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Mid-Atlantic Wetland Permit Reviews

National Information

EPA's Role

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act regulates the placement of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands. The Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is the agency responsible for the processing and issuing of permits for proposed projects that will impact waters of the United States, including wetlands. EPA works in conjunction with the Corps by reviewing proposed projects and providing comments. In addition, EPA has primary oversight of the permit program. EPA has established guidelines, known as the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines (PDF) (54 pp, 304K, About PDF), which provide criteria which must be met for a proposed project to receive a permit.

In order to reduce the regulatory burden and the duplication of effort, and streamline the permit process, EPA and the Corps work together with the states. As you can see from the table below, some states contain more than one of the Army Corps of Engineers districts. In addition to the Corps and the states, we also work closely with other federal agencies involved in permit review, such as the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Permit Types

Nationwide Permits are issued by the Army Corps of Engineers.

State Programmatic General Permits (SPGP)
are issued by each Corps District and authorize states to manage specified activities in the permitting process. This approach is designed to reduce duplication of review and streamline the process. Often the SPGP replace some of the Nationwide Permits in a state since they offer a more simplified and streamlined regulatory process. In the mid-Atlantic Region Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia have approved SPGP programs. West Virginia has a proposed system, not yet approved.

Mid-Atlantic States
Delaware Philadelphia
District of Columbia Baltimore
Maryland Baltimore
MDSPGP-4 (PDF) (72 pp, 1.4MB )
Pennsylvania Baltimore*

PASPGP-4 (PDF) (39 pp, 228K)
Virginia Norfolk
12-SPGP-01 (PDF)(17 pp, 1.1MB)
West Virginia Huntington*
No - proposed
* Lead District for development of regulatory policy, regional permits, and state-specific conditions for Nationwide Permits.

Public Notices

The Army Corps of Engineers issues the public notices for wetlands permits. The permit review process starts when the Corps publishes the public notice. The public notice period can be 15 days to 30 days.

EPA issues the public notices for wetlands enforcement actions only.

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