SAVANNAH DISTRICT

 

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Regulatory Program Overview

If you are planning work in a river, stream, lake, or wetland, a Corps permit may be required.

The program takes into consideration all concerns of the public - environmental, social, and economic - in the Corps-decision-making process to either issue or deny permits. As part of its responsibility to protect water quality, and other functions and services, the Corps Section 404 permit program extends to many areas under the Clean Water Act.

The Regulatory Branch of the Savannah District administers the Regulatory Program for the entire State of Georgia under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC. 1344), Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 USC. 403), and Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (33 USC. 1413). The Regulatory Branch is organized into three Sections, Coastal, Piedmont and Multipurpose Management. The Multipurpose Management Section provides administrative and technical support to the Branch. The Coastal and Piedmont Sections process and evaluate permit applications in their respective geographical boundaries. In addition, the Coastal Section has a field office in Albany, Georgia and the Piedmont Section has a field office at Lake Lanier.

Waters of the United States

Waters of the United States includes essentially all surface waters such as all navigable waters and their tributaries, all interstate waters and their tributaries, all wetlands adjacent to these waters, and all impoundments of these waters.

"Wetlands" are those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. Other examples include seasonal wetlands including vernal pools.

Wetland delineations must be conducted in accordance with our 1987 Wetland Delineation Manual, and its supplements, and submitted to us for our review.

 

Section 10 of RHA and Section 404 of CWA

Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 requires Corps authorization prior to any work in, under, or over navigable waters of the United States, or which affects the course, location, condition or capacity of such waters. Navigable waters of the United States are defined as waters that have been used in the past, are now used, or are susceptible to use as a means to transport interstate or foreign commerce up to the head of navigation. Typical activities requiring Section 10 permits are:

  • Construction of piers, docks, wharves, bulkheads, dolphins, marinas, ramps, floats intake structures, and cable or pipeline crossings.
  • Dredging and excavation.
  • Bank stabilization.

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act requires Corps authorization prior to discharging dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States. The goal of this Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nations’ waters. Typical activities requiring Section 404 permits are:

  • Discharges of fill or dredged material in 'waters of the US' including wetlands.
  • Residential, commercial, or recreational developments including roadways and utility lines.
  • Construction of revetments, groins, breakwaters, levees, dams, dikes, riprap, and weirs.

Who needs a permit and planning early encouraged!

Any person, firm, or agency (including Federal, state, Sovereign Nation, and local government agencies) planning to work in waters of the United States, or dump or place dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, must first obtain a permit from the Corps. Permits, licenses, variances, or similar authorization may also be required by other Federal, state and local statutes.

You are encouraged to contact the Corps for proposed work in waters in your area. Exemptions, nationwide, regional and individual permit requirements will be reviewed. By discussing all information prior to application submittal, your application will be processed more efficiently. More information on pre-application consultation is available online.

 

Permit Types

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  • Nationwide Permits are a type of general permit and represent DA authorizations that have been issued by the regulation (33 CFR part 330) for certain specified activities nationwide. If certain conditions are met, the specified activities can take place without the need for an individual or regional permit. 
  • Regional General Permits are a type of general permit. They may be issued by a division or district engineer after compliance with the other procedures of this regulation. If the public interest so requires, the issuing authority may condition the regional permit to require a case-by-case reporting and acknowledgment system. However, no separate applications or other authorization documents will be required.
  • Programmatic General Permits are a type of general permit founded on an existing state, local or other Federal agency program and designed to avoid duplication with that program.

Permit processing usually takes 45 days, unless a public hearing, consultation for endangered species and/or cultural resources is required, or an environmental document must be prepared.

 

  • Letters of Permission can be issued following cooperating agencies’ review of an application for a Department of the Army permit. After evaluating all comments and information received a final decision is made. A permit may be granted unless the proposal is found to be contrary to the public interest.
  • Standard Permits can be issued following a full public interest review of an individual application for a Department of the Army permit. A public notice is distributed to all known interested persons. After evaluating all comments and information received, final decision on the application is made.

Permit processing usually takes 60 to 120 days, unless a public hearing, consultation for endangered species and/or cultural resources is required, or an environmental document must be prepared.

The permit decision is generally based on the outcome of a public interest balancing process where the benefits of the project are balanced against the detriments. A permit may be granted unless the proposal is found to be contrary to the public interest.

 

Contact Information

Phone: 912-652-5050

Email: cesas-rd@usace.army.mil