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Regulatory News & Announcements

Funding available for Seagrass Conservation Projects along the south coast of Puerto Rico

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, announces the availability of funds for Seagrass Conservation Projects through the Puerto Rico Seagrass Fund (see Public Notice here).  The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in consultation/coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, seeks applicants to complete specified seagrass conservation and research projects in the shallow, nearshore waters between Guánica (Punta Jorobado) and Santa Isabel (Punta Petrona) in Puerto Rico.

Up to $600,000 is available for specified conservation projects, and up to $155,000 is available for specified research projects. Proposals are due by May 21st.

The Puerto Rico Seagrass Fund was established with funds from a consent decree entered in relation to U.S. v. Authority for the Port of the Americas (Case No. 3:12-cv-02033-JAG [D.P.R.]). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office, and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources together comprise the Interagency Advisory Team (IAT), which will participate in reviewing and evaluating grant proposals submitted in response to the RFP.

For more information and to apply, please visit the Puerto Rico Seagrass Fund – Seagrass Conservation Projects Request for Proposals webpage:

http://www.nfwf.org/seagrassfund/Pages/seagrassconservationprojectsrfp.aspx.

Please contact Michelle Olson at michelle.olson@nfwf.org <mailto:michelle.olson@nfwf.org> or 202-595-2437 with any questions.
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CLEAN WATER ACT INTERPRETIVE RULE FOR 404(f)(1)(A) - WITHDRAWAL
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Army (Army) are announcing the withdrawal of an interpretive rule addressing the exemption from permitting provided under section 404(f)(1)(A) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The agencies want to make clear that the statutory exemption of 404(f)(1)(A) still remains available for use when applicable for discharges of dredged and/or fill material associated with normal farming, silviculture, and ranching activities that are part of an established operation and that do not have as their purpose bringing an area of waters of the U.S. into a use to which it was not previously subject, where the flow or circulation of the waters of the U.S. may be impaired or the reach of such waters be reduced (see 33 CFR 323.4 for more information). On January 29, 2015, the agencies signed a memorandum withdrawing the interpretive rule and this action is effective immediately. The Memorandum of Understanding signed on March 25, 2014, by EPA, Army, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, concerning the interpretive rule is also withdrawn. The signed memorandum withdrawing the interpretive rule is available at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/RegulatoryProgramandPermits.aspx.

A Public Notice was issued on the subject on February 2, 2015 and is availabel for review at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices/tabid/6072/Article/562990/clean-water-act-interpretive-rule-for-404f1a.aspx

If you would like more information, you may visit the Corps HQ webpage at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/RegulatoryProgramandPermits/NationalNoticesandProgramInitiatives.aspx

Or for further information please contact: Ms. Stacey M. Jensen, Regulatory Community of Practice (CECW–CO–R), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 441 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20314; telephone number 202–761–5856; e-mail address: USACE_CWA_RULE@usace.army.mil.

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USACE Recieves New Biological Opinion on 2012 Nationwide Permits

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has received a final biological opinion from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries on the USACE nationwide permits that were reissued on Feb. 13, 2012, and went into effect on March 19, 2012. The biological opinion was issued on Nov. 24, 2014, and it concludes the re-initiated programmatic consultation on the Endangered Species Act that began in July 2012 between the two agencies. For the full article on the USACE Headquarters Page, please click here.  To view the biological opinion, please click here.

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Jacksonville District Navigable Waters Lists

In Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, exercises section 10 (of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899) regulatory jurisdiction over the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea.  Additionally, all or portions of tributaries to the above waters may also be subject to section 10 authority.  However, complete lists of all rivers, streams, creeks, ponds, and lakes subject to Corps section 10 authority are not available.  You can find the current "List of Navigable Waters of the United States within the Jacksonville District" through this link or within the SourceBook under Other Permitting Factors. 

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South Central Palm Beach Island Comprehensive Shoreline Stabilization Project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Jacksonville District is conducting an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for two shoreline stabilization projects proposed by the Town of Palm Beach and Palm Beach County. The two similar projects include beach construction and nourishment and dune restoration projects between Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) R-monuments 128+955 and R–138+551, and sand placement with construction of seven (7) low profile, shore-perpendicular groins (groin field) near Lantana Public Beach. The Corps evaluated six build alternatives, and as well as sand source alternatives. The Draft EIS (DEIS) is available for public review and comment. The Corps anticipates a Notice of Availability (NOA) of the DEIS will be published in the Federal Register on December 12, 2014. The NOA initiates the start of the official 45-day comment period which will end on January 26, 2015.

Tarmac King Road Limestone Mining

South Central Palm Beach Island Comprehensive Shoreline Stabilization Project

Ridge Road Extension

Everglades Agricultural Area A-1 Environmental Impact Statement

Central Florida Phosphate Mining

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Improving the Regulatory Process in Southwest Florida, Lee and Collier Counties, Florida