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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters
PART 322—PERMITS FOR STRUCTURES OR WORK IN OR AFFECTING NAVIGABLE WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES
§322.3 Activities requiring permits.
§322.4 Activities not requiring permits.
§322.5 Special policies.
Authority: 33 U.S.C. 403.
Source: 51 FR 41228, Nov. 13, 1986, unless otherwise noted.
This regulation prescribes, in addition to the general policies of 33 CFR part 320 and procedures of 33 CFR part 325, those special policies, practices, and procedures to be followed by the Corps of Engineers in connection with the review of applications for Department of the Army (DA) permits to authorize certain structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States pursuant to section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403) (hereinafter referred to as section 10). See 33 CFR 320.2(b). Certain structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States are also regulated under other authorities of the DA. These include discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including the territorial seas, pursuant to section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344; see 33 CFR part 323) and the transportation of dredged material by vessel for purposes of dumping in ocean waters, including the territorial seas, pursuant to section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended (33 U.S.C. 1413; see 33 CFR part 324). A DA permit will also be required under these additional authorities if they are applicable to structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States. Applicants for DA permits under this part should refer to the other cited authorities and implementing regulations for these additional permit requirements to determine whether they also are applicable to their proposed activities.
For the purpose of this regulation, the following terms are defined:
(a) The term navigable waters of the United States and all other terms relating to the geographic scope of jurisdiction are defined at 33 CFR part 329. Generally, they are those waters of the United States that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide shoreward to the mean high water mark, and/or are presently used, or have been used in the past, or may be susceptible to use to transport interstate or foreign commerce.
(b) The term structure shall include, without limitation, any pier, boat dock, boat ramp, wharf, dolphin, weir, boom, breakwater, bulkhead, revetment, riprap, jetty, artificial island, artificial reef, permanent mooring structure, power transmission line, permanently moored floating vessel, piling, aid to navigation, or any other obstacle or obstruction.
(c) The term work shall include, without limitation, any dredging or disposal of dredged material, excavation, filling, or other modification of a navigable water of the United States.
(d) The term letter of permission means a type of individual permit issued in accordance with the abbreviated procedures of 33 CFR 325.2(e).
(e) The term individual permit means a DA authorization that is issued following a case-by-case evaluation of a specific structure or work in accordance with the procedures of this regulation and 33 CFR part 325, and a determination that the proposed structure or work is in the public interest pursuant to 33 CFR part 320.
(f) The term general permit means a DA authorization that is issued on a nationwide or regional basis for a category or categories of activities when:
(1) Those activities are substantially similar in nature and cause only minimal individual and cumulative environmental impacts; or
(2) The general permit would result in avoiding unnecessary duplication of the regulatory control exercised by another Federal, state, or local agency provided it has been determined that the environmental consequences of the action are individually and cumulatively minimal. (See 33 CFR 325.2(e) and 33 CFR part 330.)
(g) The term artificial reef means a structure which is constructed or placed in the navigable waters of the United States or in the waters overlying the outer continental shelf for the purpose of enhancing fishery resources and commercial and recreational fishing opportunities. The term does not include activities or structures such as wing deflectors, bank stabilization, grade stabilization structures, or low flow key ways, all of which may be useful to enhance fisheries resources.
§322.3 Activities requiring permits.
(a) General. DA permits are required under section 10 for structures and/or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States except as otherwise provided in §322.4 below. Certain activities specified in 33 CFR part 330 are permitted by that regulation (”nationwide general permits”). Other activities may be authorized by district or division engineers on a regional basis (“regional general permits”). If an activity is not exempted by section 322.4 of this part or authorized by a general permit, an individual section 10 permit will be required for the proposed activity. Structures or work are in navigable waters of the United States if they are within limits defined in 33 CFR part 329. Structures or work outside these limits are subject to the provisions of law cited in paragraph (a) of this section, if these structures or work affect the course, location, or condition of the waterbody in such a manner as to impact on its navigable capacity. For purposes of a section 10 permit, a tunnel or other structure or work under or over a navigable water of the United States is considered to have an impact on the navigable capacity of the waterbody.
(b) Outer continental shelf. DA permits are required for the construction of artificial islands, installations, and other devices on the seabed, to the seaward limit of the outer continental shelf, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act as amended. (See 33 CFR 320.2(b).)
(c) Activities of Federal agencies. (1) Except as specifically provided in this paragraph, activities of the type described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, done by or on behalf of any Federal agency are subject to the authorization procedures of these regulations. Work or structures in or affecting navigable waters of the United States that are part of the civil works activities of the Corps of Engineers, unless covered by a nationwide or regional general permit issued pursuant to these regulations, are subject to the procedures of separate regulations. Agreement for construction or engineering services performed for other agencies by the Corps of Engineers does not constitute authorization under this regulation. Division and district engineers will therefore advise Federal agencies accordingly, and cooperate to the fullest extent in expediting the processing of their applications.
(2) Congress has delegated to the Secretary of the Army in section 10 the duty to authorize or prohibit certain work or structures in navigable waters of the United States, upon recommendation of the Chief of Engineers. The general legislation by which Federal agencies are enpowered to act generally is not considered to be sufficient authorization by Congress to satisfy the purposes of section 10. If an agency asserts that it has Congressional authorization meeting the test of section 10 or would otherwise be exempt from the provisions of section 10, the legislative history and/or provisions of the Act should clearly demonstrate that Congress was approving the exact location and plans from which Congress could have considered the effect on navigable waters of the United States or that Congress intended to exempt that agency from the requirements of section 10. Very often such legislation reserves final approval of plans or construction for the Chief of Engineers. In such cases evaluation and authorization under this regulation are limited by the intent of the statutory language involved.
(3) The policy provisions set out in 33 CFR 320.4(j) relating to state or local certifications and/or authorizations, do not apply to work or structures undertaken by Federal agencies, except where compliance with non-Federal authorization is required by Federal law or Executive policy, e.g., section 313 and section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
§322.4 Activities not requiring permits.
(a) Activities that were commenced or completed shoreward of established Federal harbor lines before May 27, 1970 (see 33 CFR 320.4(o)) do not require section 10 permits; however, if those activities involve the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States after October 18, 1972, a section 404 permit is required. (See 33 CFR part 323.)
(b) Pursuant to section 154 of the Water Resource Development Act of 1976 (Pub. L. 94-587), Department of the Army permits are not required under section 10 to construct wharves and piers in any waterbody, located entirely within one state, that is a navigable water of the United States solely on the basis of its historical use to transport interstate commerce.
§322.5 Special policies.
The Secretary of the Army has delegated to the Chief of Engineers the authority to issue or deny section 10 permits. The following additional special policies and procedures shall also be applicable to the evaluation of permit applications under this regulation.
(a) General. DA permits are required for structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States. However, certain structures or work specified in 33 CFR part 330 are permitted by that regulation. If a structure or work is not permitted by that regulation, an individual or regional section 10 permit will be required.
(b) Artificial Reefs. (1) When considering an application for an artificial reef, as defined in 33 CFR 322.2(g), the district engineer will review the applicant's provisions for siting, constructing, monitoring, operating, maintaining, and managing the proposed artificial reef and shall determine if those provisions are consistent with the following standards:
(i) The enhancement of fishery resources to the maximum extent practicable;
(ii) The facilitation of access and utilization by United States recreational and commercial fishermen;
(iii) The minimization of conflicts among competing uses of the navigable waters or waters overlying the outer continental shelf and of the resources in such waters;
(iv) The minimization of environmental risks and risks to personal health and property;
(v) Generally accepted principles of international law; and
(vi) the prevention of any unreasonable obstructions to navigation. If the district engineer decides that the applicant's provisions are not consistent with these standards, he shall deny the permit. If the district engineer decides that the provisions are consistent with these standards, and if he decides to issue the permit after the public interest review, he shall make the provisions part of the permit.
(2) In addition, the district engineer will consider the National Artificial Reef Plan developed pursuant to section 204 of the National Fishing Enhancement Act of 1984, and if he decides to issue the permit, will notify the Secretary of Commerce of any need to deviate from that plan.
(3) The district engineer will comply with all coordination provisions required by a written agreement between the DOD and the Federal agencies relative to artificial reefs. In addition, if the district engineer decides that further consultation beyond the normal public commenting process is required to evaluate fully the proposed artificial reef, he may initiate such consultation with any Federal agency, state or local government, or other interested party.
(4) The district engineer will issue a permit for the proposed artificial reef only if the applicant demonstrates, to the district engineer's satisfaction, that the title to the artificial reef construction material is unambiguous, that responsibility for maintenance of the reef is clearly established, and that he has the financial ability to assume liability for all damages that may arise with respect to the proposed artificial reef. A demonstration of financial responsibility might include evidence of insurance, sponsorship, or available assets.
(i) A person to whom a permit is issued in accordance with these regulations and any insurer of that person shall not be liable for damages caused by activities required to be undertaken under any terms and conditions of the permit, if the permittee is in compliance with such terms and conditions.
(ii) A person to whom a permit is issued in accordance with these regulations and any insurer of that person shall be liable, to the extent determined under applicable law, for damages to which paragraph (i) does not apply.
(iii) Any person who has transferred title to artificial reef construction materials to a person to whom a permit is issued in accordance with these regulations shall not be liable for damages arising from the use of such materials in an artificial reef, if such materials meet applicable requirements of the plan published under section 204 of the National Artificial Reef Plan, and are not otherwise defective at the time title is transferred.
(c) Non-Federal dredging for navigation. (1) The benefits which an authorized Federal navigation project are intended to produce will often require similar and related operations by non-Federal agencies (e.g., dredging access channels to docks and berthing facilities or deepening such channels to correspond to the Federal project depth). These non-Federal activities will be considered by Corps of Engineers officials in planning the construction and maintenance of Federal navigation projects and, to the maximum practical extent, will be coordinated with interested Federal, state, regional and local agencies and the general public simultaneously with the associated Federal projects. Non-Federal activities which are not so coordinated will be individually evaluated in accordance with these regulations. In evaluating the public interest in connection with applications for permits for such coordinated operations, equal treatment will be accorded to the fullest extent possible to both Federal and non-Federal operations. Permits for non-Federal dredging operations will normally contain conditions requiring the permittee to comply with the same practices or requirements utilized in connection with related Federal dredging operations with respect to such matters as turbidity, water quality, containment of material, nature and location of approved spoil disposal areas (non-Federal use of Federal contained disposal areas will be in accordance with laws authorizing such areas and regulations governing their use), extent and period of dredging, and other factors relating to protection of environmental and ecological values.
(2) A permit for the dredging of a channel, slip, or other such project for navigation may also authorize the periodic maintenance dredging of the project. Authorization procedures and limitations for maintenance dredging shall be as prescribed in 33 CFR 325.6(e). The permit will require the permittee to give advance notice to the district engineer each time maintenance dredging is to be performed. Where the maintenance dredging involves the discharge of dredged material into waters of the United States or the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it in ocean waters, the procedures in 33 CFR parts 323 and 324 respectively shall also be followed.
(d) Structures for small boats. (1) In the absence of overriding public interest, favorable consideration will generally be given to applications from riparian owners for permits for piers, boat docks, moorings, platforms and similar structures for small boats. Particular attention will be given to the location and general design of such structures to prevent possible obstructions to navigation with respect to both the public's use of the waterway and the neighboring proprietors' access to the waterway. Obstructions can result from both the existence of the structure, particularly in conjunction with other similar facilities in the immediate vicinity, and from its inability to withstand wave action or other forces which can be expected. District engineers will inform applicants of the hazards involved and encourage safety in location, design, and operation. District engineers will encourage cooperative or group use facilities in lieu of individual proprietary use facilities.
(2) Floating structures for small recreational boats or other recreational purposes in lakes controlled by the Corps of Engineers under a resource manager are normally subject to permit authorities cited in §322.3, of this section, when those waters are regarded as navigable waters of the United States. However, such structures will not be authorized under this regulation but will be regulated under applicable regulations of the Chief of Engineers published in 36 CFR 327.19 if the land surrounding those lakes is under complete Federal ownership. District engineers will delineate those portions of the navigable waters of the United States where this provision is applicable and post notices of this designation in the vicinity of the lake resource manager's office.
(e) Aids to navigation. The placing of fixed and floating aids to navigation in a navigable water of the United States is within the purview of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. Furthermore, these aids are of particular interest to the U.S. Coast Guard because of its control of marking, lighting and standardization of such navigation aids. A Section 10 nationwide permit has been issued for such aids provided they are approved by, and installed in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Coast Guard (33 CFR 330.5(a)(1)). Electrical service cables to such aids are not included in the nationwide permit (an individual or regional Section 10 permit will be required).
(f) Outer continental shelf. Artificial islands, installations, and other devices located on the seabed, to the seaward limit of the outer continental shelf, are subject to the standard permit procedures of this regulation. Where the islands, installations and other devices are to be constructed on lands which are under mineral lease from the Mineral Management Service, Department of the Interior, that agency, in cooperation with other federal agencies, fully evaluates the potential effect of the leasing program on the total environment. Accordingly, the decision whether to issue a permit on lands which are under mineral lease from the Department of the Interior will be limited to an evaluation of the impact of the proposed work on navigation and national security. The public notice will so identify the criteria.
(g) Canals and other artificial waterways connected to navigable waters of the United States. A canal or similar artificial waterway is subject to the regulatory authorities discussed in §322.3, of this part, if it constitutes a navigable water of the United States, or if it is connected to navigable waters of the United States in a manner which affects their course, location, condition, or capacity, or if at some point in its construction or operation it results in an effect on the course, location, condition, or capacity of navigable waters of the United States. In all cases the connection to navigable waters of the United States requires a permit. Where the canal itself constitutes a navigable water of the United States, evaluation of the permit application and further exercise of regulatory authority will be in accordance with the standard procedures of these regulations. For all other canals, the exercise of regulatory authority is restricted to those activities which affect the course, location, condition, or capacity of the navigable waters of the United States. The district engineer will consider, for applications for canal work, a proposed plan of the entire development and the location and description of anticipated docks, piers and other similar structures which will be placed in the canal.
(h) Facilities at the borders of the United States. (1) The construction, operation, maintenance, or connection of facilities at the borders of the United States are subject to Executive control and must be authorized by the President, Secretary of State, or other delegated official.
(2) Applications for permits for the construction, operation, maintenance, or connection at the borders of the United States of facilities for the transmission of electric energy between the United States and a foreign country, or for the exportation or importation of natural gas to or from a foreign country, must be made to the Secretary of Energy. (Executive Order 10485, September 3, 1953, 16 U.S.C. 824(a)(e), 15 U.S.C. 717(b), as amended by Executive Order 12038, February 3, 1978, and 18 CFR parts 32 and 153).
(3) Applications for the landing or operation of submarine cables must be made to the Federal Communications Commission. (Executive Order 10530, May 10, 1954, 47 U.S.C. 34 to 39, and 47 CFR 1.766).
(4) The Secretary of State is to receive applications for permits for the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance, at the borders of the United States, of pipelines, conveyor belts, and similar facilities for the exportation or importation of petroleum products, coals, minerals, or other products to or from a foreign country; facilities for the exportation or importation of water or sewage to or from a foreign country; and monorails, aerial cable cars, aerial tramways, and similar facilities for the transportation of persons and/or things, to or from a foreign country. (Executive Order 11423, August 16, 1968).
(5) A DA permit under section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 is also required for all of the above facilities which affect the navigable waters of the United States, but in each case in which a permit has been issued as provided above, the district engineer, in evaluating the general public interest, may consider the basic existence and operation of the facility to have been primarily examined and permitted as provided by the Executive Orders. Furthermore, in those cases where the construction, maintenance, or operation at the above facilities involves the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States or the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it into ocean waters, appropriate DA authorizations under section 404 of the Clean Water Act or under section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended, are also required. (See 33 CFR parts 323 and 324.)
(i) Power transmission lines. (1) Permits under section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 are required for power transmission lines crossing navigable waters of the United States unless those lines are part of a water power project subject to the regulatory authorities of the Department of Energy under the Federal Power Act of 1920. If an application is received for a permit for lines which are part of such a water power project, the applicant will be instructed to submit the application to the Department of Energy. If the lines are not part of such a water power project, the application will be processed in accordance with the procedures of these regulations.
(2) The following minimum clearances are required for aerial electric power transmission lines crossing navigable waters of the United States. These clearances are related to the clearances over the navigable channel provided by existing fixed bridges, or the clearances which would be required by the U.S. Coast Guard for new fixed bridges, in the vicinity of the proposed power line crossing. The clearances are based on the low point of the line under conditions which produce the greatest sag, taking into consideration temperature, load, wind, length or span, and type of supports as outlined in the National Electrical Safety Code.
(3) Clearances for communication lines, stream gaging cables, ferry cables, and other aerial crossings are usually required to be a minimum of ten feet above clearances required for bridges. Greater clearances will be required if the public interest so indicates.
(4) Corps of Engineer regulation ER 1110-2-4401 prescribes minimum vertical clearances for power and communication lines over Corps lake projects. In instances where both this regulation and ER 1110-2-4401 apply, the greater minimum clearance is required.
(j) Seaplane operations. (1) Structures in navigable waters of the United States associated with seaplane operations require DA permits, but close coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation, is required on such applications.
(2) The FAA must be notified by an applicant whenever he proposes to establish or operate a seaplane base. The FAA will study the proposal and advise the applicant, district engineer, and other interested parties as to the effects of the proposal on the use of airspace. The district engineer will, therefore, refer any objections regarding the effect of the proposal on the use of airspace to the FAA, and give due consideration to its recommendations when evaluating the general public interest.
(3) If the seaplane base would serve air carriers licensed by the Department of Transportation, the applicant must receive an airport operating certificate from the FAA. That certificate reflects a determination and conditions relating to the installation, operation, and maintenance of adequate air navigation facilities and safety equipment. Accordingly, the district engineer may, in evaluating the general public interest, consider such matters to have been primarily evaluated by the FAA.
(4) For regulations pertaining to seaplane landings at Corps of Engineers projects, see 36 CFR 327.4.
(k) Foreign trade zones. The Foreign Trade Zones Act (48 Stat. 998-1003, 19 U.S.C. 81a to 81u, as anended) authorizes the establishnent of foreign-trade zones in or adjacent to United States ports of entry under terms of a grant and regulations prescribed by the Foreign-Trade Zones Board. Pertinent regulations are published at Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 400. The Secretary of the Army is a member of the Board, and construction of a zone is under the supervision of the district engineer. Laws governing the navigable waters of the United States remain applicable to foreign-trade zones, including the general requirements of these regulations. Evaluation by a district engineer of a permit application may give recognition to the consideration by the Board of the general econonic effects of the zone on local and foreign commerce, general location of wharves and facilities, and other factors pertinent to construction, operation, and maintenance of the zone.
(l) Shipping safety fairways and anchorage areas. DA permits are required for structures located within shipping safety fairways and anchorage areas established by the U.S. Coast Guard.
(1) The Department of the Army will grant no permits for the erection of structures in areas designated as fairways, except that district engineers may permit anchors and attendant cables or chains for floating or semisubmersible drilling rigs to be placed within a fairway provided the following conditions are met:
(i) The purpose of such anchors and attendant cables or chains as used in this section is to stabilize floating production facilities or semisubmersible drilling rigs which are located outside the boundaries of the fairway.
(ii) In water depths of 600 feet or less, the installation of anchors and attendant cables or chains within fairways must be temporary and shall be allowed to remain only 120 days. This period may be extended by the district engineer provided reasonable cause for such extension can be shown and the extension is otherwise justified. In water depths greater than 600 feet, time restrictions on anchors and attendant cables or chains located within a fairway, whether temporary or permanent, shall not apply.
(iii) Drilling rigs must be at least 500 feet from any fairway boundary or whatever distance necessary to insure that minimnum clearance over an anchor line within a fairway will be 125 feet.
(iv) No anchor buoys or floats or related rigging will be allowed on the surface of the water or to a depth of 125 feet from the surface, within the fairway.
(v) Drilling rigs may not be placed closer than 2 nautical miles of any other drilling rig situated along a fairway boundary, and not closer than 3 nautical miles to any drilling rig located on the opposite side of the fairway.
(vi) The permittee must notify the district engineer, Bureau of Land Management, Mineral Management Service, U.S. Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office of the approximate dates (commencenent and completion) the anchors will be in place to insure maximum notification to mariners.
(vii) Navigation aids or danger markings must be installed as required by the U.S. Coast Guard.
(2) District engineers may grant permits for the erection of structures within an area designated as an anchorage area, but the number of structures will be limited by spacing, as follows: The center of a structure to be erected shall be not less than two (2) nautical miles from the center of any existing structure. In a drilling or production complex, associated structures shall be as close together as practicable having due consideration for the safety factors involved. A complex of associated structures, when connected by walkways, shall be considered one structure for the purpose of spacing. A vessel fixed in place by moorings and used in conjunction with the associated structures of a drilling or production complex, shall be considered an attendant vessel and its extent shall include its moorings. When a drilling or production complex includes an attendant vessel and the complex extends more than five hundred (500) yards from the center or the complex, a structure to be erected shall be not closer than two (2) nautical miles from the near outer limit of the complex. An underwater completion installation in and anchorage area shall be considered a structure and shall be marked with a lighted buoy as approved by the United States Coast Guard.
[51 FR 41228, Nov. 13, 1986, as amended at 60 FR 44761, Aug. 29, 1995]