comments received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act.