Draft Nationwide Permit Regional Conditions Released

On September 30, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (COE) Norfolk and Baltimore Districts released their proposed Regional Conditions in follow up to the September 15 publication of the COE’s proposal to reissue 52 Nationwide Permits (NWPs) and establish five new NWPs (click here for the Field Notes article). Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI) has reviewed both proposed Regional Conditions.

Norfolk District

These are the most notable changes in the Norfolk District Regional Conditions:

  • NWP C: Electric Utility Lines/ Telecommunication Lines and NWP D: Utility Lines for Water and Other Substances will have similar conditions as the current NWP #12, including (but not limited to) requiring a map of the entire utility corridor that depicts the wetland delineation(s) for the study area, including wetland and stream classifications.
  • The proposed removal of the Pre-Construction Notification (PCN) requirement for federal permittees for specified NWPs.  Note that even if the PCN requirement is waived, mitigation is still required for impacts over 0.10 acre and/or 300 linear feet.
  • Minor changes throughout the general and NWP-specific conditions are intended for clarification and grammatical purposes.

Comments on the proposed Regional Conditions are due by November 16, 2020, and can be submitted by mail or email:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District, Regulatory Branch
803 Front Street
Norfolk, VA 23510
ATTN: Melissa Nash

or click this link to email Melissa Nash

Baltimore District

The Baltimore District Regional Conditions cover Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania.  In Maryland many of the NWPs have been suspended; those activities are covered under the Maryland State Programmatic General Permit – 5.   NWP 54 for Living Shorelines – which was suspended in the past – is now available for use in Maryland.  The proposed Regional Conditions have implications for use of NWP 54 and other NWPs in Maryland, and we encourage you to contact our staff about your specific projects.

The Regional Conditions proposed for the District include some changes in the required PCN materials, a change in culvert sizes subject to countersinking requirements, and removal of some PCN requirements for federal permittees.  While NWPs are used in the District of Columbia, the District Department of Energy and the Environment does not provide Clean Water Act Section 401 certification for them. That means that a NWP can meet federal permitting needs, but the DOEE may require additional permitting for impacts to wetlands and streams.

Comments on the proposed Regional Conditions – which are applicable in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania – are due by November 16, 2020, and can be submitted by mail or email:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Baltimore District, State College Field Office
1631 South Atherton Street, Suite 101
State College, PA 16801
ATTN: Amy Elliott

or click this link to email Amy Elliott

Contact Us

WSSI will monitor this process and will analyze the changes that may impact your projects.  If you have questions about this proposed action, please contact Christie Blevins, Lauren Conner, or Mark Headly in our Gainesville office; Bob Kerr or Mark McElroy in our Hampton Roads office; or Mike Klebasko or Scott Petrey in our Maryland office.

You can read the recent Nationwide Permit news in our previous Field Notes articles:


  • Christie Blevins

    Gainesville, VA

  • Bob Kerr

    Virginia Beach, VA

  • Scott Petrey

    Millersville, MD