With the new year right around the corner, property owners, developers and builders in New Jersey should be aware of significant and fast-approaching permitting changes that could impact a wide range of projects across the state. In early 2017, the United States Army Corps of Engineers is expected to reissue and modify its nationwide permits. These nationwide permits are meant to streamline the permitting process for various activities involving discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the Unites States, specifically where the activity causes only minimal adverse environmental effects when performed separately and only minimal cumulative adverse environmental effects. The current nationwide permits, promulgated in 2012, expire on March 18, 2017.

On June 1, 2016, the Army Corps published notice of its proposal to reissue and modify its nationwide permits. 81 Fed. Reg. 35,186. While the Army Corps intends to reissue its 52 existing nationwide permits and the general conditions applicable to them, it has also proposed to add two new nationwide permits and one new general condition and to modify some of the existing nationwide permits, general conditions and applicable definitions. The proposal additionally included minor modifications to Section D, “District Engineer’s Decision,” which addresses the process by which a district engineer considers a pre-construction notice to determine whether the proposed activity is authorized by a nationwide permit.

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