The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District, responded to 22 actions resulting from Hurricane Maria, including heavy rain damage in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Actions were taken to address shoreline damage, deposition of sand and other materials in waters and wetlands, damage or loss of structures in navigable waters and other related effects. Of these 22 actions, 13 required emergency permits for bank stabilization, dredge, roadway repair, dock repair and debris removal.
Emergency requests can include roadway/transportation repair, shoreline stabilization to address erosion, dredging shoaled areas, repair/rehabilitation of in-water structures, debris removal, derelict vessel removal, and oil/hazardous material cleanup.
“Our team works tirelessly to ensure emergency permits are processed expeditiously in accordance with South Atlantic Division-approved alternative procedures and Corps regulations. We want to do our part to make sure the residents of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands return to a life of normalcy as quickly as possible,” said Sindulfo Castillo, chief of the Antilles Regulatory office.
Corps of Engineers regulations define an emergency as a situation, which would result in an unacceptable hazard to life, a significant loss of property or an immediate, unforeseen, and significant economic hardship if corrective action requiring a permit is not undertaken within a time period less than the normal time period needed to process the application under standard procedures.
This expedited process is authorized for six months; an extension may be requested.
Alternative/emergency permitting procedures are used to authorize actions or work that are considered to be emergencies, which may include, but are not limited to, the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, and work in navigable waters of the United States, to include dredging to restore navigation and relieve flooding, stabilization of eroded shorelines, repair and replacement of authorized structures including docks and bulkheads, installing temporary utility lines and access roads, replacing existing roads and bridges, installing water intake structures and removal and disposal of debris in waters.
The Corps of Engineers is neither a proponent nor opponent of any proposed project. The Corps’ mission is to provide the regulated public with fair and reasonable decisions while providing protection to the Nation’s aquatic resources and navigation.