What is a Nationwide Permit?
Nationwide Permits are a type of general permit issued by the USACE on a nationwide basis for activities having minimal impacts on the environment. Projects that propose work in water, including in streams and wetlands, may require a USACE Section 404 permit and 401 Water Quality Certification. The Nationwide Permits cover 56 categories of activities.
What is DEQ’s role?
Starting in March 2017, for projects authorized under a USACE nationwide category, DEQ began issuing 401 water quality certifications directly to applicants. DEQ must issue a Section 401 WQC before work can be implemented for projects that are processed under the USACE Nationwide Permits. Applicants that qualify for a USACE Nationwide Permit may be granted an expedited 401 WQC from DEQ. Proposed projects not covered under the USACE nationwide categories require an Individual WQC.
On March 15, 2021, the USACE reissued 12 Nationwide Permit categories and added four new categories under the 2021 Nationwide Permits. These 16 Nationwide Permit categories will be reviewed under the 2021 Nationwide 401 Water Quality Certification Letter of Intent and template. The 40 permit categories not renewed on March 15, 2021 remain unchanged under the 2017 rules.
View the 2021 Nationwide Permits on the Federal Register
Nationwide Permit categories under 2021
12. Oil and Gas Pipelines
21. Surface Coal Mining 42. Recreational Facilities
29. Residential Developments
39. Commercial and Institutional Developments
40. Agricultural Activities
43. Stormwater Management Facilities
44. Mining Activities
48. Commercial Shellfish Mariculture Activities
50. Underground Coal Mining Activities
51. Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities
52. Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects
55. Seaweed Mariculture Activities
56. Finfish Mariculture Activities
57. Electric Utility Line and Telecommunication Activities
58. Utility Line Activities for Water and Other Substances
Typically, expedited 401 WQC projects are reviewed at the Tier 1 Review Fee level of $985.
All applicants should submit application materials directly to the 401 Program through
Your DEQ Online. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will assess what nationwide category is appropriate for each project, and notify DEQ of its determination. Once DEQ receives this determination, DEQ will invoice the applicant and begin review. DEQ will contact the applicant if additional information is needed. DEQ intends to issue a Nationwide 401 water quality certification (WQC) decision to each applicant within 90 days of the USACE determination, pending receipt of review fee, and sufficient documentation to ensure compliance with Oregon's water quality rules and laws, including a signed Land Use Compatibility Statement (found in Section 11 of the Joint Permit Application, or the DEQ version found
here and, if required, a completed post-construction stormwater plan (please see the
2021 Post-Construction Stormwater Management Guidelines).
For more information about DEQ's Land Use Compatibility Statement
visit the LUCS page