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Posted 7/1/2016

Release no. 20160701-001


Contact
Omaha District PAO
402-995-2417

or

Matt Vandenberg
matthew.d.vandenberg@usace.army.mil

OMAHA, NE – Several draft programmatic environmental assessments for developing categorical permissions under Title 33, U.S. Code 408 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 are currently available for public review. Each draft programmatic EA evaluates the environmental impacts of allowing certain routine alterations to be permitted at federally-constructed civil works projects within the Omaha District’s civil works boundary (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa). 

Each year, the Omaha District receives numerous requests from private, public, tribal, and other federal entities to alter federally-constructed civil works projects. When requests are received, they are evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the proposed alteration would impair the usefulness of the project or negatively impact the public interest.  Engineering Circular (EC) 1165-2-216, titled Policy and Procedural Guidance for Processing Requests to Alter US Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Projects Pursuant to 33 USC 408, provides guidance to process requests, also called Section 408 requests. EC 1165-2-216 also states that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers districts can develop categorical permissions to cover potential alterations that are similar in nature and have minor to negligible impacts. By categorically permitting certain activities, such as installing relief wells, repairing pump stations, and replacing drainage structures, a detailed environmental impact analysis would not need to be performed, thus expediting the Section 408 review process. Any proposed alteration not included on the list of approved categorical permissions would still be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to include an appropriate level of environmental analysis (environmental assessment or environmental impact statement).

The public is encouraged to provide comments on the draft programmatic environmental assessment, which is available for viewing at: http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Planning/Project-Reports/. Comments can be mailed to: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District; CENWO-PM-AC; ATTN: Section 408 EA; 1616 Capitol Avenue; Omaha, NE 68102-4901. Comments can also be emailed to: cenwo-planning@usace.army.mil. Comments must be postmarked or received no later than August 1, 2016.

This draft EA is consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, the Council on Environmental Quality’s  regulations for implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1500-1508), the Corps’ regulations for implementing NEPA (33 CFR 325 and Engineering Regulation 200-2-2) and other applicable environmental laws and regulations. 

Section 408