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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Releases Final Pennsylvania General Permit

On May 2, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“USACOE”) released the final Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit-5 (“PASPGP-5”).  USACOE administers this permit program jointly with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) to authorize the placement of dredged or fill material into regulated waters.  USACOE has issued PASPGP-5 for a five-year period.  The permit will go into effect on July 1, 2016.

PASPGP-5 replaces the previously issued PASPGP-4 and contains significant modifications from PASPGP-4.  Perhaps most notably, PASPGP-5 replaces the Category I through III system of agency review in favor of a “Reporting” versus “Non-Reporting” system.  In general, Category I and II activities under PASPGP-4 are called “Non-Reporting Activities” under PASPGP-5, and Category III Activities are now called “Reporting Activities.”  PASPGP-5 also includes terms that address the “grandfathered” status of certain activities that were previously authorized under PASPGP-4.  In some cases, such projects must be submitted to USACOE to determine if the project qualifies for coverage under PASPGP-5.