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

Published May 19, 2023
Expiration date: 5/17/2027

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Albuquerque District (Corps), hereby issues Regional General Permit 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.

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 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.

SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES: Work authorized by this RGP is limited to discharges of dredged or fill material into WOTUS, including wetlands, and/or work in or affecting navigable WOTUS, 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 WOTUS, and/or the permanent or temporary discharge of dredged and/or fill material into WOTUS, 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 WOTUS, including wetlands, shall be avoided or minimized through the use of practicable alternatives. 

Compensatory mitigation for unavoidable adverse impacts to WOTUS may be required.

LENGTH OF AUTHORIZATION: This RGP will expire five years from the date of issuance: May 17, 2028

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