On November 16, 2015, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) advertised proposed modifications to the issued Clean Water Act section 401 water quality certification for the Department ofthe Army 2012 Nationwide Permits (NWPs) described in the February 21, 2012, Federal Register (77 FR 10184). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, representing the Huntington, Louisville, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh Districts, is considering this request and providing an opportunity for the public to express their views on proposed changes to the Corps 2012 Regional General Conditions 4, 4(3), 5( e ), 5(±), 6(b ), 6( e) and 6(±) for the State of Ohio (see enclosure). These changes are under consideration in order to achieve consistency with the proposed Ohio EPA 401 water quality certification modifications.
For your convenience, an electronic copy of the current 2012 NWPs and regional conditions may be referenced online at the following address: http://www.lrh.usace.army.mil/Portals/38/docs/regulatory/nationwide/2012%20Nationwide%20P ermits%20for%20the%20State%20ofll/o200hio%20( with%200EP A %20401 %20Water%20Quali ty%20Certifications).pdf
The proposed 401 water quality certification modification and supporting materials, including a fact sheet highlighting the changes, are available on the Ohio EPA 401 website at: http://www.epa.ohio.gov/dsw/401/permitting.aspx
Division engineers are authorized to add regional conditions specific to the needs and/or requirements of a particular region or state. Regional conditions are important mechanisms to ensure that impacts to the aquatic environment authorized by the NWPs are minimal, both individually and cumulatively. Division engineers may also suspend or revoke specific NWPs in certain geographic areas (e.g., states or watersheds) or high-value aquatic systems where impacts authorized by those NWPs may be more than minimal.
All comments regarding this proposal should be addressed to Ms. Suzanne Chubb at the address noted above. Please refer to Public Notice Number 2016-03-LRD and ensure your comments reach the Division Office by the closing date. Ifyou desire to submit your comments by email, please send to: Suzanne.L.Chubb@usace.army.mil. Please note that the names and addresses ofthose who submit comments in response to this Public Notice become part of the administrative record and, as such, are available to the public under provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
Digitally signed by
BIGELOW.BENJAMINJAMES.116021231 O DN: c=US, o=-U.S. Government. ou=DoD, • ou=PKJ, ou=USA,
Date: 2016.06.16 12:29:54 -04'00'
Benjamin J. Bigelow Colonel, EN Commanding
Regional General Condition No. 4. [reference page 87 ofthe current NWPs]: The proposed
modification includes revising the current text, as follows: "4. ODNR In-Water Work
Exclusion Dates: "Any work associated with a nationwide permit cannot take place during the
restricted period ofthe following ODNR, Division of Wildlife Statewide In-Water Work
Restrictions, unless the applicant notifies the district engineer (DE) in accordance with
Nationwide Permit Regional Condition 31, obtains ODNR approval to conduct work within the
excluded period, and subsequently receives a nationwide permit verification to conduct the
work:" No other changes are proposed to the current text within this section.
Regional General Condition No. 4.(3.) [reference page 88 ofthe current NWPs]: The proposed modification would involve deleting the following text from the first line "Class 3 primary headwater streams (watershed> 1 mi2),". No other changes are proposed to the current text within this section.
Regional General Condition 5.(e.) [reference pages 92-95 of current NWPs]: The proposed
modification to 5. Waters of Special Concern includes revising the text of this section in its
entirety, as follows: "(e) Endangered Species: Due to the potential presence of federally
threatened or endangered species or their habitats, notification is required for any regulated
activity in jurisdictional waters in Ohio that includes tree clearing or work in the waterway or township ofthe corresponding counties listed in Appendix 1.
*Note 1: Applicants should ensure they are referencing the latest version of Appendix A by contacting their nearest Corps district office and visiting the online resources identified in
General Condition 18(£) ofthese NWPs, since federally-listed species are continuously listed, proposed for listing, and/or de-listed.
*Note 2: As mentioned in General Condition 18-Endangered Species, Federal Agencies should follow their own procedures for complying with the requirements ofthe ESA. Federal applicants must provide the district engineer with the appropriate documentation to demonstrate compliance with those requirements."
Regional General Condition 5.(f.) [reference page 96 of current NWPs]: The proposed modification includes adding the following text to"(!) Critical Resource Waters:
- In Ohio three areas have been designated critical habitat for the rabbitsfoot mussel (Quadrula cylindrica cylindrica). Unit RF26 includes 17.5 rkm (10.9 rmi) ofthe Walhonding River from the convergence ofthe Kokosing and Mohican Rivers downstream to Ohio Highway 60 near Warsaw, Coshocton County, Ohio. Unit RF27 includes 33.3 rkm (20.7 rmi) of Little Darby Creek from Ohio Highway 161 near Chuckery, Union County, Ohio, downstream to U.S. Highway 40 near West Jefferson, Madison County, Ohio. Unit RF29 includes 7.7 rkm (4.8 rmi) of Fish Creek from the Indiana and Ohio State line northwest ofEdgerton, Ohio, downstream to its confluence with the St. Joseph's River north of Edgerton, Williams County, Ohio.
- Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Preserve."
No other changes are proposed to the current text within this section.
Regional General Condition No. 6.(b.) [reference pages 96-97 of the currentNWPs]: The proposed modification includes replacing the current text ofthis section in its entirety, as follows: "(b) United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS): Prior to submitting notifications, it is recommended that the applicant contact the USFWS, Ohio Ecological Services Field Office by phone at (614) 416-8993, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to 4625 Morse Road, Suite 104, Columbus, Ohio 43230. The USFWS can provide information to assist in complying with Nationwide Permit General Condition 18 pertaining to endangered species and Nationwide Permit General Condition 19 pertaining to migratory birds and bald and golden eagles. The USFWS can also provide project recommendations specific to Federal Candidate species. Federal Candidate species are those for which the USFWS has sufficient information to propose them as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but for which a listing proposal is precluded by other higher priority listing activities. All relevant information obtained from the USFWS should be submitted with the Notification."
Regional General Condition No. 6.(e.) [reference page 99 ofthe current NWPs]: The proposed modification includes replacing the current text ofthis section in its entirety, as follows: "(e) 401 Water Quality Certification: For activities involving discharges of dredged and/or fill material into waters ofthe U.S. and requiring Pre-Construction Notification to the Corps, an applicant shall coordinate the wetland characterization and stream assessment with the Ohio EPA in accordance with each section below:
Wetlands The applicant shall perform a wetland characterization analysis consistent with the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM) to demonstrate eligibility for coverage under the specific Ohio certification requested. The ORAM results and information outlined in Appendix B (ORAM Verification Process) ofthe modified 401 water quality certification shall be coordinated with the Ohio EPA.
Streams The applicant shall determine if their project is eligible for coverage under the 401 WQC for the nationwide permits as outlined in Appendix C (Stream Eligibility Determination Process) ofthe modified 401 water quality certification. The stream eligibility results and information outlined in Appendix C ofthe modified 401 water quality certification shall be coordinated with the Ohio EPA.
The Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water, may be contacted at (614) 644-2001 or by writing to P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049. All relevant information provided to and obtained from the Ohio EPA must be submitted with the Notification to the Corps."
Regional General Condition 6.(f.) [reference page 99 of current NWPs]: The proposed modification includes revising the current text in its entirety, as follows: "(f) Agency Coordination: To assist in agency coordination, a complete compact disc (CD) copy shall be submitted for any Notification Package greater than 15 pages and/or includes maps, drawings, spreadsheets or other similar materials which are larger than 8.5 inches by 11 inches. All files saved on CDs shall be in .pdf format. A hard copy of any oversized maps, drawings, spreadsheets etc. in the Notification package shall be submitted and accompany the complete CD. An index or table of contents shall be provided and correspond with each file saved on the CD and/or within the Notification hard copy. The applicant shall submit five (5) hard copies or CDs of the Notification package when the Notification requires full agency coordination in accordance with Nationwide Permit General Condition 31 ( d)(2)."
APPENDIX 1 TO REGIONAL GENERAL CONDITION 5.( e.)
(e) Endangered Species: Due to the potential presence of federally threatened or endangered species or their habitats, notification is required for any regulated activity in jurisdictional waters in Ohio that includes tree clearing or work in the waterway or township of the corresponding counties: