1 May 2019-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Completion of National Wetlands Database and Interactive Mapping Tool
To coincide with American Wetlands Month, which begins May 1, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the completion of the most comprehensive and detailed U.S. wetland data set ever produced, capping a 35-year effort by the Service to map the extent of the nation’s wetlands. This is the most comprehensive data set yet of wetlands in U.S. states and territories will aid developers, city planners, regulators in advancing wetland conservation, economic development. https://www.fws.gov/wetlands/Data/Mapper.html
11 March 2019 - Definition of "Waters of the United States": Rule Status and Litigation Update The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Army are pursuing a two-step rulemaking process in response to the February 2017 Executive Order 13778 calling on the agencies to review the final 2015 Rule and publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the rule. The agencies are currently reviewing the nearly 800,000 public comments received on the first step to rescind the 2015 Rule and re-codify the prior regulations. In addition, the agencies published on February 14, 2019, a proposed rule to revise the definition of “waters of the United States."
25 February 2019 - Regulatory Guidance Letter 19-01 (Mitigation Bank Credit Release Schedules and Equivalency in Mitigation Bank and In-Lieu Fee Program Service Areas) The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 19-01. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers on credit release schedule for mitigation banks and on using consistent criteria to establish service areas for both mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs.
14 February 2019 - EPA and Army publish proposed revised "waters of the United States" definition
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army announced today the publishing in the Federal Register of the proposed new definition of "waters of the United States" that clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act. The notice is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/14/2019-00791/revised-definition-of-waters-of-the-united-states. The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the United States" consistent with the February 2017 Presidential Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The publishing of the proposal and outreach efforts were delayed due to the lapse in appropriations for EPA. Today's notice begins a 60-day public comment period that will close on April 15, 2019. EPA and the Army will hold an informational webcast on February 14, 2019, and will host a listening session on the proposed rule in Kansas City, KS, on February 27-28, 2019. Information, including supporting analyses and fact sheets, are available at: https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule/step-two-revise and https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.
14 November, 2018 - Surface Coal Mining Activities - Special Public Notice
Flood Recovery and Repair Activities-Special Public Notice-In response to the severe flooding and other storm related damages in the Fort Worth District. Municipalities and owners of damaged property wanting to conduct repair activities resulting in dredging or placing fill in waters of the United States, including rivers, lakes, streams, creeks, and wetlands should review the public notice. Many of the permits have scopes of work and thresholds which allow you to accomplish your project without delay or waiting for an authorization.
The National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils has updated the Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States to version 8.2 in electronic format at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_053171.pdf For more information regarding hydric soils, go to http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/soils/use/hydric/
2 October, 2018-Regulatory Guidance Letter 18-01
(Compensatory mitigation credits for removal of obsolete dams and other structures from rivers and streams)
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works has announced the issuance of the USACE Regulatory Guidance Letter (RGL) 18-01. This RGL provides guidance to USACE district engineers on the factors they should consider when determining the amount of compensatory mitigation credit generated from the removal of obsolete dams or other structures to restore rivers and streams.
12 September, 2018- "Waters of the United States" Status and Litigation Update
United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, on 12 September 2018, granted a preliminary injunction of the 2015 Clean Water Rule in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The USACE Districts in those three states are operating under the 1986 regulations along with the 2003/2008 guidance documents. (Case 3:15-cv-00162 Document 140 filed in TXSD on 12 Sep, 2018)
Hydrologic Modeling Guidelines Technical Report and Checklist
This Technical Report presents technical information supporting development of a set of Hydrologic Modeling Guidelines (HMGs) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District Regulatory Division (Corps). The HMGs are designed for discretionary application by Corps project managers and water supply permit Applicants to assist in identifying hydrologic analysis and modeling needs and requirements associated with water supply and management permit applications, with a focus on the RiverWare modeling platform for cases that require hydrologic modeling. The HMGs are intended to add predictability and transparency to the aspects of the permitting process related to hydrologic modeling but are not required to be used by Applicants or Corps regulators. These guidelines have been developed primarily for the Corps’ Regulatory Program’s (Regulatory) project managers who have limited experience associated with the topics covered. Report
On 6 June, 2016, the USEPA signed an Administrative Order to Chesapeake Operating, LLC citing violations of the Clean Water Act resulting from the dredged and fill activities involving wetlands and an intermittent stream just west of Crystal City, Zavala County, Texas. A Consent on Agreement and Final Order between EPA and Chesapeake Operating, LLC to settle violation of Section 301(a) of the Act resulted in a $9,000 civil penalty. Chesapeake Operating, LLC, will also restore the functions of the wetland and stream. The work was discovered by the Fort Worth Regulatory Branch and referred to USEPA.
On 18 March, 2015, the USEPA signed a Consent Agreement and Final Order with CTMGT Tuberville, LLC assessing a Class I civil penalty of $4,500 under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) for unauthorized work and a violation of permit conditions on a subdivision in Denton, Texas. The work was discovered by the Regulatory Branch and referred to USEPA as a knowing and willful violation. In addition to the fine, the permittee was ordered to restore the area within permit conditions.