November 2, 2021 - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as part of an interagency effort with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, is announcing the availability of the final 2020 National Wetland Plant List (NWPL). The Federal Register Notice for the 2020 NWPL update can be found here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/02/2021-23891/national-wetland-plant-list
The NWPL provides plant species wetland indicator status ratings, which are used in determining whether the hydrophytic vegetation factor is met when conducting wetland delineations under the Clean Water Act and wetland determinations under the Wetland Conservation Provisions of the Food Security Act. Other applications of the NWPL include wetland restoration, establishment, and enhancement projects. The list is effective as of 2 November 2021 and will be used in any wetland delineations performed after this date. Completed wetland delineation/determination forms should reference the version of the NWPL used to complete the form. The final NWPL is available at https://wetland-plants.sec.usace.army.mil/ (preferred browsers are Chrome and Firefox).
October 1, 2021- South County Transition (Palm Beach Gardens AOR to the Cocoa AOR )
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Jacksonville District, Regulatory Division has updated the geographic area of responsibility for the Palm Beach Gardens and Cocoa Regulatory field offices. The new boundaries will allow the Corps to more effectively balance workload. Currently, the Palm Beach Gardens field office processes projects located in Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties. Effective October 1, 2021, the Cocoa field office will process all in-coming (new) applications in Okeechobee, St. Lucie, and Martin Counties. The Palm Beach Gardens field office will continue to review projects within Palm Beach and Broward Counties, and shall also continue to process any pending applications within Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Martin Counties submitted prior to October 1, 2021.
As of October 1, 2021, all applications shall be submitted to the following locations:
For Counties: Palm Beach and Broward
Hard Copy: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Palm Beach Gardens Permit Office
4400 PGA Boulevard, STE 500
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Phone: (561) 472-3504
Fax: (561) 626-6971
For Counties: Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Martin, Brevard, Indian River, Osceola, Orange, Seminole and Volusia
Hard Copy: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Cocoa Permit Office
400 High Point Drive, STE 600
Cocoa, Florida 32926
Phone: (321) 504-3771
Fax: (321) 504-3803
Map Link- https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll7/id/19122
30 July 2021 – EPA and Army Announce Next Steps for Crafting Enduring Definition of Waters of the United States
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) have announced plans for upcoming community engagements to inform their efforts to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS). EPA and Army have stated a commitment to developing a reasonable, effective, and durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries.
EPA and Army are announcing a series of engagement opportunities, including an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide written recommendations and a series of public meetings in August to hear perspectives on the rulemaking. In addition, the agencies are initiating Federalism and Tribal consultations for the foundational rule. The agencies also intend to host a series of dialogues with state and Tribal co-regulators this fall to discuss both rulemakings.
The full announcement can be found here: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-and-army-announce-next-steps-crafting-enduring-definition-waters-united-states.
For more information on submitting written recommendations or to register for the public meetings, see www.epa.gov/wotus.
Here is the link to the Headquarters webpage to view the full announcement: https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/
9 June 2021 - EPA, Army Announce Intent to Revise Definition of Waters of the United States:
The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army have announced their intent to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” to better protect our nation’s vital water resources that support public health, environmental protection, agricultural activity, and economic growth.
“After reviewing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule as directed by President Biden, the EPA and Department of the Army have determined that this rule is leading to significant, permanent environmental degradation,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “We are committed to establishing a durable definition of ‘waters of the United States’ based on Supreme Court precedent and drawing from the lessons learned from the current and previous regulations, as well as input from a wide array of stakeholders, so we can better protect our nation’s waters, foster economic growth, and support thriving communities.”
“Together, the Department of the Army and EPA will develop a rule that is informed by our technical expertise, is straightforward to implement by our agencies and our state and Tribal co-regulators, and is shaped by the lived experience of local communities” said Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jaime A. Pinkham.
The agencies’ new regulatory effort will be guided by the following considerations:
- Protecting water resources and our communities consistent with the Clean Water Act.
- The latest science and the effects of climate change on our waters.
- Emphasizing a rule with a practical implementation approach for state and Tribal partners.
- Reflecting the experience of and input received from landowners, the agricultural community that fuels and feeds the world, states, Tribes, local governments, community organizations, environmental groups, and disadvantaged communities with environmental justice concerns.
The agencies are committed to meaningful stakeholder engagement to ensure that a revised definition of waters of the United States considers essential clean water protections, as well as how the use of water supports key economic sectors. Further details of the agencies’ plans, including opportunity for public participation, will be conveyed in a forthcoming action. To learn more about the definition of waters of the United States, visit https://www.epa.gov/wotus.
December 22, 2020 – The State of Florida assumes a portion of the Section 404 of the Clean Water Act program.
On December 22, 2020, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) assumed regulatory responsibility for a portion of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (State 404 Program). The Corps continues to maintain Section 404 authority over certain waters, referred to as ‘retained’ waters. Retained waters include those waters that (1) are specifically listed in the Retained Waters List (2) waters subject to the ebb and flow of tide, and (3) wetlands adjacent thereto landward to a 300-foot administrative boundary. In the case of a project that involves a discharge of dredged or fill material both waterward and landward of the 300-foot guideline, the Corps will retain jurisdiction to the landward boundary of the project for the purposes of that project only. Click here to access FDEP's webpage for a map to help determine if your project resides in Retained Waters.