Proposed Suspension and Modification of Nationwide Permit 21
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is proposing to take two actions concerning Nationwide Permit (NWP) 21, which authorizes discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States for surface coal mining activities. First, the Corps proposes to modify NWP 21 to prohibit its use to authorize discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States for surface coal mining activities in the Appalachian region of the following states: Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia until it expires on March 18, 2012. The proposed modification would enhance environmental protection of aquatic resources by requiring surface coal mining projects in the affected region to obtain individual permit coverage under the Clean Water Act (CWA), which includes increased public and agency involvement in the permit review process, including an opportunity for public comment on individual projects. The application of NWP 21 to surface coal mining activities in the rest of the United States would not be affected by this proposed modification.