WSSI hosted an update on the Clean Water Act and other regulatory issues. Our panelists, which included speakers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and other industry experts, reviewed the latest federal and state-level changes.


Click on the section titles below to view presentations.

Part 1

Changes to the Waters of the U.S. Definition

Robert Berg is an Environmental Scientist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District

Robert discussed the recent changes to the definition of the Waters of the U.S. and how it effects the regulated community. Additionally, this presentation covered the NWPR to 1986 regulatory definition and Rapanos/SWANCC. Robert provided a refresher on the 1986 regs and Rapanos as well as a discussion on the different types of JDs and what is usable for permit decisions. Lastly Robert touched on the proposed rule.

22-SPGP Status and Proposed Changes*

Anna Lawston is an Environmental Scientist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District
Tucker Smith is the Northern Virginia Regulatory Section Chief, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District

Anna provided a status update on the 22-SPGP and a broad overview of the proposed changes. The 22-SPGP is set to go into effect on June 1, 2022 with the expiration of the 17-SPGP on May 31, 2022. Anna provided information regarding the COE and DEQ training on June 27th wherein more detailed information was provided.

UPDATE (6/13/22): On June 13, 2022, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Norfolk District announced “until the issuance of the 2022 SPGPs, the Corps will review any SPGP applications under the Corps’ Nationwide Permit or Standard Permit review processes. Updates on the issuance of the 2022 SPGPs will be provided on our webpage as they become available.” The 17-SPGP expired on May 31, 2022.

*The Corps did not use slides for this presentation; you can click the link to access the relevant part of our webinar video.

22-SPGP DEQ Perspective and Mitigation Update from DEQ

Dave Davis is the Director, Office of Wetlands & Stream Protection, Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality

Dave discussed the 22-SPGP proposed changes on how DEQ processes SPGPs on behalf of the COE. Additionally, Dave touched on the 401 and CZM Certifications associated with the 22-SPGP as well as the renewal process for those Permittees that currently have a 17-SPGP but have not yet commenced work and are not under contract.

Dave provided a brief update on compensatory mitigation in the state of Virginia, and processes DEQ is looking into to expedite projects reviewed by the IRT.

DEQ and the Corps will host a joint SPGP public information session on June 27 from 1 to 3 p.m. Click here to register.

State of Mitigation Markets and 2022 Legislative Review

TJ Mascia is the Director of Davey Mitigation, a division of Davey Resource Group, Inc.

TJ provided a review of relevant bills introduced during the 2022 legislative session along with a brief update on the state of wetland, stream and nutrient credit markets in Virginia, including current challenges and opportunities for enhancement.

Part 2

Nationwide Permit Updates from the National Perspective

David Olson is a Regulatory Program Manager at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters

Dave provided an overview of the 41 2021 Nationwide Permits issued on December 27, 2021 (which went into effect February 25, 2022), including the differences between the 2021 vs. 2017 NWPs.

401 Certification: Where do we stand now?

Justin Curtis is the Vice President of AquaLaw

Justin provided an overview of the Clean Water Act §401 Certification Rule, where it stands today and what the future may hold. In particular, Justin discussed the ongoing litigation challenging the Trump Administration’s revision of the rule, the Biden Administration’s efforts to develop a new rule, and the implications for permitting projects.

UPDATE (6/3/22): The EPA has proposed a new Clean Water Act §401 Certification Rule that could change the way that state and federal agencies are evaluating and authorizing impacts to Waters of the U.S. WSSI will be monitoring the proposed policy changes and will provide updates in our Field Notes newsletter. A 60-day public comment period will begin when the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register.

NWPs – DEQ Perspective and Process

Brenda Winn is the Senior Program Coordinator, Office of Wetlands & Stream Protection, Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality

Brenda discussed the interaction of DEQ’s VWP program with the NWPs 401 Water Quality Certification process. This presentation focuses on the 41 NWPs that went into effect on February 25, 2022 and the 401 WQC self-certification option associated with Norfolk District Regional Condition #13. Brenda covered DEQ’s Compliance Worksheet, a tool created to help project proponents determine if they can self-certify, as well as cover the various actions DEQ can take if self-certification is not feasible.

Endangered and Threatened Species Updates – Bats

Lauren Conner, PWS, PWD, is a Senior Associate Regulatory Specialist at WSSI
Ben Rosner, PWS, PWD, CE is Manager – Environmental Science at WSSI

Lauren and Ben discussed the proposed listing of the Northern Long Eared Bat (NLEB) from threatened to endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. They covered timing implications of this listing, what this means for the regulated community including anticipated time of year restrictions on tree clearing. This presentation covers where the suitable summer habitat areas are and the survey considerations the regulated community should be aware of.


  • Webinar Team