Jacksonville, Fla. (May 9, 2012) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, announced that two Regional General Permits (RGP), previously issued in 2007 for a five-year period, expired May 1 without the potential for extension.
The permits, SAJ-20 for single-family docks and SAJ-33 for multi-family and government docks, are frequently used in Florida. Regional General Permits, which are required to be reviewed every five years, are used to authorize activities that are substantially similar in nature and cause only minimal individual and cumulative impacts to the environment.
The Corps is in the process of consulting with other agencies on the matter of potential impacts of RGP-authorized activities on endangered species.
“Because of the ongoing agency consultation, the Corps is unable to automatically renew the RGPs,” explained Stuart Santos of Jacksonville District’s Regulatory Division. “The Corps will authorize as many activities as possible with Nationwide Permits or Letters of Permission, but in some instances an application for a Standard Permit may be necessary.”
Activities that may impair navigation in navigable waters of the United States are regulated by the Corps under Sec. 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, and require Department of the Army permits prior to their construction. Permits require consultation with other federal and state agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and others to ensure all requirements of the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and other environmental laws are met. The use of national and regional general permits to authorize similar projects with minimal impacts helps to streamline the process for both the agencies and the permit applicants.
Those who hold an RGP that expired May 1, for a project that is already under way or for which a construction contract has been signed, have until May 1, 2013 to complete the permitted project.
Release no. 12-037